Commemorate

Commemorate: (v) to recall and show respect for someone or something

Mediocre is always so busy dragging down excellence that it doesn’t have the time to lift up inferior.

Because of this, mediocre keeps sinking deeper and deeper into the sag of inferiority, desperately trying to change the rules of operation and the requirements for the rewards provided.

We have a system of entertainment and information that streams in our country, which feels the need to commemorate events by finding the heroes, the standouts and those who fared well, interview them, extol them and then, within short weeks, dig up dirt on them to prove there was really nothing exceptional about them in the first place.

Why? Because without this kind of reporting, Ma and Pa Kettle, sitting at home, start getting depressed–thinking less of themselves because they don’t measure up.

After all, the problem of going to a nude beach is that you’re fully aware that everyone is stuck with an eyeful of you.

How do we commemorate the attributes, the virtues, the kindness and the intelligence that sets the human race on fire with an explosion of knowledge and unveiling of great cures and advances?

Well, we certainly can’t do it if we spend all of our time mocking initiative and making it seem that those who portray a classy morality are really just stuck in the past.

These are the three great things we should commemorate if we expect to shine:

  1. Empathy

Any time someone feels for someone else, it is miraculous.

  1. Research

Stop settling for the status quo, and find a better way to accomplish things.

  1. Humility

The only way to achieve the first two is to be humble enough to know when you’ve made a mistake so you can change it quickly and improve your cause.

May we step out of our doldrums of self-satisfaction and begin to commemorate–and therefore imitate–those who are actually doing matters better than us?

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Bramble

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bramble: (n) a prickly scrambling vine or shrub

Is the Universe a sporadic series of incomplete evolutions, or a well-constructed and defined object lesson?

It’s a damn good question.Dictionary B

Because if I were to believe that everything is spawned by chance, then I might be completely unable to make sense of anything around me.

But if there is some sort of reason, purpose or genius behind the way things are placed, then I have the glorious task of unraveling the mystery.

Why do roses have thorns?

And why do bramble bushes have prickly parts that make it difficult to pick the berries which often inhabit their vines?

What’s the message?

Is there a need for us to be discouraged in the pursuit of beauty and nutrition?

Are we to understand that blessing is achieved, rather than guaranteed?

Is the Creator trying to separate the perseverant from the lazy?

Because plucking a rose is risking a prick.

And hunting for berries might tear at your skin.

Is there a message here? Or am I reading deeper thoughts than intended into an evolutionary mishap?

I’m not sure.

But I can tell you, the pursuit of wisdom never fails us … even if there’s very little information to be uncovered.

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

 

 

 

Anvil

dictionary with letter A

Anvil: (n) a heavy steel or iron block with a flat top and concave sides, and typically a pointed end on which metals can be hammered and shaped.

I took a long moment to think this one through.

I like things that make me think because thinking is admitting that you don’t know and you aren’t afraid to learn if any information is actually available.

Here’s what I came up with:

You’ve got one big piece of metal in your hand in the shape of a hammer that’s hitting another piece of metal really hard to put it in shape, while a very sturdy piece of metal beneath it withstands the blows and remains firm so as not to inhibit the shaping of the object.

They’re all metal.

Some of them just have to be stronger than the others to sustain the pressure.

I know that appears to be too philosophical, but if you pause for a moment, it really isn’t. It’s just practical.

For a brief season, we have children who are brought into this world and must be molded, guided and shaped into human beings. I must warn you, they do not arrive human, but rather, as self-centered, egotistical, overly intelligent little monkeys who need to be removed from their jungle environment and taught the ways of true humanity.

There’s a lot of debate today on whether there’s some hitting and beating needed in that process.

Let us agree on the following four points:

1. There are moments in raising a child when you are well prepared to kill them, and if you got the right jury, who had also parented, you might get off for time served.

2. Since the sensation is common to us all, what sets us apart from those who end up damaging their children instead of helping them is what we might call “holy restraint.”

3. Holy restraint is not achieved without pursuing something holy. To do that means you need to invest your brain more than your brawn. The advantage we have over children is that they’re just not as smart as we are yet. And the second advantage is that we control the macaroni and cheese.

4. A child who learns is like a piece of steel that is squeezed between the hammer and the anvil. Since both of them are stronger, he or she will eventually find a reason to comply.

Now, I realize the analogy doesn’t work well because the hammer actually hits the steel against the anvil. But since our children are made of flesh and blood instead of iron and alloys, it might be a good idea to adjust the strength projected to the object addressed.

As flesh and blood, they need wisdom and guidance from people who know how to outsmart them.

Parenting is more about trickery than it ever is … about spanking.

 

Donate Button

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

Annotate

dictionary with letter A

Annotate: (v) to add notes of explanation to a text or diagram

It is my contention that education is knowledge followed by experience. It can even be experience that gradually garners knowledge.

But the idea that the more information imparted to us, with a variety of opinions, insights, notes, complete with bibliography, will make us smarter, is a bit erroneous.

I’m not so sure we learn until we take something that we kind of basically understand–and then try it ourselves.

Does anyone really become an engineer when they graduate from college, or does that actually occur some Thursday morning three years later, while working on the job?

I think this is particularly annoying in the fields of business and religion. So many books, commentaries, opinions and guides for the novice are penned in these categories, with the aspiration that an insight from someone other than ourselves will give us an edge.

Of course, we need to know what we’re talking about, and have a basic understanding of what we’re doing. But candidly, it is in the handling of circumstance and difficulty that we discover the true wisdom of each and every endeavor.

I grow weary of a culture that creates a learning class, which receives more finance than a working class that actually pulls the load. And not only finance–but status.

Case in point:

  • I studied music. It didn’t make me a musician. Somewhere in my third set, playing keyboard in a dive, discovering a new bridge chord, I gained the confidence to have the music in me.
  • I studied the Bible. It didn’t make me a Christian. It was a series of encounters, where I chose to think for myself and selected to bless instead of curse, when the mind of Christ actually inhabited my cranium.
  • I even studied sex in an attempt to become a better lover, but it was on the 121st attempt to please my partner through sensitivity that I actually had the words “Don Juan” whispered in my ear.

Notes are good. Testimonies are interesting.

But none of us are saved by someone else’s experience. The salvation of our lives … is the word of our own testimony.

Donate Button

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

Ambush

dictionary with letter A

Ambush: 1. (n) a surprise attack by people lying in wait in a concealed position 2. (v) to make a surprise attack on someone from a concealed position

It all depends from what perspective you view this experience.

If you are the ambusher, you find your tactics to be clever, inventive, cost-saving and ingenious.

If you are the ambushee, you will contend that the same actions are conniving, vicious, unfair and animalistic.

We think that certain behavior is acceptable as long as we come up with it and implement it to our common good. It is what makes us both human and obnoxious.

Candidly, a world without a Golden Rule, which insists that we try on an experience to see how it feels if done unto ourselves before we target it toward another person–well, a world without that kind of consideration is vile, unpredictable and destructive.

How can we ambush other people while thinking that all we’re trying to do is communicate our feelings?

1. If another human being doesn’t have the right to disagree without looking ridiculous, then we’ve robbed them of their God-given blessing of purpose and individuality.

2. If our sharing with another person is done in front of other folks for convenience or back-up, we have removed the generosity that allows our friends to repent if they’ve erred and to learn if they lack information.

3. The instinct to capture folks in their moment of weakness and attack them is never noble, even if we think it’s producing spiritual conclusions.

Here’s the truth: human beings don’t have to be right.

God, Himself, does not go around plotting trials and tribulations for those who are in rebellion to reason. That’s why the Good Book says “it rains on the just and the unjust” and “the sun shines on the good and the bad.”

So if God doesn’t ambush jerks, get your helmet off. There’s no war.

And “ambush” is a term we normally relegate to warfare–when being devious and even ruthless, unfortunately, may be necessary to win the battle and save lives.

But to introduce this concept into everyday interactions with humankind is not only cruel, but in this humble writer’s opinion … damnable.

 

Adler, Alfred

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adler, Alfred (1870 – 1937): Austrian psychologist and psychiatrist who disagreed with Freud’s idea that mental illness was caused by sexual conflicts in infancy, arguing that society and culture are significant factors. Adler introduced the concept of the inferiority complex.

Adler just wasn’t sexy.

You see, that’s the problem with humanity. It’s not that I’m a prude and object to sexualizing. Anything as vastly accepted, recognized and universally shared as sex is undoubtedly has across-the-board appeal.

But if you mention Sigmund Freud in front of the psychiatric community thinking that you are being wise and inventive, you might need to be prepared to be ridiculed for your lack of information. Making everything in life about sex is like insisting that pornography is a rite of passage for discovering how to interact with members of the opposite gender.

Adler had two major problems: he took away the sexiness AND he inserted the need to question ourselves on whether we felt inferior.

That last one’s a killer. That’s why people aren’t making movies about Adler, but every once in a while Freud gets stuck in because he gave us license to explore our strangeness and foibles by blaming our mother and father for a lack of warmth which caused us to become perverted.

That’s the difference. Freud gave us somebody to blame. Adler made people take personal responsibility for their own actions, their own culture, their own environment and their own feelings of insecurity.

Honestly, which one would YOU choose?

But somewhere along the line, in order for a society to grow out of being stuck in adolescence, people have to admit that they might just be their own worst problem. Yes, maybe our parents were not very good. After all the position comes with neither a manual nor any natural inclinations, contrary to popular opinion.

What we do at age thirty-five needs to cease to have anything to do with what happened to us at age four. Otherwise, we pass on the impression that everyone in the world is really sick, waiting for a diagnosis to come along and rationalize erratic behavior.

Adler may have had a whole lot more on the ball because he asked people to trace ALL the factors of their lives, and also to consider that taking a back seat to others is a personal decision rather than a permanent position.

Freud, on the other hand, made everything about erogenous zones and how we feel deprived, which caused us to act out as little children.

So we have to STOP being “children in the marketplace”–grow up, forgive the failures of our families, and start allowing ourselves to inhabit a persona which is ours alone and not at the mercy of the indiscretions of others.

Yes, if our society does not grow out of its “teenager phase, ” we will continue to throw tantrums, lie and never get our homework done.

And when the homework is not done, the national need will never be met.