Conducive

Conducive: (adj) making a certain situation or outcome likely or possible.

There is a rumor that’s been going around for almost two thousand years–that the three greatest forces on Earth are faith, hope and love.

It persists.

There have been extravagant attempts to extinguish this trio and replace them with work, money and power, but in the end, there they are–standing tall.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Faith, hope and love.

But there are certain things that are conducive for these three to thrive. If you don’t have them, then it may certainly seem that they’ve gone away, at least for a season.

Faith requires a questioning love. That’s what is conducive to its growth. Questioning because that’s the only way we can put our faith to a true test, to see if it will hold the water necessary to contain the hope we all need.

But faith does not work without love, and I’m talking about the kind of love that appreciates those who launch out and try new things without fear.

Now, hope needs to have a chance to be acted out with a good plan. This is what is conducive to its well-being. Too many committees snuff hope out simply because a cynical spirit refuses to believe that either God or human beings can give their very best in the crunch. I guess we’re stuck with “us” and Him.

Finally, love requires that balance of affection and commitment to be conducive to our real lives. Too much affection and we become overly dependent on the appreciation of others. Too much commitment and we soon forget what it’s like to be inflamed and engorged in passion.

So as you can see, simply extolling faith, hope and love does not help much if we’re not willing to create an atmosphere which is conducive to their breathing.

 

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Cologne

Cologne: (n) scented toilet water or aftershave.

Just for the record (and if my vote counts) I firmly believe that all toilet water should be scented. I don’t know what other purpose the water
would have if it was out of its bowl, if it was not scented.

And I, for one, believe human beings are better if they smell good.

That may be because I’ve always been a portly fellow and greatly feared the stereotype of “all fat people stink.”

In other words, I don’t want some cloud of “p.u.” to descend on me in a moment when my deodorant is in retreat, my soap sniff has disappeared and my cologne is totally exhausted.

Without being too graphic, I put cologne everywhere. I don’t know why. There are places it seems unnecessary. In other words, not a normally high-traffic area. However, those regions are notorious for sprouting aromas which are generally deemed unpleasant.

So part of my morning ritual is to “smell up”–so that later on I don’t have to “smell down.”

I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve developed a reputation for nose approval.

I’m sure I’ve overdone it. For instance, folks should not be able to “smell you coming,” yet I have had people identify me from another room, knowing I was present long before they eyeballed me.

Oops.

I also mix fragrances of cologne–once again, depending on the different parts of the body, a splash may work somewhere and more expensive stuff to don the face.

I must acknowledge at this point that I have already overworked this subject. Possibly I lost your attention a couple of paragraphs ago.

You may think I am paranoid about any type of normal human body odor. You would be correct.

I am not trying to evangelize my obsession with cologne. I have met people who hate it, and some who even insist they are allergic.

But until future notice, I will be an island of fragrance instead of a land of “stinky poo.”

 

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Collapse

Collapse: (v) to fall down or in; give way.

Some folks think it’s hilarious when a big man like me sits down in a chair and it collapses. It’s why I have to judge furniture much too harshly–“spaciously” profiling it.

Yet it has taught me a lesson–to pay careful attention to ideas that keep popping up, which certainly will not withstand the weight of
human involvement. After all, human interaction comes in three forms:

  • Support
  • Criticism
  • Attack

Every idea has to be able to survive all three things, or it will collapse.

I often feel that way about politics. It collapses under the pressure of being questioned and challenged–dare I say, attacked?

Entertainment and entertainers are certainly way too fragile, and hide behind their make-up.

And religion collapses like a cheap lawn chair the minute real human conflict comes sitting.

What makes me collapse?

What makes me give in?

Where are my weaknesses?

What warning should you receive about my possibility for folding up?

All things human have to survive support, criticism and attack.

And truthfully, whenever I can’t, I need to get the hell out of the way and make room for better ideas.

If we were raising a generation of young souls prepared to withstand such scrutiny, maybe our future would be brighter. Perhaps it’s where we should begin.

If we could take every child born on Earth under the age of twelve, and teach him or her how to support, withstand an attack, and keep perspective during criticism, we might secure another hundred generations of human beings.

 

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Clone

Clone: (v) to make a duplicate

Some people just like to argue. I’m convinced of that.

You could even tell them you agree with what they’re saying, and they will still comment on how poorly you supported the point.

Thus the argument about cloning.

People are very afraid we’re actually going to attempt to clone human beings. That’s not what bothers me. What troubles me is that we want to clone attractive, intelligent, disease-free human beings.

Will they still be assholes?

You see, that’s the problem. I have met people who are supposed to be very appealing, but after spending ten minutes with them, I was grateful that the eleventh minute arrived so I could leave.

They were just too aware of their positive attributes.

There is something sweet in the human spirit about uncertainty–something appealing about an attractive person wondering if you think they look alright.

Do we really want a clone who is not only structured in perfection, but has a receipt to prove it?

I gain strength through my weaknesses. If people do not know this to be true, they will continue to lie and deceive in order to cover up hidden flubs. Are we going to clone flubbed people so they’ll be more real?

Or is the purpose of cloning an attempt to achieve what God was unable to do–and that is make a perfect Adam and Eve.

 

 

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Chagrin

Chagrin: (n) distress or embarrassment at having failed or been humiliated.

Life waits around, waiting for human beings to express disappointment so it can squash them like that bug you found in your tent during the
campout.

Even though we contend that a certain amount of disappointment, embarrassment, disgust or sadness is predictable for certain occasions, those who indulge themselves in such a luxury often find that they are left out of the next flow of human activity.

You can be disappointed, but no one really cares.

It’s not because they’re uncaring–it’s because deep in their hearts, each one of us knows that disappointment and embarrassment are useless emotions which must be dispelled as quickly as possible, lest they explode and destroy our will to live.

So when we see this in other people, there is a small part of us that wants to be sympathetic and a huge part that wants to run away in terror.

So beware of the instinct to share your heart if that emotional revelation is filled with chagrin–because even though we all suffer slings and arrows, most of us have learned the wisdom of ducking.

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Caveat

Caveat: (n) a stipulation, condition, or limitation

A caveat is when we add honesty to a thought.

We come up with something to say, but rather than allowing ourselves to be misleading, we add a phrase–usually on the end–which better
clarifies our position.

It is what makes human beings human, and therefore powerful. We are only foolish when we try to be gods or wallow in the jungle, pretending we are mere animals.

It is hope mingled with the reality that presents who we really are.

Case in point:

  • I love you, but it’s not easy.
  • I will be there, if I don’t get lazy
  • I worship God until He confuses the hell out of me.
  • I am happy until I decide I’m not.
  • I am color blind–except when I accidentally see color.
  • I am reliable as long as you check up on me.
  • I am selfish, but every once in a while, escape the prison.
  • I am getting older, but still have a few steps left.
  • I wish you the best, and I hope I’ll be there to help you get it.

Perhaps a caveat is what we should lead with in explaining our true situation, but I certainly contend that a nice little jolt of optimism sweetens the deal before we have to tell the whole truth.

 

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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. 

 

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