Chronicle

Chronicle: (n) a factual written account of events

It is a rather humbling thought–that each one of us basically makes our appearance on Earth and disappears, all within a hundred years.

A hundred years may sound like a lot if you’re five years old, but by the time you reach fifty, it is melting like summer ice.

Truthfully we all leave one lasting impression behind. How did we chronicle our journey?

Because we do chronicle it–through our attitude, our faith, our persistence, our interactions and our willingness to evolve and adapt.

Some people choose to chronicle Earth by acting like they’ve been placed here to critique it. They always seem to have a negative side to the most positive results. They will gladly tell you it’s just their nature–their way of helping to maintain quality control.

Some people chronicle the Earth by refusing to participate.They develop four or five ideas which they refuse to amend no matter how much evidence comes to disprove their assertions. They are proud of stubbornness.

There are those who chronicle the Earth by ignoring it and waiting for heaven. Their whole focus is in achieving an eternal life which has been heavily promoted but not seriously reviewed.

But for those souls who believe in simplification, the best way to chronicle the Earth is to stay silent until it is time to count one’s blessings. Obviously there will be some struggle in achieving good. There will be many errors in the process of getting there. And there will be moments when the Earth will seem like the hell we’re escaping to get to the heaven we desire.

Yet it is such a boring way to live–complaining about the status quo instead of announcing the coming show.

I shall chronicle the Earth, though I will only be here for less than a century.

I will make sure that century is peppered with good reports, bold experimentation and a faith that includes myself and others, with the presence of God.

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Checkup

Checkup: (n) a thorough examination

A writer certainly knows, when he submits his material to an editor, that he or she needs to prepare for critique. You can’t keep your job as an editor if you read stuff, smile and say, “Looks good to me.”

I’ve never taken my car to a mechanic without this technician finding something wrong with the vehicle. There’s no money, work or future for a mechanic who admires your car.

If you go to an investment banker, he or she will certainly explain to you why your present rate of consumption and your lack of a retirement plan is jeopardizing
life and limb.

Likewise, arriving at a doctor’s office is an invitation to be dissected–sometimes literally. Although you may insist to yourself that you’re merely going in for a checkup, after they have fully analyzed all your numbers, they will most assuredly recommend some sort of tune-up.

Sometimes if you don’t take them seriously, they will foretell your doom and gloom if you ignore the diagnosis.

Between you, me and the fencepost (and I’m not so sure I trust that piece of wood stickin’ out of the ground) it’s a racket. The American health system is in the business of putting us through tests that we most certainly will fail.

Because without us failing, medication cannot be prescribed, drug companies will lose their profit margins, and financial institutions–where we have invested our money–will not make much dividend.

So in a strange sense, we give $100 to the medical field so that the drug companies and Wall Street can prosper through ailments, and at the end we receive $2.20 of our original money back in dividends in our IRAs.

Is this a good deal?

Of course not.

But welcome to the glories of capitalism.

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

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Charlatan

Charlatan: (n) a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.

Even though I don’t believe there’s any secret to life–otherwise God would be a nasty uncle playing a game of hide and seek so He can take a nap–I do believe there are markers along the way, telling us how to make this passage of Earth-Time much more plausible.

One of those gems is to make sure you never critique anyone unless you’ve already scoured yourself to uncover the same condition.

If you call somebody a fake, you’d better make sure you’re not faking something yourself.

If you refer to somebody as a liar, you might want to precede that with an honesty session and unburden yourself of all your half-truths.

And if you claim that someone is a charlatan, you should be fully aware that the false claims you place on your qualifications–the additional bullet points you may slip into a resume–might equally define you as being a charlatan also.

Here’s a powerful message: take aim at yourself first, and then see if you can help somebody else.

Dirty people with dirty hands who come across other dirty people and try to help them end up just transferring much of their dirt onto the person in need.

God forgive generations of ministers, politicians, businessmen, counselors, teachers and even parents who voraciously took on the job of correcting…except where it came to straightening their own path.

 

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Brassy

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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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Blunt

Blunt: (adj) uncompromisingly forthright

Dictionary B

I am recommending a divorce.

I think it is time to create a Splitsville between the words “blunt” and “honest.”

No human being has the authority, integrity or history to be blunt.

We can’t afford it. It’s too easy for other folks to find the skeletons in our closets–which, by the way, are still so fresh they’re covered with rotting skin.

And “honest,” although an improvement in temperament, is subject to our present comprehension.

So when people tell me they want to be blunt and honest with me, I request that they refrain. I am not confident that my burgeoning human spirit of consolation has grown enough to endure the “hard rain” of their critique.

I prefer honesty tempered with mercy. How would that manifest itself? I will give an example.

Blunt–“You are way too fat.”

Honest–“Don’t you think your obesity is hurting your health?”

Merciful–“I’m thinking about losing a few pounds myself. Have you ever tried and do you have any suggestions?”

Some individuals would consider this misleading or disingenuous.

I just consider it the only acceptable way to affect the world around you without crumbling it.

 

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Began

Dictionary BBegan: past tense of begin

If you acknowledge the source, you can avoid remorse.

Even though it’s very popular to talk about how to begin, the celebration is much more powerful if we first commemorate how we got to where we are now.

Yes, our “begin” is much more efficient if we laud our “began.” May I explain?

I began several years ago to stop being so fussy about trying to get my personal avenue in life. Yes, I have preferences. No one cares. Lamenting their apathy only makes me aggravated and grouchy. So I began to take care of myself and not require that others do it for me.

A decade ago, I began to be self-critical about my projects instead of waiting for the criticism of others. I would much rather be overly analytical of my personal affairs rather than having to recoil from critique.

I began to realize that financial responsibility is not optional.

I began to give independence to my children, so they could have a life separate from their allegiance to my fatherhood.

I began to talk less and think more.

I began to celebrate that intervention by problems is the only way to coax innovation.

I began to begin.

And in beginning … I can now celebrate what I began.

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Athwart

Athwart: (prep) in opposition or counter to.dictionary with letter A

I don’t want to be spooky.

I am not one of those fellows who finds God in every flower or a demon under every rock, but occasionally I have to admit, there are certain attitudes that permeate our society which seem to have been blown in by a wicked specter.

Maybe it’s because I find them dangerous, but more than likely, the reason these particular trends concern me is how quickly they inundate the thinking of the populace.

The one that comes to my mind, which seems to have become very popular in the past 15 to 20 years is the notion that we prove our intelligence by being negative.

Everyone wants to be a critic.

The trouble with critics is that when everyone is doing it, it is no longer a mere critique, but rather, eliminating the energy for creative ideas.

It’s scary to be creative.

Even as I write this essay, I have to be hyper-vigilant about grammar, detail, accuracy, length and form. Some of this is good, but the amount dumped on us is a burden that discourages experimenting with good ideas to see if they’re great.

At any moment, you can offer a suggestion and there is a multitude of nay-sayers standing nearby–to make these inclinations athwart.

Yes, they are fully prepared to explain in vivid and often vicious detail how stupid you are for your assertion. So the end result is a generation that plays it safe while simultaneously feeling no safety.

It will take courageous people chancing that their efforts may be ridiculed, but still proclaiming their thoughts, to overcome this mob mentality of merciless menacing.

My contribution is two-fold:

  • I will continue to create.
  • I choose not to take what is created in front of me athwart.

 

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