Corrigible

Corrigible: (adj) capable of being corrected or reformed:

During a Q & A one night, when the audience had stopped having much interest in seeking any additional inquiries, the host who was conducting the interview with me, asked, off the top of her head, “If you could isolate one thing a person could do to make their life better, funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
what would it be?”

Before I got a chance to answer, comments suddenly arose from the audience, who moments earlier had looked ready to head for their cars.

Someone jokingly piped up and said, “Money!”

This prompted another to offer the word “beauty.”

It became almost like a list of the three wishes you might select if you rubbed the lamp and a genie appeared.

But when somebody intoned the word, “power,” the whole audience groaned in approval.

I turned to the person who made the suggestion and asked, “What kind of power? And how would you get it?”

He was a little surprised that I singled him out, because he was just trying to participate, or maybe just be funny. But it did draw attention back my way, and everyone seemed a little interested at what my response would be.

I replied, “If I could start over again and have one virtue that was sustainable throughout my life, it would be the ability to be corrected without copping an attitude, becoming defensive or making excuses. I would choose to be a corrigible human instead of considered an incorrigible brat.”

My answer was not quite as popular as “power.”

Yet I still contend today that anyone who can stand to be wrong, hear it and set in motion a plan to change it, immediately has beauty, will soon have power, and the money will follow.


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Charisma

Charisma: (n) compelling attractiveness or charm

I just finished a performance.

I don’t think the audience liked me.

The money was bad; the response was tepid and nobody was particularly interested in purchasing my books.

So I asked myself, what did I do wrong?

Always our first inclination. Where is my fault in the matter? It is an agonizing process, but without it, vanity can make us intolerable.

You know what the truth of the matter is? The people who sat and listened may have been with their moms and dads years and years ago and heard one of the parents comment or joke about a heavy-set man walking by, portraying that he was less than acceptable.

Maybe that person just never forgot that little drama. Maybe he or she found themselves trapped in a response that was not his or her own, but so ingrained that it popped out without permission.

Charisma is such a wicked maze of misunderstanding.

For after all, one man’s “beautiful” is another man’s “plain.” And one woman’s “gentle” is another woman’s “boring.”

So what’s the best we can do?

Find our gift, work on our gift, share our gift in good cheer.

For lo and behold, anybody who would benefit from knowing us will certainly find us.

 

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Brassy

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brassy: (adj) tastelessly showy or loud in appearance or manner

How much is enough?

That may be the central concern to human life.Dictionary B

Because in hours of reflection, when opportunity is long gone, the question raised in our soul is either “did we do enough?” or “did we do too much?”

  • In a world of indifference, how much flash does it take for someone to notice your pan?
  • How many cherries before you actually have a bowl?
  • And how many sunrises before someone grabs a camera?

What does it take to draw enough attention to goodness that evil pales in comparison?

I am convinced that the promotion of a great idea is not achieved through a deluge of advertising, screaming, yelling and promotion.

Goodness, gentleness, kindness, righteousness, beauty are all required to maintain a consistency while the world overlooks them until such a time that the planet is prepared to be aware.

Therefore, the quandary is not whether there’s anything good in the world. The issue is whether goodness can survive all of the brassy critique and dark representations to finally get its chance to inherit the Earth.

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Bramble

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bramble: (n) a prickly scrambling vine or shrub

Is the Universe a sporadic series of incomplete evolutions, or a well-constructed and defined object lesson?

It’s a damn good question.Dictionary B

Because if I were to believe that everything is spawned by chance, then I might be completely unable to make sense of anything around me.

But if there is some sort of reason, purpose or genius behind the way things are placed, then I have the glorious task of unraveling the mystery.

Why do roses have thorns?

And why do bramble bushes have prickly parts that make it difficult to pick the berries which often inhabit their vines?

What’s the message?

Is there a need for us to be discouraged in the pursuit of beauty and nutrition?

Are we to understand that blessing is achieved, rather than guaranteed?

Is the Creator trying to separate the perseverant from the lazy?

Because plucking a rose is risking a prick.

And hunting for berries might tear at your skin.

Is there a message here? Or am I reading deeper thoughts than intended into an evolutionary mishap?

I’m not sure.

But I can tell you, the pursuit of wisdom never fails us … even if there’s very little information to be uncovered.

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Bracelet

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bracelet: (n) an ornamental band or chain worn on the wrist or arm

I have never been satisfied with my appearance, yet oddly, I have never been dissatisfied.

I have always landed in the “midlands” of being curious about improving my package.Dictionary B

This has caused me to do many interesting things.

When I was much younger I grew my hair out very long. I did it because I thought it made me look cool–and I could. Another wonderful byproduct of having flowing locks was that it seemed to make older folks really pissy.

For awhile I wore jewelry around my neck. I liked the way it flew around when I was walking fast, and it popped and bounced against my pecs, making me feel macho (since I left two buttons unfastened at the top of my shirt).

But most of all, I made a decision to wear an ID bracelet. I forget who purchased it–obviously someone who could afford the adornment, promising that it was gold plated. It is possible that it was, but whatever gold was on my ID bracelet quickly headed for “them thar hills.”

I was left with a two-tone piece of metal dangling from my arm, causing my skin to turn green.

I didn’t care. I continued to wear it because I believed it made me look more attractive.

Then one day I was sitting on a bench and a young lady moved to sit down next to me, and pulled back in horror, exclaiming, “Ooh! Your arm is green!”

She decided to seek a perch elsewhere.

So I scrubbed my arm and returned it to its former beige condition, and stopped wearing my bracelet–reluctantly. I did not feel nearly as appealing.

I realized that I was trusting my two-tone, green-spreading-on-your-skin piece of jewelry to be the spokesman …  for my true beauty.

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“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

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Archive

dictionary with letter A

Archive: (n) a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.

Making memories.

Just yesterday someone was extolling the beauty of such an endeavor.

It seems noble–to “archive away” the blessings of our lives, to be retrieved at various intervals to enrich our thinking and stimulate our warmth.

During the holiday season, I find myself in the presence of family. Even though I realize the word “family” is a noun by the laws of grammar, in many ways it is a verb–either past or present-tense.

For the danger, as we well know, in getting together with those who were raised in the same house, and who even share genetic material, is that the conversations will drift back to former times instead of truly enjoying the moment or even dreaming of great ideals.

It’s just not for me.

So to balance this out:

  • I must be willing to cease to be someone’s dad in order to press forward and become their friend.
  • They must be willing to abandon obligatory reverence or even some fearful flashbacks, to acquire the tenderness of a “new-wine relationship.”

It takes great maturity to be childlike in our faith. Without that maturity we all have a tendency to remain childish.

I don’t think I would make a very good archivist. I would understand the concept, but I think my mind would push towards making new inroads instead of visiting the museum of my past.

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Ambience

dictionary with letter A

Ambience: (n) the character and atmosphere of a place

I guess some vibes are normal.

For instance, at a funeral home, there is usually organ music, the sickening smell of flowers and people whispering tearful regrets.

At a rock concert, there’s screaming, with people pumping their fists, patting each other on the back and yelling lyrics at a stage which is too far away to hear.

In Washington, D.C., ladies and gentlemen dress up in their parents’ clothes and follow the rules of a Parliament they fought an eight-year war to escape.

And in church … well, sometimes it’s a somber climate with worshipful silence, and in other places, it’s tambourines, drums and modern interpretations of songs written by shepherd boys on a lute.

How important is ambience?

If I walk into a restaurant and the waiters are wearing tuxedos, the food is not necessarily going to be better–just expensive.

I think the aura or overall feeling that best exemplifies our country, though, is a beach on a Saturday afternoon at about 2:30. It is the oddest collage of beauty, beast, coolers, umbrellas, tanning lotion, tossed balls, screaming children, strutting studs and prancing babes.

It is America:  we boldly worship the sun while knowing that it’s slowly killing us with skin cancer, convinced that we have every right to occupy the available space on the sand, which is the width and length of our blanket and also, completely and arrogantly confident that we are just as good as the next bathing suit nearby.

Ambience is a tricky thing.

It’s used to telegraph propriety in a world that no longer knows what a telegraph is.

It’s a bit old-fashioned, it’s a bit presumptuous, and it certainly is often misleading.

Yet each one of us does generate an individual glow around us, which is either inviting or repelling.

And determining what that beam of self turns out to be … will decide our happiness.