Apostle

dictionary with letter A

Apostle: (n.) 1. each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ. 2. an enthusiastic supporter of an idea or cause.

Titles are what non-talented people cling to in order to avoid being evaluated on the quality of their work.

You can tell exactly how useless these assigned names are by how popular they are in our present-day society, which seems to be stuck in the muck of ego, unable to maneuver in any direction.

I, too, am often asked to produce my running list of titles. These are supposed to be words that inform the hearer that I am worthy of being listened to and that I have jumped through enough hoops to be part of the circus.

I’ve even had people correct me when I’ve addressed them by their first name, to inform me that their title must be included–otherwise they have a sense of what we might call “nomenclature nakedness.”

So instead of granting people dignity and appreciation for their deeds, we bequeath them with titles.

And this is why the original apostles nearly suffocated the message of Jesus of Nazareth–because they spent most of their time sitting around discussing who was greater and who Jesus liked better. In the process they began to kiss up to the very same individuals who originally had crucified their Master.

Fortunately for us, they stopped being apostles and turned back into rag-tag fanatics.

Because I will tell you of a certainty, King George III was not impressed that Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea of electricity or had constructed a stove. He considered him a rebel and a rapscallion and was prepared to hang him.

And the American history books can be grateful that Mr. Franklin did not take offense, but agreed to don the role of rebel so that we might be free.

Titles frighten me. They assume that their mere inclusion should produce respect.

What should give us our respect is whether we follow through on what we say is truly important.

 

 

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

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Aficionado

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Aficionado: (n.) a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject or past-time

I am almost certain that these two particular words NEVER, or perhaps better stated, RARELY, work together.

I am talking about knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

In my life I have encountered people who were knowledgeable, but the information they attained through schooling or experience had disembowled their enthusiasm.

Likewise, I have been in the company of those ablaze with enthusiasm, only to discover that their limited scope of comprehension had cursed the project to the great pit of ignorance.

Yes, it is a rarity to discover a human being who is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic, therefore fulfilling Webster’s definition of aficionado.

It is perhaps one of my primary goals in life–to learn the inner workings of my craft without becoming jaded, cynical or bored.

  • For I will tell you, the worst person in the world to teach you about the Constitution, government and the great American dream is a politician.
  • I have never found ministers to be a tremendous source for bolstering one’s faith through their personal testimony.
  • I certainly would not want to discuss lifelong love and fidelity with a prostitute.
  • In turn, becoming excited about the wonderful choices available in a restaurant is not always accomplished by talking to the chef or the owner.
  • And needless to even say, having an inspiring dialogue about the glory of music is doomed to failure if you are going to chat with the first violinist of a symphony.

My goal? To learn to do what I do better–while still maintaining a childlike heart, as if it were the first day on the job.

People often ask me  if I get tired, sharing the same stories and songs. You can sense that part of them WANTS me to be burned out. But there is a little boy or girl inside, who instead wants to leap for joy if I am still thrilled to be on my playground. So it is always my magnificent pleasure to inform them that each song I sing and each word I speak surprises me every night with new significance.

I would love to be knowledgeable. Just not snarly.

I desire to be enthusiastic. Could I do that without being inept?

“Aficionado” should be the goal of everyone who wants to see the world get better.

To do that, we have to learn the truth and allow it to set us free … instead of making us depressed.

 

Ad man

Words from Dic(tionary)

Ad man (n): a person who works in advertising. It is the classic “love-hate” relationship. Basically, capitalism loves it and humanity despises it.

In our society, we require that products be produced, and once manufactured, they must be marketed in the most competitive way possible. Simultaneously, the nervous, apprehensive and often bored consumer becomes the target for all sorts of chicanery, albeit speckled with a bit of cleverness.

Advertising. It is one of those great annoyances that will not go away, similar to the embarrassment one feels on being a grown-up and needing to put baby powder on a summer heat rash. You wish you didn’t, but you guess you’d better.

How can you advertise something without coming across as the classic over-sales-pitching boob?

I experience it myself. Obviously as I travel on the road, I would like people to participate in my writing, my music, my endeavors and even to purchase some of this stuff so that I can continue to my odyssey and perpetuate my childhood whims.

But how can you be an ad man (or an ad woman, for that matter) without appearing callous to those around you, merely concerned about unloading inventory?

Well, there IS the truth. That means that every once in a while, when making your spiel, you realize that what you have to offer is not a perfect fit for the person in front of you, and you might just gain a soul by backing away and letting them know of your product’s limitations for their need.

This was demonstrated beautifully in the movie, Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street. The Santa Claus character acknowledges that Macy’s does not have a certain toy and recommends other locations for acquiring it. Management was in an uproar … until they realized that it worked.

Yes, I guess that IS the key. If you can tell the truth about your product in an enthusiastic way, and then allow the patron to make his or her own decision on whether it fits in to their requirements without insisting that they are either short-sighted or “don’t yet understand the full range of your offer,” then you can be a decent ad man instead of an obnoxious one.

Advertising. It won’t go away.

Actually, it shouldn’t go away. But what we CAN require is our American right … to hear and decide for ourselves.