Choke

Choke: (n) an action or sound of a person or animal having or seeming to have difficulty in breathing.

Webster certainly afforded us an adequate definition for “choke,” but the one that comes to my mind has to do with the “give-up, check-out
and throw-in-the-towel” instinct which permeates our species.

Sometimes we get just as comfortable with pity cheers as congratulatory shouts.

You know pity cheers:

  • “It’s okay. You did your best.”
  • “I don’t know if anyone could have done that.”
  • “You’ll get them next time.”
  • “God sees your effort.”
  • “Who knows? Maybe you made a difference without knowing it.”

If you ever allow your ears to get used to hearing these pitiful exhortations, you might just find yourself living in a damned condition, without yet being deceased.

Choking is what human beings do when they try to swallow too much, whether it’s physical chunks of steak, lies or claims to fame.

This is a world that demands evidence, not confidence. Those who try to live off of confidence eventually choke under the pressure and end up looking like losers, even though we dress it up with bunting and invite a small brass band to cheer things along.

There’s a simple principle in life: overestimating your ability is not a sign of faith.

Faith starts with something substantial, and based upon that realization, is willing to carefully speculate on how much further things can be taken.

You don’t get many “chokes” before you die. You may not physically die, but the love, tenacity, gentleness and appreciation of your friends and loved ones is suffocated.

 

 

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Armchair

dictionary with letter A

Armchair: 1. (n) a comfortable chair, typically upholstered, with side supports for a person’s arms. 2. (adj) lacking or not involving practical or direct experience of a particular subject or activity.

There should never be more pundits than participants.

There. I have established a new rule.

Like most rules, it will be ignored in favor of some sort of haphazard pursuit of unbridled freedom.

Yet we have too many people with too many opinions who have too little talent to participate in the matters that are too important.

Last night as I watched the National Championship for college football, I was astounded at how many different people they had conglomerated to voice their opinions on the activities of these barely post-adolescent young men, who have been pushed to the forefront as superior athletes.

Some of these “armchair quarterbacks,” as we often call them, are actually former players. But they all seem to forget a very important fact. Even though I didn’t play football very long, I will tell you something which is never brought up by those in armchairs, be it about sports, politics or life in general:

It happens too fast.

If you expect your training or your brain to be able to come up with some magnificent way to handle the task in front of you, you will be confounded, stumble and make mistakes.

Just as a politician who wants to seek counsel with many people before making a decision always ends up piping in a little too late, any football player who believes he will have time in the middle of the game to access the resources of his brain and come up with the perfect solution for the situation, is going to end up looking foolish and inept.

Life really works with the conjoining of two magnificently unpredictable units: instinct and luck.

And the only way to be successful is to put yourself into enough uncomfortable situations that your instincts begin to turn you in the right direction, and then realize that the choices you make will still require some luck in order to be fruitful.

I got tickled after the game last night when they asked a player what he was thinking “right before he threw that pass.”

The young man crinkled his brow as if he didn’t understand the question, but politely replied, “Well, it was just a play and I played it through.”

Exactly.

America sometimes seems obsessed with the notion that we can educate ourselves into a better world.

Pundits love to discuss, from their armchairs of comfort, how somebody should have done something completely different in a given situation. But the best we can really do in life is to stop being afraid of difficulty.

For it grants us the instinct to know what to do at the right moment, and then step back…and pray we get lucky.

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