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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.”

 

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