Congratulations

Congratulations: (n) words expressing praise for an achievement or good wishes on a special occasion

Congratulations are in order:

To anyone who is not pissing on others because he or she is pissed off

To people of either gender who realize equality is never achieved through separation, but rather, mingling similaritiesfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C

To the pilgrims who understand that culture has become the new Jim Crow, to separate us without making it look painful

Congratulations are also in order to those who believe in America to such a degree that they are prepared to question a voting system and electoral college which is not only antiquated, but preventing us from electing excellent leadership.

Congratulations to the people who are not afraid to speak their minds without apology.

Congratulations are in order to the human beings who understand we are not really spiritual, but are able to learn how to have enough spirit to keep from hating and destroying one another.

Congratulations are in order to the businesses which realize it is a damnable offense to make huge profits off the sickness of other travelers.

Congratulations are in order to anyone, anywhere, at any time, who can maintain a civil tongue, and salt their conversation with some humor.

Congratulations are in order to a faith that demands works–otherwise appearing dead.

Congratulations are in order to those who appreciate and utilize science without worshipping it, but instead, challenge the educational system to continue its evolution.

Congratulations are in order to you, if you resist accepting the meager offerings presented to you, but instead believe that somewhere in the pasture is a four-leaf clover, and in the clouds, a silver lining.

 

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College

College: (n) an educational institution or establishment

 

I never went to college.

I have used numerous excuses and lies to disguise this fact:

  1. “Well, the experience I’ve had is very similar to going to college.”
  2. “I took a few courses but never enough for graduation. Maybe I should check into that.”

Or the outright lie:

  1. “I am a graduate of Xavier University.”

(My thought? Most people would not know how to spell Xavier and would not pursue further.)

All through my twenties I felt like a dog without a collar. You know–a mutt rolling around the town, and everybody knows he doesn’t have a purpose or an owner
because he has no tags.

Yes, without college I felt a sense of self-discrimination. I was so convinced that people were looking down on me that I looked down on myself.

Then one day I simply asked my inner soul, do you wish you had gone to college?

I immediately realized that everything I had experienced would be gone in deference to the collegiate adventure.

That would include a wife, two kids, a music group, albums and writing a book. The case could be made that I would have eventually done these anyway–just with more book learning.

But one day–I guess I was about thirty-three years old–someone asked the question about college and I responded, “I never went.”

I really felt that the Earth moved beneath my feet–that the sky was falling in to trap me. But nothing actually happened. The person who inquired was a little surprised, since she felt I was very adept at what I was doing. But we were quickly on to talking about whether potato salad was better with mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.

You see, you don’t have to go to college for those kinds of discussions. Just have a heart, an idea you believe in and a willingness to be wrong.

I have found this to be the definition of higher education.

 

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Cede

Cede: (v) to give up power or territory

The fear of insignificance generates the arrogance of self-destruction.

Somewhere inside each of us is a terror that if we cede our ego or talents over to a common pot or competition, we will dissipate like a ghost
in the mist.

It’s the mixed message given by our educational system, which simultaneously insists that “hard work will produce a payday” but “self-promotion is better.”

It’s so easy to get confused. It’s very possible to lose sight of one’s soul in pursuit of gaining the whole world.

What can I afford to give up without feeling like I’m vanquished?

  1. I don’t have to be well-known if I’m known for doing well.
  2. It is much more important for me to be happy for what I do instead of being lauded for it.
  3. I am convinced that my meter of measuring my progress is much more sensitive than that of society–so as long as I am clicking my own goals, I do not need to be applauded by the masses.
  4. And finally, I can’t give up something I don’t really have. The delusion that we possess certain amounts of respect, power or position causes us to battle against forces that are not really fighting against us.

A great man once said that “he that would gain his life must lose it.” Even though initially this seems counter-intuitive, a second looks tells us that chasing a dream which is never meant to be is the certain way to destroy the beauty of heart’s desire.

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Almost

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Almost: (adv.) not quite or very nearly: e.g. he almost knocked Georgina over

I don’t want to be cynical but I must point out that we have become the Almost States of America.

“Almost” is our new favorite word. It used to be a compound word — “fries-with-that.” But now, we have embraced the message of emotional anemia, spiritual weakness, mental denseness and physical laziness.

May I give my definition of “almost?”

  • It is the universal certificate given for trying.
  • It is the party thrown for a victory that never arrived.
  • It is the hug provided for losers.
  • It is the hand grenade that never exploded.
  • It is the swimming pool without water.
  • It is the kiss on the cheek.
  • It is the “let’s be friends” in the vernacular.
  • It is the pat on the back instead of the vigorous thump.
  • It is the reassurance we give one another, that most of the time it is the lot of human beings to see the finish line and pull over well short, for a McDouble.

I am guilty of failing, but I have forbidden my addicted, crack-whore soul from going down the path to the pusher of inadequacy and getting my fix of blandness.

Yes, I am prepared to fail without being told that I tried.

I want to look at the pile of stink I’ve left behind in my endeavors without insisting that it’ll be good fertilizer for the future.

I want to admit that my “almost” was not only not good enough, but should be forgotten as quickly as possible, in a flurry of sweat-drenched training.

  • We almost have a President.
  • We almost have a Congress.
  • We almost have progress.
  • We almost have racial equality.
  • We almost have an educational system.
  • We almost have a solution for poverty.
  • We almost have drug addiction on the run.
  • We almost have figured out gun control.
  • We almost have a church.
  • We almost have entertainment.
  • We almost have excellence.
  • We almost have almost of what we need, without having almost of what it will take to do almost everything.

Don’t tell me I tried. Don’t tell me I almost got it. Let me fail. Let me suffer.

Let me rise from my ashes  … and do better.

The Almost States of America could never have won the Civil War. We could never have defeated Hitler. And we certainly would never have landed a man on the moon.

If we’re not careful, hundreds and hundreds of years from now we will be remembered like ancient Athens–a society that tried democracy … and almost pulled it off.

 

Adrift

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adrift: (adj) 1. of a boat or its passengers, floating without being either moored or steered. 2. Of a person, being lost or confused.

You see, I think we have a quandary. We have to learn how three words are quite different:

  • Uncaring
  • Bohemian
  • And peaceful

When I graduated from high school, I didn’t want to be normal. I had studied “normal” through twelve years of the educational system. Now, I was not critical of it. Those who found it appealing were not my enemies, but I did not get in line to take my number, waiting to be “the next one served.”

I found myself adrift. Those around me believed I was uncaring.

Not knowing what to do, I basically chose to do very little. Truthfully, I didn’t do enough to survive–at least, financially. The critics rolled in their opinions. Family was enraged. Friends deserted me.

I was on my boat and decided to float for a while instead of feverishly paddling or hooking some sort of motor up to my life so I could troll the waters of existing social acceptability.

I knew what I liked. I liked music, I liked performing and I liked writing. Was I good? Honestly, it was difficult to find out because I was always dodging the bullets of my pistol-packing townsmen, who were determined to “gun down” my laziness and put me back into submission with the grown-up way of thinking.

Yet I resisted.

Because I didn’t paddle and try to resist the tides and currents, I bumped into a lot of things, did some damage and appeared to those around me to be Bohemian.

“Adrift,” by definition, connotes a loss of control. But you see, I believe the GREATEST loss of control was giving it to someone else, who held my life as a timecard and asked me to punch in for permission to eat and breathe.

It took me about eight years to finally blend my motivation, talent, purpose and opportunities together, to come up with a lifestyle which was acceptable to those around me because it possessed some sort of pay stub.

I never resented those eight years that I was adrift. They were painful, often stupid, frightening, lonely and occasionally enlightening. They gave me the determination I needed to set a course and right my ship in a direction to follow my dreams instead of toe the line.

So even though “adrift” may seem to be a negative posture for any vessel, be it nautical OR human, for me, it was an oxymoron: a meaningful aimless quest.

Accrete

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accrete: (v.) grow by accumulation or coalescence: e.g. ice that has accreted grotesquely into stalactites.

It’s hard to accumulate anything when you’re spending all your time convincing yourself it’s trash.

Although there are people in our society who think they come across intelligent by poo-poohing every idea and coming up with some reason why it won’t work, ultimately we have to take the plunge or we’re just wearing a swimsuit and never getting wet.

But as long as we have a firm belief that being critical is the definition of objective and that analyzing is the best path to progress, we won’t accumulate much of anything but ongoing failure for the project that should have been uprooted long ago and now is held in place because we have no idea how to get rid of it.

There are so many things in our political system which should have been stuffed in the garbage can generations ago, but are kept around because the alternative to them seems frightening to those who are terrified of their shadows.

There are certainly ideas which have come forth from religion, such as self-righteousness and exclusivity, which wore out their usefulness eons ago, and merely propagate because somebody has already purchased the supplies, even though there is no demand.

There are countless things being taught  in our educational system which no one will ever use in their entire life and will only make them seem like nerds if they brag about knowing them.

We continue to pummel one another as men and women, even though this alleged opponent can be the source of one of our greatest physical pleasures.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for us to develop a sense of humor and the common sense to accrete valuable things, but until we do, second best will seem like a dream, as we constnatly settle for the dregs.

I am a human being. If I am going to be honest with myself, I have to ask three questions about everything that comes my way if I am trying to decide if I want to accrete it.

1. Is it easy and simple? If it isn’t, I probably won’t do it more than once, and spend the rest of my time on earth complaining about the initial encounter, while offering an explanation on why I would never do it again.

2. Will it benefit me? I work really hard to be generous about including others, but it is certainly easier to pursue openness when I am already savoring the fruits of the experience.

3. Is there a way to make it cool? I believe one of the signs of mental illness is the insistence that you don’t need to feel cool. It is the first fruits of a persecution complex that often drives people to the top of the tower with a deer rifle, looking for targets.

There you go.

I do believe that those who have good ideas should make sure they package them in a way that’s easy, beneficial and cool. If they don’t, be prepared for the cynics to pick them apart.

Abiotic

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abiotic: adj. 1.physical rather than biological; not derived from living organisms. 2. Devoid of life; sterile

I found a definition for Congress!!  “Devoid of life and sterile!” A physical body not producing any life. How remarkable! Do you think anyone in that particular institution would comprehend it if I refered to them as abiotic?

I was thinking about other things in our society that are abiotic:

Certainly, the entertainment industry came to mind, which continues to pop out pet projects from a group of spoiled technicians who refuse to allow new ideas into their coven of interaction for fear of losing both prestige and dollars.

Certainly our religious system is abiotic. For after all, we more celebrate the death of our leader than we do his life, and even gather around his carcass weekly to grab a hunk, for old times sake.

Our educational system seems to have become abiotic, trapping us into a repetitive merry-go-round of stats and facts, which don’t always add up to the requirements of our ever-burgeoning world.

What a fascinating word!

Sometimes I’m abiotic. I see life happening in front of me and I pull up a chair instead of putting on my tennis shoes.

Abiotic–ignoring life in motion. Being present in the physical without generating any living thing.

Because after all, to live a cautious life is to have completely misunderstood the directions that came with our kit.