Criteria

Criteria: (n) rules or principles for evaluating or testing something.

That’s it.

Call off the dogs, close up the investigation and give all the researchers a lunch break.

We have stumbled upon something.

Perhaps the problem with all of our dealings on Earth is that we have never universally established criteria for what it means to be a human being.

Everybody has their opinion.

There are those who insist we are saints, and certainly those in the clergy who feel it’s necessary to get us to admit that we’re sinners.

Sometimes we make bold statements and talk about human achievement—and follow it up immediately with a sheepish, pouty, “Well, we’re only human.”

Which is it?

Are we dastardly folk who cannot be trusted, who think only of ourselves and lie at the drop of a hat, and therefore need constant supervision in the simplest affairs of our lives?

Or are we truly created in the image of God, therefore capable of great works of art, and deeds of valor and courage?

Since we can’t make up our minds on this particular issue, we use being human as a way of decrying the need for God, but also as an excuse for leaving the toilet seat up all the time.

So I humbly but firmly offer these three criteria for being human:

  1. We don’t have a big brain so we can act stupid. Smarten up and learn something today.
  2. We are remarkably all the same, so stop looking for subtle differences or shades of color.
  3. We can make magnificent things as long as we admit they need to be made and we have not yet achieved all that we must do.

Could we actually agree on these three things?

Could these become the criteria for being human, so when some fall short, they can do a quick repenting job, and when others feel like gods, we can lure them down from Olympus?

Without criteria, we make up excuses right on the spot—like a little kid with chocolate stains on his shirt, who’s trying to decide if it would be better to admit the candy-eating, or insist he pooped himself.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Armada

dictionary with letter A

Armada: (n) a fleet of warships.

Certainly when I see the word “armada,” my mind immediately pops off to think of the Spanish one.

The Spanish Armada was dubbed the greatest naval force that ever existed on Planet Earth. Because of that it was deemed invincible.

Matter of fact, the English, the French and even the pirates would avoid interfacing with this formidable fleet out of fear of being decimated by the sheer, brute force of its power.

But the Spanish Armada learned a valuable lesson, which is transferable into our times. Once you develop a reputation, you have two choices:

1. You can continue to work on getting better, using only your own standards as the criteria for excellence rather than comparing yourself to the surrounding, meager competition; or

2. You can continue to promote and advertise your status as supreme, hoping there will be no challenges to your claims,continuing to be all-powerful via publicity.

Can you guess which one is popular in the human race?

So while the Spanish Armada promoted itself, striking fear in the hearts of lesser navigators, the English, under the command of Sir Francis Drake, decided to improve its own boats–and eventually defeated them.

It’s not just that pride goes before a fall–it’s more that pride is the stumbling block that trips us up in our inadequacy, producing the tumble.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Affinity

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Affinity: (n) a spontaneous or natural liking or sympathy for someone or something

I think it has a meter–yes, an “affinity meter.”

When I was younger I was more intolerant. My affinity for others was based on three criteria:

  1. Do I like them?
  2. Do they have enough money to contribute to a pizza?
  3. Will they be fun?

Anyone who didn’t fall into all three categories was pretty well nixed from my holy circle of friends. I felt fully justified. After all, who wants to be around someone you don’t like, has no cash flow and is a buzz kill?

I don’t know when this transition occurred, but one day it crossed my mind that people have bad days, bad seasons, bad histories, bad relationships, bad luck and bad karma. Sometimes we catch ’em during one of these “sunken” places on their journey instead of at the top of the mountain. And if you start throwing all the heavy boxes overboard, you will eventually get rid of some excellent treasure.

So as I’ve aged, I have changed my “affinity meter.”

  1. Do I like them?
  2. Do I understand why I don’t like them?
  3. Can I hang around long enough to find out if it would be possible for me to like them?

As you can see, the need for pizza money is gone.

Affinity is the awareness that because nothing is perfect and nobody has it all, we gradually take many people into our lives–to piece together the whole experience of fellowship.