# 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.

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

# Brave

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.

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.

Thank 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

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.

# Blather

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

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.

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

# Bewilder

Bewilder: (v) to cause someone to become perplexed and confused.

Every situation has to come to a head or we won’t find the brain.

One of my most shocking realizations was that the Hollywood endings I saw in the movies, where everybody reconciles with one another and there’s a sense of joy and peace, was just pure hogwash.

Feuds, grudges, hurt feelings and misrepresentations continue to exist and even thrive until we confront them and risk the possibility that we might make the situation even worse.

It is bewildering.

It bewilders me that we think living a passive-aggresive existence, where we create universal niceties to say to one another’s faces while simultaneously dredging up old manure from the sewer of our past to share in private moments, is actually an acceptable lifestyle.

To bewilder is to stymie human thinking with something that generates fear or confusion.

We cannot continue to think that the wounded parts of our being can heal without treatment.

I have several “relationships” in my life which are no more than uneasy truces.

• They are evil.
• They are dark.
• They are sinister.
• And they are dangerous.

They bewilder me because I passively agree to ignore the obvious aggression.

Will I continue to be so foolish?

If I’m not, I risk coming across as cantankerous and confrontational.

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

# Bastion

Bastion (n) an institution, place, or person strongly defending or upholding particular principles

I have been invited, from time to time, to pontificate on the issue of parenting.

I suppose I receive the requests because people have looked at my children and deemed them to be acceptable human citizens.

I never accept these opportunities.

Why? Because I have no idea how to parent.

Any good parent will tell you that somehow or another, they lucked their way into ending up with decent children. It could have easily gone the other way.

Children are not born bad, but one bout with narcotics can make them look like they are hell’s spawn.

So truthfully, there is really only one bastion for the human spirit. Without this particular quality, everything we do is overwrought, inconsistent, and foolish.

The only hope for the human race is humility.

I don’t care if it’s popular or not; I do not check the polls to find out if it’s favored by the masses.

Whenever I promise to do anything in my life, I always follow it with a disclaimer.

Sometimes I say the old-fashioned, “God willing.”

On other occasions, I warn people that the success of what I allege is dependent on my limited ability.

But human beings, without the bastion of humility, are similar to dogs … who think they own the master’s bed.

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

*******************
Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

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

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

# Ass

Ass: (n) a foolish or stupid person

• I have been foolish in my life. It did not make me an ass.
• I have been stupid–many times. Once again, not an ass.

I would have to disagree that merely making mistakes or lacking the memory to recall how to avoid them classifies any human being as an ass.

What makes us into asses is the desire to make ourselves look good, even when we are foolish and stupid.

Arrogance is what “assifies” the human being.

Quickly admitting foolishness is beneficial. Being willing to attest to your stupidity can be downright endearing.

But insisting that your particular rendition of the truth–which has proven to be riddled with falseness–is still viable and worthy of consideration, is what places you in the position of being an ass–and needing to be kicked there.

Now there is another word, which is “asshole.”

If you will allow me to put forth my personal interpretation of that word, it would be as follows:

Since an ass is an individual who becomes prideful over his or her foolishness or stupidity, an asshole is someone who decides to preach and teach their arrogance…to others.

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

# Armchair

Armchair: 1. (n) a comfortable chair, typically upholstered, with side supports for a person’s arms. 2. (adj) lacking or not involving practical or direct experience of a particular subject or activity.

There should never be more pundits than participants.

There. I have established a new rule.

Like most rules, it will be ignored in favor of some sort of haphazard pursuit of unbridled freedom.

Yet we have too many people with too many opinions who have too little talent to participate in the matters that are too important.

Last night as I watched the National Championship for college football, I was astounded at how many different people they had conglomerated to voice their opinions on the activities of these barely post-adolescent young men, who have been pushed to the forefront as superior athletes.

Some of these “armchair quarterbacks,” as we often call them, are actually former players. But they all seem to forget a very important fact. Even though I didn’t play football very long, I will tell you something which is never brought up by those in armchairs, be it about sports, politics or life in general:

It happens too fast.

If you expect your training or your brain to be able to come up with some magnificent way to handle the task in front of you, you will be confounded, stumble and make mistakes.

Just as a politician who wants to seek counsel with many people before making a decision always ends up piping in a little too late, any football player who believes he will have time in the middle of the game to access the resources of his brain and come up with the perfect solution for the situation, is going to end up looking foolish and inept.

Life really works with the conjoining of two magnificently unpredictable units: instinct and luck.

And the only way to be successful is to put yourself into enough uncomfortable situations that your instincts begin to turn you in the right direction, and then realize that the choices you make will still require some luck in order to be fruitful.

I got tickled after the game last night when they asked a player what he was thinking “right before he threw that pass.”

The young man crinkled his brow as if he didn’t understand the question, but politely replied, “Well, it was just a play and I played it through.”

Exactly.

America sometimes seems obsessed with the notion that we can educate ourselves into a better world.

Pundits love to discuss, from their armchairs of comfort, how somebody should have done something completely different in a given situation. But the best we can really do in life is to stop being afraid of difficulty.

For it grants us the instinct to know what to do at the right moment, and then step back…and pray we get lucky.

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