Decisive

Decisive: (adj) characterized by displaying no hesitation; resolute

Did you ever notice that we never characterize someone as being decisive if they end up being wrong?

Somewhere in the process of mulling over choices, enough time needs to be taken to increase the possibility of a successful conclusion. On the other hand, if too much time is taken, the juncture of greatest possibility may pass, and the person who failed to step into the historical hook-up ends up not being decisive.

It all depends on three words:

  • Power
  • Purpose
  • Pounce

First, you have to have the power to make the decision.

If you don’t, it’s called an opinion. If you’re not allowed to have an opinion, it’s viewed as an annoyance.

The purpose is the rational common sense that makes the insight viable and necessary for this time.

Without the purpose, we are not just purposeless—we actually end up merely “less.”

And finally, pounce.

The pounce is the exact moment to move on an idea—when to step out and make things happen, doing it with such enthusiasm that there’s no doubt that you and all your teammates have full confidence in the determination.

Without these three working in harmony—like an aging women’s trio from a Southern Baptist choir—the destiny of any project is going to be flawed, leaving the participants wondering why they were so enthusiastic and what in the hell happened.

So don’t favor your power if you can’t generate a purpose.

And don’t over-talk your purpose unless you’re prepared to pounce.

Decision

Decision: (n) the act of making up one’s mind

The most important question:

Is there a need for a decision?

I think we are so intent on pursuing a life of worry that we turn everything into an event, a curse or a challenge.

It’s just not so.

Not everything demands a decision.

For instance, loving your neighbor as yourself is not a religious maneuver or a gesture of mature human interaction. It is Earth 101.

There’s nothing to decide. We’re not awaiting your contemplation on whether you accept the blending of humanity into one single race instead of color-coated. No decision is required. Follow the path and sing in harmony.

It’s not necessary for you to muse your approach in dealing with others on an emotional basis. Smiling, in its varied forms, is the only facial expression that is acceptable when human beings greet one another.

Having a “game face” or insisting that a neutral expression is safer does nothing but confuse the parties, making those you meet feel they have to make a decision about you long before they actually get to know you.

There are a few things that demand a decision. How about this one?

Would you make a decision on your responsibility to decide? That would be nice.

Don’t pass around the ownership of your life to other people like you’re playing tag. Everything that happens in your three-square feet of humanity belongs to you.

No debate—just a decision to protect your parking space.

I contend that we will grow emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically when we make a decision to nurture our emotions, our spirits, our minds and our bodies.

Crescendo

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crescendo: (n) a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force.

I do realize there’s a danger in over-analyzing things. It can become tedious, if not obnoxious. Yet I will tell you—life becomes much simpler when you first realize it’s supposed to be simple, and then you start looking for the parallels that dwell behind every experience and lurk beneath each rock.

Over the years I have played my share of music.

Some people have even accused me of being a musician.

I’ve written songs and I’ve composed about eight symphonies (though Mozart and Beethoven shouldn’t be worried about their day jobs.)

Music has taught me a lot.

That’s not a very profound statement, but once again—simple.

Music knows what the key is meant to be in every situation.

It finds a melody, so some sensibility can be mustered for the hearer.

It certainly acknowledges the need for harmony.

And it has a great desire to strike a chord of commonality among us.

But never does music teach us anything more than it does with the crescendo.

Some people live their lives full out, loud, always punctuating their crescendo to the maximum. Then when they need to say something essential or shout out a truth, no one listens because they are always blaring and trumpeting their feelings.

The wisdom of music is to start your piece quietly and build.

Let’s be honest—if the audience doesn’t want to hear the song or doesn’t prefer the tunefulness of it, playing it more loudly does not achieve much of anything. But if you can acquaint all those around you with a theme they really embrace, by the time you get to the finale, you can generate a crescendo that triumphs the message and the music to the climax.

I used to be of a mindset that the louder I said something, the more emphatic and powerful it became. But I just ended up in a room with a bunch of fellow bellowers, shouting over the top of one another.

I shall never forget the night I was playing a concert, and the band that was on right before our troupe closed out with a screaming anthem, leaving the audience leaping to its feet, applauding wildly.

I realized there was no way to top that, so I looked for a bottom. I took the stage with just my guitarist and sang our sweetest, most childlike ballad. By the time I finished, the attention was mine. If I had desired, I could have manufactured my own crescendo. There was no hurry. It wasn’t a competition.

Turn down the noise.

First in your own mind—your own twitter—and then patiently let it all tone down around you.

Take a deep breath, pick your moment, make sure it’s timely…

CRESCENDO.

 


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Coordinate

Coordinate: (v) to place or arrange in proper order or position.

“Where am I?”

I find that many people spend too much time trying to figure out, “Who am I?”

There is some childish notion that we can be separate from the rest of humankind without any regard for the flow of the times, and be able to maintain our autonomy without finding ourselves lonely and out of step.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

It is not 1955. We do not have television shows where men and women who are married have to sleep in separate beds. We are allowed to say the word “pregnant.” Chauvinism is no longer an acceptable behavior, or even one that can be winked at as just part of “human tribe banter.”

It is not 1974. We are no longer going to tolerate a President who breaks the law and tries to cover it up. (At least I hope not.)

It is not 1985. We are no longer promoting greed and believing that the AIDS virus is a punishment from God against the gay community.

Where am I?” is a very important question. If I am not able to coordinate what I believe in some sort of harmony with the world around me, I will not only be ineffective, but can quickly gain the reputation for being bigoted and notorious.

While I am sure some people are frightened that we’re losing the moral fiber of our society, a decision was made millions and millions of years ago by a Creator—to imbue His creation with free will.

Free-will opens the door to evolution. Evolution invites change.

There is only one immutable fact: if we don’t love our neighbor as ourselves, we will always be out of step and out of time.

We must coordinate with the world around us.

To do so, we must honor where we are much more than who we are.


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Converge

Converge: (v) to meet in a point or line

Let us take this morning and see if we can get some of our ideas to converge. Don’t feel pressure, but I will offer some possibilities which will allow for convergence in our thinking, and therefore unity in our purposes.

  1. Talking a lot about God does not make you godly.
  2. Arguing about politics doesn’t seem to solve problems.
  3. Pointing out the differences between men and women is not helpful for acquiring the harmony necessary for human life.
  4. Judging people by the color of their skin is just as ridiculous as having favorite colors in fruit.
  5. Faith without works is dead.
  6. Having a conversation via text will never be as intimate as sharing a cup of coffee.
  7. The end of the world cannot be stopped by any one person, so we should singularly enjoy the Earth until it is no longer available.
  8. Complaining stops learning, which stops understanding, which promotes war.
  9. The world is filled with tribulation, so our best bet is to be of good cheer.
  10. Agreeing with someone else doesn’t make you stupid or absent ideas—just agreeable.

There are a few beginners—where we might converge our energies and work together instead of standing afar, peering at each other like cave people who are afraid that “those strangers over there” are going to steal our mastodon.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Confrontation

Confrontation: (n) a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties

Sometimes I think Mr. Webster’s had a bad day.

Yet I guess those who put together the dictionary try to reflect the mood of the society in which we live. Somewhere along the line we’ve begun to believe that “I don’t agree with you, I don’t appreciate that, I don’t understand,” and “I hate you” all mean the same thing.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

They don’t.

Each one signifies a different human emotion. Therefore, each one has to be handled at the level of confrontation it presents.

Let’s start with Number 1.

  1. “I don’t agree with you. “

Honestly, this is a confrontation. It may limit immediate harmony but it is not without the potential for conversation, compromise and resolution. Matter of fact, we might consider it essential to the climate of a democracy.

  1. “I don’t appreciate that.”

This is a different level of confrontation. It is objecting to how something was handled. It is not terminal to a relationship–it merely sets a timeclock for interaction, sensitivity and reconciliation.

  1. “I don’t understand.”

Also a form of confrontation. This states clearly that what was stated is not clear. It is asking for additional information. It is not a personal attack, nor is it a judgment of the original idea. Clarification.

  1. “I hate you.”

This is what Mr. Webster envisioned when offering his definition. But “I hate you” has little to do with a desire to create an exchange of ideas and a communion of souls. It is a giant leap into the fiery pit of hell where all hatred dwells.

I believe in confrontation.

Without it, we live in a world of insincerity, in which gossip becomes the only way we express our true feelings.

 

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Chorus

Chorus: (n) the. part of a song that is repeated after each verse

I’m a songwriter. Let’s just leave it at that.

I grow weary of the sentences that follow proclamations, trying to convince the listener of the credibility and importance of the proclaimer.

Obviously, if I were a great songwriter you would know me. Even if I were a great songwriter who was under-promoted, you would probably be familiar with something I have written.

I write songs because they are the most gentle way to communicate a message to a hearer. There’s something about melody, harmony and even rhythm that brings down our defenses, opens our hearts and exposes our soul.

Even a good songwriter who may not be great will tell you that it’s all about the chorus. Some people refer to it as a “hook chorus”–the part of the song that’s easy to remember, using as few words as possible to communicate volumes of ideas.

Simple. Singable. Often rhyming. And dare I say, clever.

These are the attributes that go into a good chorus, which follows a heartfelt verse.

For the truth of the matter is, many people will never remember the narrative of a song, but the chorus will be hummed and regaled for years to come.

After all, the Beatles got by with:

“Na, na, na, na-na-na-na

Hey Jude…”

Certainly an economy of syllables, producing a monster of memories.

 

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Band

Band: (n) a group joined togetherDictionary B

We can learn a lot from music.

First of all, music admits that it gets better as it includes more elements.

  • Melody welcomes harmony.
  • Harmony is not prejudiced against rhythm.
  • And rhythm doesn’t think it has a beat on everything.

What makes a great band?

  1. Find your heart.

Whatever makes you tingle, feel and think.

  1. Find your voice.

How do you want to say it–in a way that will edify human beings instead of depress them?

  1. Find your mates.

Locate those of like, precious integrity and purpose–and hang onto them.

  1. Find your sound.

Create something which only exists because you do.

  1. Find your audience.

See if your chimes ring anybody’s bells.

If we apply those principles to everything we do–politically, spiritually and emotionally–we will come up with much better solutions.

A band does not believe it’s the only thing on the scene, but it must know that it’s on the scene… because the only thing it brings is another reason to believe.

 

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Baloney

Baloney: (n) foolish or deceptive talk; nonsense.Dictionary B

Bologna is a luncheon meat that is derived from unknown sources. The origin of this delicacy is so frighteningly unknown that some individuals refuse to eat it.

On the other hand, most Americans consider it to be a staple of life, and in the throes hunger, one of the tastier ways to soothe the gut.

But the reason we refer to stupid conclusions and ridiculous notions as “baloney” is because our society is very good at taking crap and throwing it in the blender, and then using the “press” to produce a conclusion which has questionable origins.

Matter of fact, there are things we just accept today which twenty years ago, we would have ridiculed.

The reason we accept them is because we are afraid to deal with the issues that might come up if a real conversation was held on the subject.

It’s why the old adage, “never discuss politics and religion” has been ignored in favor of believing that further debate will somehow or another bring about revelation or harmony.

Let’s be frank. Politics and religion are useless if they don’t make our lives better. Matter of fact, almost everything is useless if it doesn’t make our lives better.

Case in point: I was sitting in a gathering of mournful souls who were lamenting the loss of a loved one. It wasn’t even ten seconds before someone intoned the platitude, “He’s in a better place.”

Obviously, that’s baloney. We don’t know where he is. We are mortals, held on this Earthly plane without any awareness of the universe.

But “better place” is an idea that can quickly be pressed together to form a product which is palatable.

It’s like in politics, when we say, “We’re looking for the best person for the job.”

Of course we’re not. The best person to be the President of the United States could never be elected President because that person’s background would be too colorful and could never survive the vetting process.

Baloney is what is served up to the public without revealing how it was actually processed and ground up to form a thought.

And like its counterpart, bologna, it is normally stuck between two pieces of white bread and adorned with something cheesy.

 

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Alto

dictionary with letter A

Alto: (n.) a voice, instrument or musical part below the soprano and above the tenor

It’s called a triad.

I’m not trying to give you a music lesson. It’s a simple blending of two notes that creates a cohesive and usually very pleasant harmony.

It was the staple of music for generations, but in the past thirty years it has been forsaken in favor of harmonies which stress the fourth and fifth instead of thirds.

Now, understanding that this is much too technical for anyone who does not pursue bass and treble clefs, let me personify it better by saying that if you’ve ever heard a women’s trio sing in a church or civic organization, one of the ladies always carries a harmony which clings to the melody so faithfully that it is almost like a twin.

It is beautiful. It is gorgeous. But for a generation of musicians and composers who favor a bit darker sound to their tunes, it is probably quite annoying.

Matter of fact, the most common way to end a song in today’s market is on the major seventh or with a dangling fifth.

Once again, I’m getting too technical. But understand this: sometimes it’s just lovely to hear a melody accompanied by a triad tripping faithfully along behind. It is a union that reminds us that the universe is not meant to be strident, but is intended to have a soprano … accompanied by a well-tuned alto.