Criteria

Criteria: (n) rules or principles for evaluating or testing something.

That’s it.

Call off the dogs, close up the investigation and give all the researchers a lunch break.

We have stumbled upon something.

Perhaps the problem with all of our dealings on Earth is that we have never universally established criteria for what it means to be a human being.

Everybody has their opinion.

There are those who insist we are saints, and certainly those in the clergy who feel it’s necessary to get us to admit that we’re sinners.

Sometimes we make bold statements and talk about human achievement—and follow it up immediately with a sheepish, pouty, “Well, we’re only human.”

Which is it?

Are we dastardly folk who cannot be trusted, who think only of ourselves and lie at the drop of a hat, and therefore need constant supervision in the simplest affairs of our lives?

Or are we truly created in the image of God, therefore capable of great works of art, and deeds of valor and courage?

Since we can’t make up our minds on this particular issue, we use being human as a way of decrying the need for God, but also as an excuse for leaving the toilet seat up all the time.

So I humbly but firmly offer these three criteria for being human:

  1. We don’t have a big brain so we can act stupid. Smarten up and learn something today.
  2. We are remarkably all the same, so stop looking for subtle differences or shades of color.
  3. We can make magnificent things as long as we admit they need to be made and we have not yet achieved all that we must do.

Could we actually agree on these three things?

Could these become the criteria for being human, so when some fall short, they can do a quick repenting job, and when others feel like gods, we can lure them down from Olympus?

Without criteria, we make up excuses right on the spot—like a little kid with chocolate stains on his shirt, who’s trying to decide if it would be better to admit the candy-eating, or insist he pooped himself.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Commiserate

Commiserate: (v) to express or feel sympathy or pity; sympathize.

It’s almost like the human being runs on two gas tanks. (Perhaps it’s foolish to try to compare our species to a combustible engine, but if you will forgive my simplicity, I will make the analogy.)

We have one gas tank that fuels us to achieve, and we have another tank that helps us putter along in self-pity.

Obviously, following this comparison through to a conclusion, the tank we fill up more often determines much of our happiness, success and value.

The problem comes when deciding where to place our feelings and attitudes when assisting others. Should we challenge, or should we commiserate?

And if we decide to encourage, which tank are we filling? Are we being sympathetic, which makes our friends believe they are victims? Or are we attempting to be uplifting, stirring them out of their doldrums?

It may sound tender-hearted to commiserate, but honestly, very little is achieved by filling up the self-pity tank of someone you love.

That engine has no power to do anything but sustain idle–not rocket them into the stars.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Cloister

Cloister: (v) to seclude or shut up in

It is the universal discovery–or perhaps better stated, pursuit–of every human being: will we discover the better use of our brain before we
uncover the more pleasant use of our genitals?

It has caused parents to hide, protect, imprison, box up and threaten their children for generations.

We are so afraid that our offspring will do things just as stupid as we did–so we figure the best path is to place them on an emotional or even physical desert island, “far from the madding crowd.”

Unfortunately, other parents have the same idea, so one way or another, our children find one another, and learn to clump and hump.

What is it we’re so afraid of?

  • Unwanted pregnancy.
  • Our children marrying before they get their driver’s license.
  • Little Billy or Sally spending their whole lives on welfare, wondering whether six children is too few or too many.
  • Or perhaps having so many lovers that they eventually just dry up and blow away in a whirlwind of fornication.

Even though guiding children–and ourselves–is a very good idea, cloistering has never worked. The human animal always escapes the care of the human spirit, to roam the jungle, panting for danger.

So what should we do?

No one knows.

Good parenting has nothing to do with pursuing a path, but instead, looking down the available paths … and avoiding the dead-end streets.

 

Donate Button

 

Bread

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bread: (n) food made of flour, water, and yeast, mixed together and baked.

“Man shall not live by bread alone.”

No kidding.Dictionary B

The carbs will kill ya’.

Bread is part of the great American hypocrisy.

  • It is high in calories.
  • It is loaded with overwrought carbohydrates
  • And it is extremely tasty–especially when it’s soft and covered with buttery jellied substances, which are also silent killers.

So even though man cannot live by bread alone, it’s ridiculous to think that man can live without bread.

Would America survive without a sandwich?

Who would be prepared to have their Big Mac wrapped in organic lettuce leaves?

So we try to cut calories by slicing the bread thinner–and to some degree this works, because the concept of lean bread is better than the meanness of no bread.

But sooner or later we must come up with an answer that is functional to human beings, just as we are. Maybe we would like everyone to be slender and heathy, having just finished a great cardio, devouring a salad with low-fat dressing. But isn’t it time to realize that this will just never happen?

So instead, let’s kick out all those trainers and dietitians–and hire a bunch of researchers to come up with a bread … that won’t leave us dead.

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

 

 

 

Brainwash

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brainwash: (v) to make someone adopt radically different beliefs by force

If you happen to be a person who believes in God and the teachings of the Old and New Testament, you might have an understanding of what leads people astray and causes them to follow the most ridiculous ideas with subservient reverence.Dictionary B

For after all, the first brainwasher was referred to as a “serpent,” and he hung out in a garden called Eden.

He possessed a total understanding of the psyche of the human being. He realized you could get people to do almost anything if you offered them two advantages.

Number One: “What I’m about to give you is going to make you live a long time. You’re not gonna die. You’re going to bury all your friends, and you’ll have enough energy to till your garden and dance at your great-granddaughter’s wedding.”

Number Two: “If you will just trust me, you’re going to become smart. Smarter than everyone around you–superior. SO smart that you will be considered wise.”

Throughout history, promises of immortality and supreme intelligence have caused the human race to chase all sorts of devils–political, religious, financial, academic and even Mum and Pop.

Yes, we all become brainwashed when we believe that we control all the aspects of our mortality, or we feel the desperate need to be smarter than everyone else.

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

 

 

 

Body Clock

Body clock: (n) a person’s or animal’s biological clock.

Dictionary B

I try not to think about it very often for fear of becoming a whack job.

For you see, considering one’s own mortality is a drippy, sappy journey into sentimentality which often leaves tears in one’s eyes, considering how miserable the world will be without us.

Still, we’re all dealing with a body clock.

The little girl who dies of cancer when she’s eight years old should have had an opportunity to know that she was going through middle age at four.

Yet how weird would we become if we had any inkling of the actual time of our demise? In other words, if death did not surprise us, how much life could we muster before dissolving into a heap of self-pity?

Fortunately for us, there are certain points of awareness when we realize we have lost a step, can’t move so well or think that most street signs are now written in Mandarin.

We get that little nudge from life that we have less time remaining than what we’ve already used.

It is a merciful motivator to muster the magic.

Because if we don’t start the magic soon … we will run out of opportunities to show off our tricks.

 

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

 

 

Being

Being: (n) the nature or essence of a person.

Dictionary B

The question is misleading.

We often ask younger people, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s not what we want to know. What we want to know is what they want to do when they grow up. Unfortunately, we teach our younger generation to do without ever having them search their souls for who they want to be.

The end result is that many people arrive at a certain status, where they have achieved obvious success in what they’re doing, while totally dissatisfied with who they are being.

The more important question is, “Who do I want to be?”

After all, I have to live with that entity as I go about doing.

Without this, we convince ourselves that achievement produces satisfaction rather than satisfaction promoting achievement.

We start talking about things like:

  • Bottom line
  • End results.
  • Keeping it real

You don’t have to keep it real if you are real. It just naturally oozes out.

I became a better person when I paused “doing” and perused “being.” It led me to three conclusions:

  1. I am not alone.
  2. You aren’t either.
  3. We should consider each other.

It makes all the difference in the world.

It actually turns you into a human who is worthy of being.

Donate Button

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

 

Anti-type

dictionary with letter A

Anti-type: (n) a person or thing which represents the opposite of someone or something else.

  • Everybody has sex, but not everybody’s allowed to be considered sexy.
  • Everybody should learn the politics of our generation, but not everybody is comfortable being political.
  • Everybody’s a human being, but not everybody is treated as human.

Everybody is loved by God, but not everybody is ushered into the ranks of the religious.

Perhaps the most unseemly part of our human race is our penchant for wanting to “box things up” and label them, only to end up stacking them on the shelves for storage.

So whenever I hear the words “can’t,” “shouldn’t” or even “won’t,” I have the tendency to want to challenge them. I am fearful of leaving my brothers or sisters out simply because they don’t fall within the boundaries of the prototype.

Yes, they are anti-type.

For instance, I am a big, fat guy who is bald and aging, who happens to like to sing. When I do this vocalizing, I am always astounded that it often takes me much longer to get an audience’s attention simply because I don’t fulfill the stereotype of the typical crooner.

It sucks. But that fact that it sucks does very little to stop the insanity of the prejudice. So I sing without permission, becoming the anti-type of the pop world.

For I’m not so sure that without anti-types we will be able to progress the Adam’s big family much further.

  • We need people with enough confidence to know they are sexy but who are not runway models or six-pack studs.
  • We need politicians who escape the garble of glib and instead, simply impart their message with a bit of candor.
  • And we are certainly desperately in need of people who love one another and God without ever sniffing of religion.

It takes courage.

It also takes a sense of humor.

And I do believe … it will take time. 

Donate Button

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

Antiabortion

dictionary with letter A

Antiabortion (adj): opposing or legislating against medically induced abortion.

Of course, this word really has been set to the side. When all parties involved scrambled to get the high ground, they changed the terminology to favor their particular cause.

So now it’s “pro-life” and “pro-choice.”

But I actually prefer the term “antiabortion.”

It’s something we can actually agree upon in this bewildering struggle. Because anyone who would be excited, exhilarated or even supportive of the idea of aborting a child would be considered out of the mainstream.

When we change the term to “pro-life,” self-righteousness sets in. We contend that we know how to define living, and that our opponents are killers.

When it’s referred to as “pro-choice,” we cloud the issue by presenting the argument that a woman’s right to choose continues all the way to the elimination of a growing fetus.

Both positions are misleading.

Really, it’s a question of whether you’re anti-abortion or not. Once we agree that we’re against the idea of eliminating human tissue at any stage of development, we can begin to have a more aggressively intelligent discussion on how to avoid this situation in the first place.

Being able to promote contraception, masturbation, adoption and teaching greater sexual awareness are much better choices than the other preaching points on either side of the conflagration.

I’m against abortion.

That does not mean I’m against a woman’s right to choose. I just think they should be offered education on choosing contraception and other ways to avoid the drastic action of stilling a life.

But I also have great empathy for those who understand that merely birthing a child is not making a human being. The money, energy, faith and determination involved in such an endeavor is a lifelong committment.

So what is the answer?

  • First, let us agree that we’re against abortion.
  • Secondly, let us do everything possible to offer choices that sidestep the need for it.
  • And finally, let us keep it legal for those who either have been careless or victimized and left devastated by their pregnant pause.

  

Donate Button

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

Annual

dictionary with letter A

Annual: (adj,) occurring once every year: an annual conference

My first personal encounter with the word “annual” was in relation to a book in high school, filled with pictures of friends, which were frozen and sealed in the volume, precious and everlasting in the moment, yet eventually merely a source of taunting as age betrayed the visuals.

Yes, that’s the problem with the word “annual.”

I am somewhat convinced that the best way to destroy a human being is to introduce two words into their lives: next year.

Once we become convinced that we are the masters of our fate, and put things off into a new calendar, we have given ourselves permission to be distracted and defeated by the circumstances which stand in the way of such distant planning.

Matter of fact, I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who told me he was writing a book. When I asked him what he planned to do when he finished, he replied, “I don’t really know. But it’ll be a year or so before that happens.”

It’s amazing how 365 days can give us both solace and also thrust us into a perpetual hell of procrastination.

Can you imagine if Jesus had said, “Give us this year our budget and quotas…” instead of proffering the notion that twenty-four hours is the preferable span for achievement?

In fact, He suggests that thinking about tomorrow merely t

For after all, there’s nothing more sad than running across a poster for the “First Annual” something or other, only to realize that the “Second Annual” never happened.

I try to love everybody.

Those I am not capable of loving to the full degree necessary, I benefit by staying out of their way.

The only people I truly avoid are those who are confident … that next year will be better.

 

 

Donate Button

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