Conclusion

Conclusion: (n) a judgment or decision reached by reasoning.

I have come to the conclusion that the more conclusions you come to, the less likely it is that you will actually arrive at a conclusion.

The human race has an inordinate greed to be smart. It’s in all of us.

Each one of us has to press it down a little bit or we would be incapable of standing in line at a grocery store without strangling the person in funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
front of us, who has twelve items in the ten-item lane.

You see, the problem is, we know this person has twelve items because for some ridiculous reason, we counted them.

Yes, the conclusion we must come to is that there’s a certain amount of indifference–dare we say, apathy?–which is necessary to possess in order to live with other humans. Otherwise, we begin to desire to treat them like animals, brought to us for training.

So may I present to you, in all humility, the only three conclusions that matter from the moment they cut your umbilical cord until the day you sever the cord between yourself and the living:

  1. The happiest people in the world do not draw any conclusions.
  2. If they have conclusions, they use them to benefit their own journey and decorate their own space.
  3. A world without conclusions is often chaotic, but does allow for excellence to rise to the top.

Donate Button


Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Broadcast

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broadcast: (n) a radio or television program or transmission.

Like any good, red-blooded American, I reserve the right to have my own personal definition for words.Dictionary B

You can contradict me with Webster’s realities, but I will explain to you that the intimacy of my experience allows me to screw around with the vernacular.

Such is the case with two words: illusion and delusion.

An illusion, to me, is something I am pursuing which I do very well, and I am waiting for the rest of the world to acknowledge my excellence.

A delusion is something that deep in my heart I know I’m not very accomplished at doing, but I am hoping I will luck out and make a lot of money from it anyway.

When I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1992 so that my children, who were now aging out of their teen years, could settle in and find lives of their own, I maintained one little piece of my vagabond creative persona by initiating a radio broadcast which aired five minutes a day on a local station which had its headquarters in a building about the size of six outhouses.

I was under the illusion that my talent was strong enough and my ideas so clever that they would draw listeners to this little forsaken location on the AM radio dial, and make myself well-known as an innovator.

Matter of fact, I did well over a thousand episodes on this particular outlet before sitting down one day and coughing up a hairball of delusion.

I admitted to myself that I was being clever in a vacuum.

Nobody was listening–and if they were, their appreciation was quite silent.

It was then that I had to define the word “broadcast.”

Broad in the sense of covering much territory.

Cast, referring to being thrown out there.

In the purest sense, my effort was certainly “broad” and “cast.”

But literally, it was more small and spilled.

Donate Button

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

 

 

Brag

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brag: (n) a boastful statement

“If you don’t toot your own horn, it won’t get tooted.”

This statement is often said in public, and even though most of us are uncomfortable with the “brassiness” of it, we usually let it go by without contradiction.Dictionary B

Actually, I toot my horn so others will tell me how good it is. I require that confirmation.

Does this make me needy? It certainly makes me aware that my own sense of appreciation of my ability has limited quality to my soul.

It’s risky.

Since everybody is tooting their own horn, will they have time to stop and enjoy my melody?

Will I be left in obscurity?

Will I be ignored in favor of other horns which blare louder?

Perhaps. But the problem with bragging is that eventually circumstances arise which demand that we back up what we have claimed. Our reputation is whether or not we can confirm our bragging. If we can’t fulfill what we claimed, we will be deemed liars.

Jesus told a wonderful parable about arriving at a banquet and making a decision not to sit at the head table.

Yes–even if you think you’re worthy of it–even if you were invited to sit there–don’t. Seat yourself with the other guests until your host notices you perched below, and in front of all the attendees, calls you up to a place of honor.

Yes, I like that.

I can avoid bragging by doing amazing work and being discovered by those who are looking for such excellence, who call me up…and blow my horn for me.

 

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


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Bless

Bless: (v) to invoke divine favor

Dictionary B

Somewhere in the jostling and bouncing between challenging and encouraging, we actually learn to bless people.

We rarely feel divine kindness merely by being challenged to achieve a code which lacks human sensitivity.

Nor are we truly blessed by only being encouraged to accept mediocre accomplishments as excellent.

I am human.

I need those around me to challenge me–and encourage me.

To do so, they must know my heart’s desire–what I really believe is valuable when I am completely stable and sane instead of drunken on my own excesses, or fearful within the boundaries of my insecurities.

God, Himself, cannot bless human beings without challenging and encouraging them. Yet the danger is that we will ping-pong our emotions between condemnation and adulation.

In the midst of every good deed, there’s a slip-up.

And also, in the presence of every disaster, there are pieces of truth which can be retained.

We become powerful when we learn how to bless.

To do so demands the juggling of challenge and encouragement.

 

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Blasé

Blasé: (adj) unimpressed or indifferent

Dictionary B

What is the difference between blasé and meek?

“The meek shall inherit the Earth.”

Those who are blasé inherit reruns.

There is a tendency to believe that if we are not ranting or raving, we are not passionately involved. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Blasé  is a condition that infects the human heart when we cease to believe that quality, further growth or excellence can be achieved.

We think we’ve seen it all, when we haven’t even opened the catalogue.

Meek, on the other hand, is knowing exactly what you want to do, but realizing you’re surrounded by critics and those who are blasé  … and merely waiting until they leave so you can get started.

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Beast

Beast: (n) an animal, especially a large or dangerous four-footed one.Dictionary B

Disney had to work really hard to make the word positive.

I imagine there were great debates about whether it was possible to portray “beast” as a protagonist, even if you were linking it up with “beauty.”

Beauty and the Beast.

Yet I will tell you–it is exactly the problem, or dare I say, situation, which encompasses our thinking daily. People who only seek beauty either end up discouraged or ethereal, hiding out in a habitat reserved only for their humanity. Those who think “life is a beast” are over-sensitive and constantly looking for a victim to claw.

The unusual, but practical, approach of blending beauty with the beast is ignored or ridiculed for its implausibility.

But if candor has its moment, we must admit that in the midst of the beastly, beauty emerges.

And certainly, while celebrating the beautiful, something beastly lurks in the shadows.

To love life, you must find Beauty and the Beast, and work with the beast in pursuing beauty.

How? Or maybe the question should be “why?”

In other words, why can’t I be jaded, frustrated and disappointed with a life that does not offer me standards, but instead requires too much assemblage?

Shouldn’t it be possible to locate beauty and build a house there instead of occasionally finding ourselves abandoned in the jungle, stalked by the beast?

So long before we get to the “how” of mingling Beauty and the Beast, we are stymied by “why.”

The true beauty of the beast of life is that without the presence of one another, we cease to be invigorated … because we are not challenged by the predator.

Donate Button

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

 

 

 

Anyhow

dictionary with letter A

Anyhow: (adv) 1. another term for anyway 2. in a careless or haphazard way (e.g.: the suitcases were flung anyhow)

There are three particular approaches I would like to see done away with simply because they’re frustrating if you’re trying to get something accomplished.

  • The first is a phrase: “Is this good enough?”

If you have to ask, you already know it isn’t. You’re just begging to be released from the responsibility.

  • The second is a gesture: the shrug.

When people don’t want to commit, share or open up, they use this nasty little shoulder lift to express their boredom or disdain.

  • And the third is a word: “Whatever.”

It’s the definition of passive-aggressive. Whenever I hear it, I realize the speaker has a strong opinion against what I am doing, but apparently I am unworthy of discussion about the matter.

In fifty years this generation will be known as “the anyhow clump.”

Thinking that tape, band-aids and bubblegum are just as good building materials as nails, boards and screws, we have generated an atmosphere of potential mishap simply due to poor quality effort.

The reason we are afraid of terrorists is that we know how mediocre we are, and we figure that someone in the world is more efficient than us.

The comical thing is that the terrorists wake up every morning just as humanly lazy, and willing to keep their plans “in committee” as we are.

So what keeps us safe from the terrorists is the same thing that places us in danger from the terrorists.

It’s called “anyhow.”

We’re not concerned with excellence, but instead merely getting to the finish line, while not ruling out the option of cheating.

So if you’re around me, be careful of these three options. Because if you ask me if it’s “good enough,” I won’t even look. I’ll tell you no.

If you shrug your shoulders, I will turn on my heel, quietly walk out of the room and offer you my back side as an exit.

And if you are so presumptuous as to speak “whatever” in my presence, I will quickly cure you by providing a litany of reasons for “whatever.”

 

Donate Button

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

Antediluvian

dictionary with letter A

Antediluvian: (adj) of or belonging to the time before the Biblical flood

I must not be the only one–or if I am the only one, I would have to question why I find myself alone.

I would enjoy being allowed to believe in a God who loves people, challenges us to excellence, and asks us to be tolerant of one another without being tied in with barefoot, emotionally Neanderthal sorts who seem to permeate the sanctuary of spiritual thought with outdated concepts and hurtful expletives.

It is very easy in an agnostic-driven society to become the target of pseudo-intellectual critics who try to trap you into defending Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the lion’s den and Noah and the flood.

Recently when I told a friend that I believe that the trinity of God, Nature and Science have no argument with one another and are complementary, he became incensed, insisting that he wanted them separate because the charm of each one lies in its difference from the others.

I was bewildered by that thought. I decided to leave him to his own mental escapade and walk off quietly into the distance.

If there was a great flood, there was also a great season of evolution which preceded it, where dinosaurs walked the face of the earth.

I have no problem with that.

I don’t look at stories from the Good Book as being eyewitness accounts with accompanying photographs. I look at them as tales passed from one generation to another, to encourage the fresh offspring to pursue kindness, goodness, gentleness and hope.

Unfortunately, like in any book, extra narrative is thrown in which does not advance the story.

  • I want to believe in God without having to defend the writings that surround Him.
  • I want to love people because God loves people, without believing that some of them are chosen and others, uncircumcised.
  • I want to live my life with a sense of purpose and emotional grandeur instead of feeling as if I am “one with the walrus.”

I don’t think I’m alone here.

When religion stops putting pressure on mankind to be morally astute, and atheists realize that a life without a Father turns this joint into an orphanage, we will actually begin to make progress … through our humanhood with one another. 

Donate Button

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

Amateur

dictionary with letter A

Amateur: (n) a person who engages in a pursuit on an unpaid basis.

It’s a pretty good definition that Webster came up with.

Yet I can tell you that in my lifetime, I have performed my share of professional service to neither acclaim or remuneration.

Yes, there’s another aspect of being amateur. It’s pretty simple: a true professional is in search of his or her weaknesses, to perfect them in order to avoid both critique and lack. An amateur, on the other hand, is in search of praise in order to acquire grace for a multitude of weaknesses, pretending they don’t exist.

This is why amateurs get worse with rehearsal and professionals get better. For after all, to continue to practice is an admission that things need to improve–and if you’re unwilling to admit your mistakes, then such a maneuver seems meaningless, and perhaps mean-spirited.

For instance, I wish we did have professional politicians–for actually, the little boogers are all amateurs.

A professional would understand that a certain amount of resolve is necessary to pave the way for the ultimate discussion which will lend itself to a treaty designed to progress the cause, to avoid looking inept.

Amateur politicians come in believing they are perfect in their present condition, needing no improvement, and only manifest resolve with no understanding of the divine need for agreement.

The end result is that we have a very amateur country with amateur participants, amateur results and therefore we receive the due payment for an amateur.

What do I work on in order to be professional?

  1. I compare myself with people who are better than I am, and work to imitate their excellence.
  2. I never settle for good when great still looms in the distance.
  3. I alleviate criticism by doing my own evaluation, which is much more intense than that of my audience.
  4. I keep a sense of good cheer about transition. It is not only inevitable, but also necessary.

I will agree with Webster that normally when you have enough passion to get better at what you do, it makes people believe you’re worthy of payment.

But to get there, you have to be an amateur without dough, still doing a great show.

Allegiance

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allegiance: (n) loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior, or of an individual to a group or cause

Feeling a bit daring today, I am going to question a staple of the American consciousness.

Honestly, I do not pledge allegiance to a flag.

To me, it reeks of jingoism, or Viking. The whole concept of pledging allegiance is a bit foreign to my soul–not because I lack patriotism or a love of my country, but mainly due to the fact that since we are justified by our words or condemned by them, I would like to be selective in my phrasings.

Because I love this country very much, I would like to pledge allegiance–but do it to things that matter–to the things that make us the people we dream to be. Here is my pledge:

I pledge allegiance to my nation and the many diverse souls who find equality within. May we continue to expand and grow in our knowledge, which has proven through the years to be the backbone of our excellence. May we remain one nation, one people, one desire and one willingness, allowing God to show us our error and encourage our efforts. In doing so, may we reject the things that separate us and embrace our similarities, offering liberty and justice to all.

There you go.

To that cause, wording and purpose … I can give my allegiance.