Credentials

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credentials: (n) evidence of authority, status, rights, entitlement to privileges, or the like, usually in written form

 I suppose if you removed my driver’s license from my wallet, I would possess no credentials whatsoever. My state has authorized that I am entitled to drive a vehicle.

I have never received credentials from a music school, though I have persisted in making music.

I have no credentials whatsoever to write books, blogs and screenplays—yet again, I pursue.

I certainly had no credentials to be a dad, but the kids kept showing up.

I had no credentials as a lover, but that didn’t stop me from trying.

I am not licensed or approved to be a philosopher, a teacher, an instructor or a motivator—but these things have come up and in the absence of real talent, I have stepped in, acting as the best substitute I could.

I suppose I should have given more thought to gaining credentials. They do look good when writing a bio. Getting places or people of note to qualify you is much better than jotting down, “Have no fear. I am here.”

And I am certainly not one of those who feels self-righteous about lacking credentials, as if I were showing some sort of superiority by sheer grit and force.

It’s just that everything in my life started about one year earlier than it probably should have.

When I possibly could have gone to college, I was having my first son. And since I had that little family, when I might have wanted to garner some sort of degree or certificate, I was trying to put pizza and animal crackers on the table.

What I had to learn was that the absence of credentials demanded an honest presentation of oneself rather than lying or becoming defensive or saying something stupid like, “I have graduated from the school of hard knocks.”

I think it is absolutely delightful, if not essential, for people to gain credentials. I certainly do like to know that my plumber has plumbed before, and somebody knows that he’s not “plumb crazy.”

But in the absence of credentials, I will humbly offer myself, candidly share my value and do the best goddamn job I possibly can.

 

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Compliment

Compliment: (n) a polite expression of praise or admiration.

We require a license for driving. (Initially it involves a test.)

We require a license for marriage.

A hunter must purchase a license.

If you decide to build a wall in your home, you are obligated to pay money for a permit–or license–to do so.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Yet we fail to license the most dangerous part of humanity: the ego.

We walk around with unlicensed egos, which have no concern whatsoever for anyone else on the road with us. If you’re going to be an intelligent and valuable person, you must understand three important steps. Shall we call it the “Ego License?”

  1. Find out what you can do and keep getting better at it.
  2. Always keep in mind, there is someone more talented than you are.
  3. Use the compliment to acknowledge quality instead of manipulating weaklings.

 

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Cloister

Cloister: (v) to seclude or shut up in

It is the universal discovery–or perhaps better stated, pursuit–of every human being: will we discover the better use of our brain before we
uncover the more pleasant use of our genitals?

It has caused parents to hide, protect, imprison, box up and threaten their children for generations.

We are so afraid that our offspring will do things just as stupid as we did–so we figure the best path is to place them on an emotional or even physical desert island, “far from the madding crowd.”

Unfortunately, other parents have the same idea, so one way or another, our children find one another, and learn to clump and hump.

What is it we’re so afraid of?

  • Unwanted pregnancy.
  • Our children marrying before they get their driver’s license.
  • Little Billy or Sally spending their whole lives on welfare, wondering whether six children is too few or too many.
  • Or perhaps having so many lovers that they eventually just dry up and blow away in a whirlwind of fornication.

Even though guiding children–and ourselves–is a very good idea, cloistering has never worked. The human animal always escapes the care of the human spirit, to roam the jungle, panting for danger.

So what should we do?

No one knows.

Good parenting has nothing to do with pursuing a path, but instead, looking down the available paths … and avoiding the dead-end streets.

 

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Bicycle

Bicycle: (n) a vehicle composed of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals and steered with handlebars

Dictionary B

The old 37 hill.

That’s what I called it.

It wasn’t actually much of a rise, but for my chubby legs, trying to pedal up that incline on my bicycle was nearly impossible. Matter of fact, usually halfway up, I pulled over, got off and walked my bicycle the rest of the way up.

I always felt like a failure (well, as much as you can feel like a failure when you’re twelve).

It seemed like the whole town was watching me to see if I was going to give up on the old 37 one more time.

In never getting up, I never let them down.

One day, I decided I was going to pedal the whole hill no matter what happened. Hell to pay (though I didn’t know what that phrase meant).

I was doing so well.

I was nearly at the top when I stood up and pushed down for one final burst…and my bicycle pedal broke off, causing me to splatter all over the road in complete indignity.

I was so embarrassed.

Especially when I went down to the small-town hardware store to replace my pedal and the owner refused to put one on. He said I was too fat and I would just break it again.

I had to promise him that I would never stand up and push hard on the pedal before he would let me buy the replacement.

Because of that I never conquered the old 37 hill.

But when I got my driver’s license, I took my 1963 Impala and drove up and down repeatedly…snickering.

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

 

Ambition

dictionary with letter A

Ambition: (n) a strong desire to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work

Shakespeare was probably right. (I’m sure he’ll be glad to know.)

Ambition, as displayed in the character of Cassius, in Julius Caesar, does not usually lead to accomplishment, but more often than not, a dagger in the heart.

I think it’s wonderful to be ambitious, if you’re not trying to destroy other people or have your heart set on something that belongs to another human being.

That’s why I have learned, over the years, to be ambitious over things that most people have walked away from in either boredom or confusion.

It’s similar to going to the DMV. If you’re there to get a new driver’s license or get one renewed, forget about it–take a number. But if you’re there for a passport photo, you’ll be in and out in fifteen.

So if you’re ambitious about going to the DMV to get your driver’s license in fifteen minutes, you will not only end up dishing in line and aggravating everyone, but you will also end up screaming at the lady who’s trying to fill out your application, which will make her go slower.

Ambitious has two important components:

1. Make sure you go for something that is needed, but not presently being offered.

2. Don’t bitch at life when it challenges you, and questions whether you have the right to own such an honor … of being given the opportunity.

 

Aka

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Aka: (abbr.) also known as: e.g.John Merrick, aka the Elephant Man

J. R. Practix.

That’s the name on my birth certificate.

But during a brief season of playing football, I was aka “Big Jon.” Matter of fact, through high school, I was “just Jon, without an h”. I often joked that I selected the name because I wanted to “get the h outta there.” Some people thought that was funny.

  • A tiny handful knew me as “the music guy.”
  • There were those in my town who acquainted my personage with “deadbeat.”
  • Aka “Daddy,” which became “Dad”–and on more formal occasions is even announced, “my Father.”
  • Aka “Studly,” even though that was used so infrequently that I’m embarrassed to bring it up, but still, willing to propagate the myth.
  • Aka “Composer.”
  • Aka “Vagabond.”
  • Aka “Writer.”
  • Aka “Preacher”–though I was never actually able to embody the look or attributes of a parson.
  • Aka “Musician”–though I must bow my head in the presence of the true clerics of chords.

Then came grandchildren. So …

  • Aka “G-Pop.”
  • Three of my sons were adopted in my heart as god-children, and they chose to refer to me as “Pop.”
  • Aka “Husband.”
  • Aka “Lover” (in generous moments by forgiving females)
  • Aka “Business man” (unless you look at my books)
  • Aka “Traveler” (Just check my odometer)
  • Aka “Human being,” of which I am most proud.

I realize today that I have so many names associated with me that if I had a driver’s license to match each one, I would look like a criminal on the lam.

And speaking of lamb, I recommend it … with mint jelly.