Dayton: (n) a city in SW Ohio

Growing up in Central Ohio, Dayton was eighty miles away—just far enough that you felt going there was “taking a trip.”

I’ve always liked Dayton.

When I first started as a musician—impoverished and therefore ridiculed by friends and relatives as being irresponsible—I had a little place I went to in Dayton to perform my songs, where they treated me like I was on the top forty—and also, in some way, like I was a long-lost relative from Yugoslavia.

They loved me.

Therefore I loved them.

That’s when I learned the system. It is so much easier to love people when you know they’ve already made the leap to love you. It is certainly possible to love people when they’re considering loving you so you can share those feelings back with them in a considerate way.

Yet it is nearly implausible to love someone who has decided that you are not pleasing.

Loving those who don’t love you.

There’s really not any nobility in it—even though for centuries we have touted that true spirituality is ignoring one’s feelings in an attempt to aspire to more god-like actions.

But since we’re not supposed to be gods—we’re human—it seems forgivable to go ahead and feel at least “iffy” about those who place us in the reject pile.

I felt rejected in my hometown.

I wasn’t perfect, or even close to it.

It wasn’t that I didn’t do things that were worthy of critique.

It’s just how quickly those around me were ready to criticize.

In Dayton, I felt human.

I felt that my presence brought a smile.

I believed they even looked forward to seeing me.

I heard applause.

I received edification.

And because I did, I grew. I experimented. I took some chances.

I found out that my right hand and my left hand could do much more on the piano than I had imagined.

My voice could go higher.

I could actually sing on pitch.

My music gained emotion.

I was willing to listen to those who favored one tune over another without sensing an attack.

Somewhere on the eighty miles over to Dayton, my visit there and the journey back, I always healed.

The process was faithful—every time. I left home despondent, curious if the evening would make it better. I took a deep breath, put together a show, played it the best I could and expanded in the appreciation.

My heart grew, and I drove home—a little less defensive.

It was heavenly.

It was an experience I grew to cherish—and named “The Dayton Effect.”



Console: (v) to comfort someone at a time of grief or disappointment

When I saw the word “console,” I thought about becoming reflective, gentle and sharing some anecdote about a time in my life when someone comforted me, or perhaps I was able to bring solace to another.

But then I was struck by reality.

Even though I am a strong believer in consoling, too many times what we consider to be an action of consolation ends up being a cajole–or supporting an funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So shall we consider the three words?

  • Console
  • Cajole
  • Asshole.

What would be the difference among the three terms?

Console is what you do when people, from a good place in their heart, try to do something, and either due to bad fortune, poor execution, or maybe even a little stupidity, fall flat on their face and you lift them up and encourage them, saying that such a tumble is never a fatal fall.

Cajole is when you run across an individual who has ability but has decided not to pursue something on their own without being encouraged, pumped up and told how great they are before they will even flex one ounce of their ability.

And asshole is someone who’s become much too comfortable with a console or a cajole, and so manipulates life to make him or her receive all the attention by being a hold-out or a lazy so-and-so.

You’re probably asking yourself, how can you tell the difference? Truth is, you won’t be able to do so unless you’ve tapped your soul, repented of your need for the cajole and any instinct to be an asshole–and allow your spirit to show you the ones who light up when they receive words of edification… and rise to their feet to try again.

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A la

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A


A la: (prep) 1. a dish cooked or prepared in a specified style: e.g. apple pie a la mode. 2. in the style or manner of: e.g. afternoon talk shows a la Oprah.

May I give you my “a la” list? Maybe better stated, a reality a la “wish.”

  • Success a la humility.
  • Music a la emotion.
  • Faith a la evidence.
  • Hope a la progress.
  • Love a la tolerance.
  • Nationalism a la vision.
  • Equality a la action.
  • Debate a la cohesion.
  • Purpose a la common sense.
  • Bible a la humanity.
  • Entertainment a la inspiration.
  • Humor a la edification.
  • Encouragement a la critique.
  • Family a la expansion.

There are certain things that were meant to go together, and when they are separated, they wander about the earth in search of a mate. If you become a match maker to these estranged lovers, you ignite a passion that sets the world on fire with potential.

Yes … potential a la “what’s next?”



by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAcknowledge: (v) accept or admit the existence or truth of  2. to recognize the quality of: e.g. the arts community had begun to acknowledge his genius.

It’s not easy.

Often in the process of acknowledging the truth of a subject, we have to admit that we have fallen short of achieving a parallel situation.

It’s why we’re so stingy with our praise. People have to do immensely amazing things to get attention anymore. This causes us to only acknowledge things that are outlandish. And most outlandish things are often detrimental.

So our entertainment is realistic by being dark.

Our politics touts its value by only being adversarial, with no room for compromise.

And our relationships are explosive, portraying the alleged battle between men and women.

If there’s a gauge on our acknowledgment, I think we should turn it UP. I think we should start acknowledging things that aren’t as loud and overwhelming. I think we should allow people who decide to take a quieter path to be appreciated instead of only advertising those individuals who sound their brassy horn to let us know they’re coming through.

What DO I acknowledge?

  1. I acknowledge I’m human and it’s okay.
  2. I acknowledge there’s a God who knows I’m human–and that makes Him okay.
  3. I acknowledge you’re a human made by that God, which also puts you in the okay category.
  4. And finally, I acknowledge that good things deserve more attention than bad things.

That’s about it.

Acknowledging is a great thing if it brings about a sense of edification which exhorts us to higher ideals.

For instance, I know that pigs live in slop. I don’t need to have a movie made about it (no disrespect to the “swine” of the film industry.)

I would welcome a little bit more propaganda about goodness in our world …, so we can acknowledge that life is well worth the living.