Data

Data: (n) individual facts, statistics, or items of information

There are certainly occasions when the pursuit of truth is greatly hindered by facts.

Likewise, the beauty of possibility is just stomped to death by information.

I am temporarily many things.

  • I am temporarily lazy.
  • I am temporarily ignorant.
  • I am temporarily a liar, confused, opinionated and misguided.

Well, I could go on and on.

For you see, if you just give facts to provide the information of my status, you can present me any way you wish.

Then it would fall my lot to justify myself.

You don’t need to go dig up dirt on me.

I’ll tell you myself:

  • I have been unfaithful.
  • I have sexually harassed a woman.
  • I have cheated.
  • I have stolen, lied and misrepresented myself.
  • I have gotten angry without having a real reason.
  • Jealous.

I have been all of these things—for single moments.

Then I have repented.

  • Regretted.
  • Changed my mind.
  • Assisted.
  • Given.
  • Healed.
  • Been a peacemaker.
  • Become merciful.

Yet to claim that these virtues are continually my personality would also be false data and deceptive information.

To the average Jew in Jerusalem, Jesus was a troublemaker who didn’t follow the faith and was making himself noticeable, which was going to create problems with the Romans and unearth a dangerous environment.

The data said he was a huge problem.

The information concluded that he must die.

The truth was waiting to set us free.

You can collect your data and your information, but let it mingle with other realities, other examples and other testimonies before you become certain that you’ve gained enough input to make an honest conclusion.

Bred

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bred: (adj) of a person or animal reared in a specified environment

No one will actually allow you to be an individual.Dictionary B

What you are permitted to do is clump in a well-recognized region of the country or the world which has already established a persona and system of mores.

For instance, you can’t live in Birmingham, Alabama, and be too unique without finding yourself ostracized by a “crimson tide.”

If you live in China, you may consider yourself to be a free thinker–as long as the government is allowed to define the term “free” and “think.”

Even the various boroughs of New York City, although close in proximity, establish turf and technique for the residents so they can be deemed “well bred.”

There is an immense hypocrisy when each one of us is told that we can “be ourselves,” as we are ushered into a social gulag … to be trained to be regionally normal.

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Behave

Behave: (v) to act or conduct oneself in a specified way, especially toward others.

Dictionary B

  • Read the rules.
  • Study the room.

Over the years, I’ve learned the power of these two profiles. Every situation you find yourself in has rules and also has a climate for activity.

If you enter the situation and decide to be ignorant of the rules and the climate, you will quickly break one of their commandments, and end up looking like a fool–especially if you try to defend yourself.

I have never been a great fan of rules, nor do I find trying to maintain a specific atmosphere to be fulfilling. But even more, I hate being on the outside looking in because it has been proven that I broke the rules. If I don’t like the rules, more than likely I will not be able to change the game.

I have to smile when I see idealistic younger folk who contend that they can enter the world of politics and transform it. Politics enjoys being ambiguously evil.

Likewise, the notion that you can go to a church, a corporation, a club or even a family reunion and insert your notions and have meaningful input is extraordinarily naive.

Make sure wherever you go–so that you will behave well–that you learn the rules and understand the climate.

If you’re going to vacation in Miami, Florida, in the middle of July, understand that there will be a lot of ethnic food and tons of heat, humidity and surprise rain storms. If you are prepared for that, you will not break the rules by complaining to the locals about the situation, which makes you come off as a tourist instead of a participant.

I do not participate without knowing the rules, and I do not leap into any activity without comprehending the climate in which business is conducted.

That way I behave myself and am considered a solid citizen … instead of an intruding jerk.

 

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Amuse

dictionary with letter A

Amuse (v): cause someone to find something funny or enjoyable

The true definition of getting old: when you start lamenting why things aren’t like they used to be instead of trying to improve the way things are.

The most annoying thing about young people is they believe a fad that is four minutes old will be here in forty years.

The advantage of having a few more birthday candles under your belt is knowing the difference between something innovative and something insane.

It doesn’t demand that you hearken back to a former time, wishing you were strolling through those aisles, but it does require having a sense of history and realizing that human beings function best in an environment in which they are truly amused.

First of all, let’s list the three things that are not amusing:

  1. Hurting people.
  2. Making fun of people, to their detriment
  3. Lack of being funny, trying to make that funny

These are actions which presently in our time may gain a few giggles and applause but will eventually be deemed childish, stupid, out-of-step and meaningless.

What is universally amusing?

  1. A great story with a surprise ending.
  2. A great story that makes fun of ourselves.
  3. A great story where everybody in the room relates to it because they’ve been there.

You can see–the linking force is a great story.

Life is humorous enough without us having to make up scenarios that are anti-life. At least that’s what I think–and I believe historically, and even in the future, it will prove to be true.

I know “amusing” is in the ear of the receiver, but as time goes on, we will realize…merely ridiculing people and circumstances does not have much lasting quality. 

 

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Allocate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allocate: (v) to distribute duties or resources for a particular purpose.

I have discovered over the years that the best way for me to move forward in success and personal appeal is to extract as much fussiness from my ego and body language as humanly possible.

Even though we will occasionally tolerate a bit of sassiness in one another, we eventually grow weary in well-doing and begin to plot the social death of such aggravating creatures.

With that in mind, I cautiously present to you that one of my pet peeves is the word “allocate.”

I don’t like to be allocated.

Over the years I have acquired a toleration for the process because I live in a world where progress is ignored in favor of the worship of committees. Sometimes I feel it might be better if chaos, anarchy, or at least wild abandon permeated our species, and we spent more time correcting our mistakes than we do planning our indecision.

Just the action of “allocating” has an arrogance to it–as if we have asked God to step down from His throne and allow us to be Kings for a Day.

Let me be the first (or maybe the second) to shout aloud: “I don’t know what I’m doing!”

It isn’t that I lack experience, or that I’m less intelligent than you. It’s just that I’m fully aware that allocating love, finance, mission, mercy or direction to other people is well beyond my expertise.

I am extraordinarily suspicious of those who pull on a tie, sport a smug grin and in great detail explain why certain things can not happen because they can’t be “allocated in this environment.”

As I said, it is a bit of fussiness. And I am certainly not opposed to hearing good counsel or even being submissive to the powers that be.

But for God’s sake, can we say we really believe in a Divine Creator if we never ask Him to do anything that doesn’t add up on our human-held abacus?

  • If I don’t ask God to lift weights that are heavier than my allocation, what’s the purpose of prayer?
  • And if I don’t think you can do more than what I think you can, based upon the limitations I have placed upon you, what is the value of friendship?

I am sure the intentions of “allocate” are good–and I will try to be less growly on these subjects.

But for the time being, I will continue to leave “allocate” and all of his relatives off my Christmas card list.

Alcove

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alcove: (n) a recess typically in the wall of a room or garden.

What an interesting definition. I always thought an alcove was more like a little chunk out of the mainland, where water creeps its way in, creating a still, calm environment.

Far be it from me to disagree with Mr. Webster–but since you have his definition, let me talk about mine.

I thought it was magical. Out on Hoover Lake, near Columbus, Ohio, there was this place. Maybe I’d better call it a spot. It was just an area of water near the shoreline, indented–about the size of two swimming pools–where we used to go fishing. We found it every time. After all, we thought it was magical.

There was a tree sticking up out of the lake, rocks along the shoreline, and the water was not terribly deep, so it was perfect for catching fish. I always believed it was kind of like a “resort area” for the little swimmers to go to–not suspecting there would be wise fishing souls like myself, to catch them on a hook.

I don’t really know if the fishing was better in that particular alcove. But I convinced myself it was. Matter of fact, I learned that the true magic in life is often in convincing yourself of something pretty good, so you can bring your heart and soul to the mission.

Catfish were in that alcove. I loved to catch ’em. I was a little squeamish about taking the hook out of their mouths because they have those barbs that can stick you. Often we used bread dough or a corn muffin as bait, because the catfish weren’t picky.

And it was easy to row over to the shoreline, get out of the boat, stretch your legs, take a good pee, and in just a minute, be back to the business of fishing.

I do remember being disappointed one afternoon when another boat came into our sacred turf. It felt defiling. How could it be special if other people discovered it?

But fortunately, they didn’t stay long. Completely missed out on the magic.

Isn’t that like life? One man’s alcove is another man’s disappointment.

So I apologize to Mr. Webster if I have misused the definition. But I’m afraid, considering my age, that I will continue to believe that my magical alcove on Hoover Lake is the vacation home of many a fishy possibility.