Dazzling

Dazzling: (adj) something or someone who impresses deeply; astonishes with delight:

Imagine there are two meters.

One meter measures evil; another, good.

With me so far?

As you look at these meters, you notice there are settings.

On the Evil Meter, there is a top range of really, really bad—and a bottom range of “forgivable.”

On the Good Meter, there’s a top range which is “miraculous,” and on the bottom, “considerate.”

Now.

Is it possible for you and I to understand that how we set these meters depends on how well we get along with other people, and also our outlook about life on Earth?

If I set my Evil Meter too hot, I will find many things distasteful and ungodly, and end up coming across like a judgmental fool.

And if I set my Good Meter to only accept miracles that come from the Throne of God as being the definition of good, I will ignore many kindnesses that pop up in front of my eyes.

It is important that at the end of the day, if asked by our friends and relatives, “And how did you fare?” that we come back with that glorious word:

Dazzling.

To find our journey dazzling, we must calm down our Evil Meter and turn up our Good Meter.

We must be much more likely to find possibilities and blessings than we are to dig up fire and brimstone.

Of course, we’ll be accused by those who are very religious of being liberal, foolish or too easy to satisfy—but these are not the folks we’re out to impress.

We are working and discovering how to find a life that pleases us, pleases others …

And therefore pleases God, Himself.

Dark Cloud

Dark cloud: (adj) dim, indistinct

It is a perennial favorite to feed a never-ending argument about the value—the realism—of dark entertainment.

One of my grandchildren says she doesn’t want to be known as a “goody two-shoes,” which has set her in motion to watch, read or peruse anything that clouds the mind with darkness.

I fuss with my children over this issue.

I’m just always curious about what I refer to as “the final day.”

I’m not speaking of eternity, or a “Great White Throne Judgment.”

I am referencing the sensations, the regrets, the wonder, the curiosity and the reflections that enter our minds and souls when and if we know we have twenty-four hours to live.

It is often the case that this cushion of preparation is not provided, and we go from breathing to breathless.

But assuming that we had a guaranteed twenty-four-hour period to consider our choices, would there be anyone who wished that he or she had spent more time in the dark clouds?

It may seem noble, or worse, intellectual, to commiserate with the insane or the hopelessly lost.

But what is it they teach us?

Are they a warning for the stupidity of foolish behavior?

Or do they encourage us to loosen up just a bit more, keeping an eye on not going too far?

Yet the human race always goes too far.

I do not need to be surrounded by butterflies.

But I need to at least observe caterpillars, knowing where they are headed.

Daft

Daft: (adj) senseless, stupid, or foolish.

Which is worse: doing something foolish or being required to admit it?

Take a moment and think that over.

Your answer to this particular question will determine your human-soul worth.

Realizing we need to experiment and try things that are often beyond our scope makes it necessary to familiarize ourselves with failure and acquaint ourselves with how to handle it.

For if the spectrum of being wrong, mistaken or flawed seems frightening, then you’re left with a person who is always on the lookout for the next best lie.

We are all a bit daft.

Especially until we get to the point that we can claim “mediocre.”

Every once in a while, we excel, with only brief clouds of near perfection floating our way.

This is the truth.

So what are we more likely to do?

Understanding our passion to try new things, even nobly attempting to contribute to the common good, we will still often find ourselves daft—like a newborn calf at the barn dance.

If this frightens us, we construct an existence in which we are always at least well-intended, if not right.

When this happens, we can’t be trusted.

We can’t improve.

We can’t excel.

And we certainly cannot be valued for our honesty.

So—back to the original question.

What scares you the most?

Being foolish and temporarily daft?

Or having to stand in the ashes of your present burnout and confess you set the fire?

 

Crumple

Crumple: (v) to give way suddenly; collapse

I love living.

I am downright silly about my enjoyment of breathing.

I am not looking forward to dying.

I am not one of those noble souls who believes I am going to a better place, but instead, have cast my lot in constructing my own “better place” here.

Along with this devotion to inhaling and exhaling comes a certain amount of hypochondria.

It’s true.

I’m not crazy. Nor do I become a nervous wreck about every sneeze or discoloration of a wart.

But I have been known, as a young father, to scream at my children because they caught colds or the stomach flu and were dangerously threatening me with them. On occasion, this reaction has flirted with irrational.

Of late, I have had some good, long talks with myself about refusing to crumple over every little symptom that might temporarily invade my body space.

I am perfectly aware that not every headache is a brain tumor.

Indigestion crops up without foretelling of a heart attack.

And having an occasional bout with bleary eyes due to fatigue does not forewarn of blindness.

You see, I know all these things.

But trying to get my “knower” to make the short journey to my “feeler” is often implausible.

So I am aware that I’m healthy, but I still often try to mimic sick.

On these occasions, I crumple—getting a few tears in my eyes while considering my demise and how sad it will be to those I love, and even mankind as a whole.

It is foolish.

It is childish.

But when I get into one of these crumple fests, it doesn’t help me to know that I’m foolish and childish.

I just need to roll over in the morning, take a deep breath, realize that my lungs are clear, my heart is beating, and God bless America:

“I gots me another day.”

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Crash and Burn

Crash and burn: (v) to fail utterly

She insists.

Or maybe it’s him.

It’s difficult to tell in the midst of a mayday call, as affections, dreams and hopes careen toward the Earth with no seeming way to avoid the crash and the burn.

She thinks there is something she needs to salvage.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

She believes taking that tiny piece of nothing and waving it in the air like a flag makes her an independent nation. But she isn’t an independent nation.

Or is it him?

He or she signed on to be part of a common effort.

But because the altimeters are sending off confusing readings, the engines are sputtering and the voyage begun so many years ago is now in peril.

She decides in those final moments to protect her pride and declare her innocence in the whole affair.

They crash.

Was it he or was it she? But worst of all, it’s them.

And there is that moment right after the crash before the fuel tanks are ruptured and it bursts into flames that they could escape.

But instead, they pridefully look at one another, standing their ground, and die in the flames of what was once a great affection–and now is just a foolish fire, burning off the refuse.

Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Compact

Compact: (n) something that is a small and conveniently shaped

“I had no business…”

I can recite a litany of mistakes I’ve made, all of which could begin with that phrase: “I had no business.”

In other words, if I sat and thought about it for five minutes, some conscious part of me would have raised a loud objection, or even screamed at me to avoid such a foolish path.

One of these occasions in my life–when “I had no business”–was when I bought a Ford Fiesta Ghia.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

It’s what they call “a compact car.”

It is adorable if you happen to be a small person, or I suppose even a normal sized person. Then the car would be applicable.

It is not luxurious. It is cheap. (And there might be some place inside where there’s a windup key, but I was never sure.)

I had no business, as a very, very large man, ever purchasing such a car.

But pridefully, because it was on sale and I could actually afford it, I squeezed myself into it at the dealership. The salesman lit up my ego by saying, “Oh, my goodness! You got in there pretty easily.”

That was all I needed.

Actually I did not get in there easily. It was almost like I had to ship my parts in one at a time, before I could finally allow my caboose to arrive in Penn Station.

The steering wheel was too close. I tried to push the seat further and further back, until one day it just broke. Either they didn’t have replacement seats or I was too embarrassed to admit I broke mine, but I decided to prop up the broken piece with chunks of wood. (For a very brief time, it worked–until the metal started chewing into the wood, making my back seat floor resemble the sawdust from a lumber yard.)

I had no business owning a compact car.

There. I said it.

Now I’ve reached an age when, if I was actually able to get into a compact car–if I could struggle to achieve it–I should do so with my last breath … and call it my coffin.

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Comeuppance

Comeuppance: (n) a punishment or fate that someone deserves.

Sometimes I’m convinced that there are no history books. Matter of fact, I’ve gone on the Internet to make sure they still sell them.

Sure enough, there they are.

So my second supposition is that they just must not be very popular.

Because it does not take too long when perusing a history book, to realize that if you’re going to cheat, lie, steal, abuse or kill, you’re going to get your comeuppance.

You may do it for a while, with authority, seemingly uncontested.

But there is always someone, or sometimes it’s a whole clump of people, who will rise up and stop the foolishness before the human race ends up in the ground with its bones being eventually studied by some other species in ten thousand years.

You just can’t pursue evil and succeed.

That’s enough reason right there to at least consider the option of good.

Yet all of our entertainment, our politics, and even our religions are so power-hungry that they present the illusion that evil might just have a bad enough day to have a good day, and beat the crap out of righteousness.

It doesn’t seem to bother people that it’s never happened.

After all, Adolph Hitler, who thought his Third Reich was going to last a thousand years, fell a bit short. Thirteen years were all he got.

Oh, yes–he destroyed a lot of people along the way and maybe he should have been stopped earlier, but you will notice, he’s not around to take interviews on the subject.

It’s something I need to remind myself of from time to time. I can go ahead and tell that little white lie, and maybe even think I got by with it.

But after a while, the feeling of self-confidence about being nasty catches up with me.

And I do get my comeuppance.

Even worse than that, I end up looking like a fool to have pursued such a retarded, unfulfilling and doomed process.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Calculating

Calculating: (adj) acting in a scheming and ruthlessly determined way.

Do me a favor.

Stop trying to outsmart me.

Yes–that would be the kindest thing you could do for me.

If you don’t like me, respect me, appreciate me or want to be around me, don’t attempt to use your calculating ways to make me look foolish
so you can have a good giggle with your real friends as you walk away.

I’m a human being.

I’m looking for a chance to be with people who will see my faults, mention them privately and then defend me in front of those who would try to destroy me for my weakness.

The American culture has become a great competition in trumping one another. I do not mean any disrespect to our President, but the phrase was alive before his administration, and it endures.

If your greatest need is to conquer me, then I surrender.

If you must prove you are my intellectual superior, then I nod to your diplomas.

If it’s your muscles that must be praised for their firmness and size, I will stand over here meekly and applaud.

Although I have tried to be a calculating person, the end result was always a Pyrrhic victory–I won without possessing anything in my hands. Yes–an empty feeling of vanquishing.

I’m not interested.

I’m not willing to be either the instigator nor the victim.

If you want to deal with me, come clean or don’t come at all. I can handle it. Can you?

If you have a need to be better than me, then feel free to pursue your path, but also be prepared for the end result of your ignoble effort. 

 

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

 

 

Brave

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brave: (adj) ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage

I have discovered that one of the more brave things to do is choose the correct moment to be a coward.Dictionary B

First, you have to be fearless about the characterization. Is it cowardly to know that you’re outnumbered, ill-prepared, uncertain, or to proceed with caution–even delay?

I don’t think so.

Bravery always reminds me of the Native American going hunting, only having the resources and time to make four arrows. Yet at the end of the day he knows two things: he must come back with dinner, and he’s only got four shots.

So what is the goal? Avoiding foolish undertakings that may seem noble or adventurous but will steal the quality of his supply.

So he waits.

He waits for that moment when he can get close enough to the deer.

If he does that–if he passes over the long shot, refuses to chase tracks that lead nowhere and simply allows the opportunity to come close to him–he has a much better chance of returning home with game … as the brave instead of a foolish archer.

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

 

 

 

Blather

Blather: (v) to talk long-windedly without making very much sense.

Dictionary B

There are certain words that are talked about way too much.

I’m not saying they are unimportant–I’m not even connoting they’re overused in their value to our life experience.

It’s just that when you allow foolish people to pontificate on serious matters, you end up creating an audience that is both unimpressed and unwilling to hear any more.

Just so much blather.

May I give you five of these words?

  • God
  • Love
  • Hope
  • Patriotism
  • Education

Even though the absence of any one of these pearls from our purse would be devastating, it is treacherous when the ignorant decide to offer their views like grunting pigs and barking dogs.

Just make sure if you bring up any one of these five treasures that you’re prepared to be well-spoken, briefly spoken and truthfully spoken. 

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