Compare

Compare: (v) to estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between.

During a very brief stint of working in the motelier industry, I ran across a gentleman who owned an establishment, and took me on a journey of his array of available rooms.

Every time he entered one of the bathrooms, he took a deep, long, sniffing breath. I decided to ask him what he was trying to smell.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

He turned to me sternly, peering into my eyes, and said, “The beginnings of mold.”

Yes, this fellow was completely convinced that long before the mold showed up in the bathroom tile, it could be sniffed out, tracked down and destroyed.

I had no reason to argue with the man–even if he was wrong, a good dousing of the tiles in bleach every once in a while is a capital idea.

But I must be honest with you–even though I can’t tell mold from gold, I do have a nose for the beginnings of bigotry.

And long before it becomes prejudice which has lost control, it pops its little head up with the word “compare.”

As human beings, once we allow ourselves to compare what we do to what other people do, it is safe to say that we will rarely consider their approach to be better than ours.

So in attempting to establish our refinement–or should the word be “superiority?”–we somehow or another have to sully or taint other renditions.

As people sit on panels and compare one race to another, one country to another, one gender to another or one religion to another, they feel so goddamn intelligent–never realizing they often have the sniff of social mold.

 

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Clown

Clown: (n) a comic entertainer

There are actually three types of clowns, offering varying degrees of danger.

Yes–clowns are dangerous. They forewarn of outrageous comedy but soon become common, needing to push the envelope, opening the
door to all sorts of excesses.

Clown 1: Often referred to as the “class clown,” although he or she can be quite classless.

This is a person who feels it is their job to bring a giggle, even if a sigh or tears is required. He or she is quite angry if you suggest that the insertion of levity is poorly timed. And God forbid that you would ever try to take away their First Amendment right to be funny. After all, what gives us the authority to determine what is comical as opposed to offensive? (Wait! Isn’t that what being mature is all about?)

Clown 2: The Classic Clown, wearing a red nose and floppy shoes, to warn those around him or her of a calamity of errors, which is supposed to be interpreted through the slapstick antics, as side-splitting.

Physical comedy is an instinct to laugh at another human’s pain. When stated that way, people wrinkle their brow and suggest that you’re an old fuddy-duddy.

Clowns have to work too hard to get the job done. This would be similar to a fire-fighter attending a backyard barbecue just in case a three-alarm blaze might break out.  And finally…

Clown 3: These are the people in government, religion and business who have discovered they have gotten away with some egregious action, and nobody has stopped them, so they continue their path of errancy, adding on boxes of insult to the shipment of injury.

“Since I got by with THAT, and nobody challenged me, I wonder if I can do THIS.”

These clowns are particularly annoying because they don’t sit in a classroom, nor do they wear fright wigs. (Well, at least most of them don’t.) What they do is fit in–while not fitting in at all.

They take a code of ethics and turn it into a paper airplane, which they toss through the air to prove how free-wheeling they truly are.

They question values which have proven to be gold, and pretend they are nothing but yellow bricks.

As you can see, all three clown roles seem to have more drawbacks than positive contributions. Yet we continue to allow them to exist under the canopy, “we all need to laugh.”

Actually, we all need good cheer, which means most of the time, if we’re going to mature, we should be laughing at ourselves, not at the pratfalls of others or the decimation of common sense.

 

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Cachet

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Cachet: (n) the state of being respected or admired; prestige.

Reading today’s word with its definition, I diagnosed a problem I’ve been experiencing in my personal life over the past five months.

After many years, numerous victories, and an amazing assortment of achievements, I want to continue my work, but I really would love to do so without having to promote myself or reaffirm with others around me that I am capable.

I don’t know what the magic number should be, but somewhere along the line we should have built up a cachet of evidence which doesn’t constantly have to be drug into the court of public opinion in order for us to receive a positive verdict.

I especially desire that my children, friends and dear acquaintances would provide space for my ability, my mission and for the little ego I feel is necessary to tote so that I don’t implode with self-pity.

When I don’t get that portion, I am in danger of sharing my work from a root of bitterness instead of a blossom of sweetness.

It is our responsibility to remember the authority and value of each other–even if we happen to temporarily be put out or miffed.

Sometimes I can’t promote myself and still remain righteous. I need people who have benefitted from knowing me to remind me and others of the gold that God has entrusted to my soul.

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Break

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Break: (v) to separate into pieces

“He’s waiting for his big break.”

I’ve heard those words stated over and over again in my presence as I have stood idly by, knowing how errant they are, but remaining silent so as not to rock the boat.Dictionary B

There is actually no such thing as a “big break.” What you have are little victories and tragedies that come into your life, which break you up, segregating true ability from ego.

If every person in America were immediately cast into the role of what they thought they were worthy of doing, we would have nuclear war before the end of the day. Our perceptions are twisted by greed and arrogance.

Most of us have no idea of what we’re capable of performing in the cauldron of difficulty–because that’s where talent thrives or dies. No one gets to use their capacity in a vacuum. It’s always under pressure, criticism, lack or even fear.

So to a certain degree, it is Mother Nature’s job to break us. That is the true definition of our “big break”–when we are finally cracked open and the poison is spilled out, so we can rummage through … to find any gold that remains.

 

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Biography

Biography: (n) an account of someone’s life written by someone else.

Dictionary B

An autobiography: lies I am willing to share about myself.

A biography: lies which others are willing to share about me.

  • Truth is more precious than gold.
  • It is also more difficult to find.
  • It is also more frightening than all the demons of hell.

The reason that truth is avoided is that we cannot control the reaction of others. Since life seems to be about finding favor among our fellows, we try to extract the best rendition of the story of our choices.

So we are often disappointed to discover that the biography of the life of someone we revere fails to mention some of the flaws while also exaggerating the virtues.

Is it possible to produce a biography which is faithful to the facts without tainting the subject of our story so much that people are left unimpressed?

When we consider the statement that “truth makes us free,” what we come up with is that if the truth were spoken about each of us, we are freed from the need to judge others, knowing how easy it would be for them to judge us.

But as long as the human race wants to put white hats on the good guys and black hats on the bad guys … we probably will never learn to affix gray hats on us all. 

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Alchemist

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alchemy: (n) the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold or to find a universal elixir.

“I need more.

Those three words form one of the more useless phrases in the English language. Yet the proclamation–or at least the sentiment–is in the air constantly.

I don’t know when we established the notion that pleading poverty, lack or futility is an acceptable profile for human behavior. What I mean is, even though we all pull up lame and make excuses, we privately hate it when it is done by others.

I have really noticed this over the past ten years. About a decade ago, I realized that whatever is going to happen in my career, dreams and aspirations has already happened, and unless I learn to take what is available and turn it into something better, I will become disgruntled.

One of the more stupid attributes of the human family is the insistence that we’re waiting for our “big break.” It’s why I would never buy a lottery ticket. Buying one would demand buying at least a dozen others in order to increase your potential, even though the odds of the bonanza coming my way are astronomical.

I want to stop complaining about what I have–and turn it into gold (or at least some yellow material that would pass.) That’s what the alchemists did. Their main claim was that they could change lead into gold. (Maybe that’s what we mean by “getting the lead out.”)

Yes, if I stop looking at the lead that comes my way and start using it more productively, maybe some gold will come out of it. I don’t know about you–I’m a little tired of seeing people turn gold into lead:

  • I’m weary of a religious system that takes a gospel of love and transforms it into a mediocre pabulum of rules and regulations.
  • I’m angered by the nobility of the American dream and the cause of freedom being denigrated down to voting, campaigns and political gridlock.
  • And I am certainly bedraggled by the hounding about “family” in our society, while we simultaneously have entertainment and shows portraying the relationship as detrimental or even destructive.

You and I have one responsibility: stop bitching about what we’ve got and try to turn it into something more.

Because quite bluntly, if we don’t understand that this is the mission of human life … we will end up leaving behind much less than what we were given.

 

Ahead

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAhead: (adv.) 1. further forward in space: e.g. he looked at the road ahead  2. further forward in time: e.g. he contemplated the day ahead.  3. in the lead: e.g. the Broncos were ahead at halftime

He is “just so ahead of his time.”

I’ve heard that said about me on so many occasions that I now realize it isn’t a compliment, but rather, a wistful expression of regret.

We don’t like people who are ahead.

Honestly, there are very few individuals who run a race and when they come in fifth, ease up to the winner’s side and give him a big hug. Why? Because he’s ahead of us. We don’t think it’s fair.

And if you have the audacity to be ahead of your time instead of blending into the scenery, matching your coloration with the acceptable taupe, you are not really a blessing. More like an aggravation.

Yes, that may be the first step in becoming a human being. Realize that every blessing at first appears to be an aggravation, and when we adjust to that, we can open the door to see what lies behind the inconvenience.

Matter of fact, someone recently asked me how I came up with my ideas which make me so “ahead of my time.” I shocked the individual by telling him I was a student of history.

I think he believed that studying the past might be the worst way to consider options for the future. But the same ignorance that existed in Eden is still present in our garden variety.

A similar amount of stubbornness, arrogance and inflexibility that promoted murder and mayhem in the past is still lurking in the hearts of the present batch of the sons and daughters of Adam.

Yes, the best way to get ahead is to learn what worked in the past and maneuver it through understanding into a blueprint for the future.

It’s why I never have a problem discussing the importance of equal rights–because my history book tells me that every time we try to limit the personal freedom of any group of people we have been wrong–and end up looking like numbskulls.

This is also why I’m fully aware that laying down religious or moral law onto society through prohibition is equally as comical. Since we’re all the children of God, we are all trying to get away with stealing candy from the pantry. Rules won’t stop us.

So if you want to be ahead of your time, consider what lasts.  An old, apostolic philosopher once said there are only three things that abide: faith, hope and love. In other words:

  • Believe in good things and don’t give up.
  • Think up a good thing of your own and pursue it
  • Love people–and when you can’t, leave them the hell alone.

That’s how to get ahead of your time. And it’s also how you end up buying stock on the ground level with Apple Computer … instead of making fun of those “new-fangled gadgets.”