Damascus

Damascus: (n) the capital of Syria

I used to know this fellow who had a heart to do what’s right but no mind to sustain it.

He passed on the impression he desired to see things done well, and if necessary, to change some of his own ways to accomplish it.

When we began a project together, he always said, “Let me know if I’m doing something wrong so I don’t end up being the weak link.”

Sounded good.

And when we first labored together, I took him at his word. So if he occasionally missed a spot or failed to follow up on what we decided to do, I quietly pointed it out to him.

Then began the three-step process:

  1. He frowned at me, while wrinkling his brow.
  2. He walked over and looked carefully at the alleged mistake.
  3. And he always—and I mean always—concluded with the same verbiage: “I think it’s alright.”

Of course, you fine readers know there is no legitimate, kindly comeback to this conclusion unless you want to begin a huge fight.

So even though he pretended he favored improvement—because he thought that sounded open-minded and one of the attributes of a good leader—when “shove” knocked “push” to the ground, he stuck to his guns.

You and I have two choices:

  • We can make natural mistakes and naturally correct them.
  • Or we can make natural mistakes, fail to correct them and wait for supernatural intervention.

There was a man from Tarsus named Saul.

He thought killing Christians was a good idea because they were going against his religion. (It didn’t seem to bother him that killing was also against the tenets of his faith.) He was so invested in murdering Christians that no intervention worked—except to have his ass blown off a horse with him sprawled on the ground, blinded, waiting to be finished off by the rod of God.

Yet even at that point, the voice from heaven told him to go someplace—and just wait.

In other words, “Think long and hard about how close you came to being incinerated.”

After several days, a visitor arrived, who continued Saul’s reclamation by telling him what he needed to do:

Repent.

This happened in Damascus.

That’s why, in the old-time days of “speak,” we often referred to a “road to Damascus experience.”

It’s one of those occasions when sense, friends, failure and nature, itself, has spoken to you so many times that all that remains to deter your futility is a flash course in mortality, and a brush with elimination.

Congratulations

Congratulations: (n) words expressing praise for an achievement or good wishes on a special occasion

Congratulations are in order:

To anyone who is not pissing on others because he or she is pissed off

To people of either gender who realize equality is never achieved through separation, but rather, mingling similaritiesfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C

To the pilgrims who understand that culture has become the new Jim Crow, to separate us without making it look painful

Congratulations are also in order to those who believe in America to such a degree that they are prepared to question a voting system and electoral college which is not only antiquated, but preventing us from electing excellent leadership.

Congratulations to the people who are not afraid to speak their minds without apology.

Congratulations are in order to the human beings who understand we are not really spiritual, but are able to learn how to have enough spirit to keep from hating and destroying one another.

Congratulations are in order to the businesses which realize it is a damnable offense to make huge profits off the sickness of other travelers.

Congratulations are in order to anyone, anywhere, at any time, who can maintain a civil tongue, and salt their conversation with some humor.

Congratulations are in order to a faith that demands works–otherwise appearing dead.

Congratulations are in order to those who appreciate and utilize science without worshipping it, but instead, challenge the educational system to continue its evolution.

Congratulations are in order to you, if you resist accepting the meager offerings presented to you, but instead believe that somewhere in the pasture is a four-leaf clover, and in the clouds, a silver lining.

 

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Complement

Complement: (n) a thing that completes or brings to perfection.

The greatest complement to beauty is humility.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The greatest complement to talent is hard work.

Likewise:

Spirituality…simplicity

Leadership…awareness

Lover…sensitivity

Comedian…vulnerability

Joy…compassion

Education…application

Health…gratitude

Confidence…introspection

Strength…mercy

Speaking…listening

Faith…charity

Hope…endurance

Finding…seeking

And of course, the greatest complement to God is humanity.

 

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Brood

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brood: (n/v) a family of animals, or to think too deeply

There are several ironies in life.Dictionary B

Well, more than several, but a couple come to mind.

The idea that politicians can actually be statesmen. (I don’t know if that’s ironic or just pathetic.)

A second irony is the assumption that religious leaders actually give a damn about human beings.

You can be accused of being a misfit by railing against organizations which have lost their mission and purpose. Matter of fact, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified for sedition. That means he objected vehemently to existing standards–to such an extent that those who promoted the agenda found a way to kill him.

Maybe it’s because he called them a “brood of vipers.” It would be difficult to take that back, wouldn’t it? You couldn’t exactly say, “You misunderstood. I like snakes.”

But when you take into consideration the double meaning of brood, that being “a clumping” and also “a downcast, sour outlook,” you have completely described organized religion.

Religion worships a God who insists He loves everyone while simultaneously being so pissed off at humanity that He establishes stringent rules and threatens damnation.

It is alarming that atheism does not thrive more in our species, considering the abuse we endure by embracing faith.

Jesus didn’t like the Pharisees.

He said they created burdens which they expected people to bear, while they were privately finding ways around lifting their share.

Many things come in broods:

  • Certainly vipers
  • Religionists
  • Politicians
  • And white collar criminals

I suppose you can have a brood of thieves, and no doubt, a brood of murderers.

But whenever a gathering of souls completes their meeting and the departing participants have a smug grimace, you have unearthed something venomous instead of healthy.

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Bright

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bright: (adj) giving out or reflecting a lot of light

Incandescence–a word we don’t often use.

We only associate it with light.Dictionary B

But it is essential for all people who are bright–that is, mentally acute–to also be bright–showing forth some brilliance, so that their intelligence can be noticed.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where intelligence gets awards and ignorance gets attention.

You can see that might create problems.

I’m not suggesting that ignorance receive awards, but it would be nice if those who are bright were actually… bright.

I’ve had parents explain to me that their son or daughter is “a bookworm,” and that their miracle child had read several hundred volumes. But the problem is, you see, that the kid was incapable of speaking.

The child cast no shadow–so all the knowledge was locked up in a big, black box–with no key.

On the other hand, I’ve met kids who never touched a book for fear of getting a disease from the cover. But they had personality, leadership–brightness.

If our best and brightest don’t possess the incandescence to illuminate themselves for consideration, then our world is in some serious trouble.

When you’ve been given a message to be “the light of the world,” there is a responsibility to also nurture the function to be human, kind and able to interact with your fellow-travelers.

 

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Astute

Astute: (adj) having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one’s advantage.dictionary with letter A

Knowing when to play dumb.

After all, there’s no advantage in playing smart. You either are intelligent in a given situation or you’re not, and that certainly will become obvious.

But in order to be astute in this world, you must be prepared to play dumb without ever feeling lessened or defensive about the role.

For the action of including others is the admission of lack. No collaboration is ever successful if both people insist they’re intelligent enough to pull it off without each other–or if they even think they are.

To get the very best of a roomful of people, you have to develop the childlike quality of being the student and not the schoolmarm. If you can’t do this, you will insist that you are an individual who loves to get the “take” of others while simultaneously ignoring every opinion proffered your way.

I think we believe that being astute is profiling ourselves as knowledgeable so you can join into the discussion.

Yet as we look back at our history, most people would consider Abraham Lincoln to be one of the greatest Presidents. Yet to many of his advisors, he was perceived to be a buffoon. He was always telling stories, was often awry from the point, and did not seem to have a natural aptitude for leadership. But Lincoln knew how to act dumb so he could garner the true opinions of those around him, and siphon from them the very best answers.

  • If you try to act too smart, you will scare away others who are frightened of your superiority.
  • And if you’re actually unintelligent and insist you have prowess, you will be viewed as a fool.

The secret to life is knowing when to act dumb. Without this gift, you cannot really procure the true intelligence around you … and learn better ways.

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Alcoholic

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Alcoholic: (n) 1. containing an alcoholic liquor 2. a person suffering from alcoholism.

The most difficult thing in life, in my opinion, is to balance freedom and common sense. Honestly, we do it very poorly.

When we err on the side of freedom, we indiscriminately promote ideas which are detrimental to the human family.

Likewise, when we take the other extreme of common sense, we create burdens and rules which inhibit the liberty necessary for our race to move forward.

How is it possible to allow for freedom and common sense to co-exist in the same room without both of them resorting to fisticuffs?

This is my feeling about alcohol: I have grown weary of the notion that we establish our adult sensibilities by allowing ourselves permission to drink fermented fluids which have proven themselves to be devastating to members of our earthly clan. But by the same token, prohibiting the imbibing of these refreshments is unsuccessful and unrealistic, considering that they have been around for thousands of years, and even Jesus Christ took boring water and made it wine.

I think we need extraordinarily anointed and intelligent leadership, which knows how to promote freedom while establishing common sense. Here are several questions about alcohol I have never heard adequately answered:

  1. Is it truly healthy? Are we better off having some alcohol in our lives, or not?
  2. Are there people who are just cursed to be alcoholics by their genetic configuration, or is it an acquired vice which can happen to anyone at any time, simply based upon the level of consumption?
  3. Is there an adequate alternative to alcohol which would provide stimulus without promoting drunkenness?
  4. Is it possible to be a social drinker without finding yourself in the company of those who exaggerate their need and exacerbate situations by becoming either dangerous on the highway or confrontational?
  5. And finally, how can we promote the consumption of alcohol so that our movies and our society do not present it as a rite of passage, causing younger folks to feel mature by sneaking it?

I am unwilling to concede that freedom and common sense cannot be brothers in the cause of the betterment of humanity.

I personally don’t drink and never have. It’s because the questions I listed have not been answered to my satisfaction, so therefore, rather than pursuing the ridiculous … I select the sublime.