Coated

Coated: (n) a layer of covering

I, for one, appreciate and enjoy the candy coating on my aspirin.

I know it’s just a brief whiz-by of sweetness, but it keeps me from tasting any of that aspirin flavor that sticks in the back of your throat and makes you cough.

It’s just damned considerate.

This crossed my mind about twenty years ago, but I didn’t really do anything about it until last year. (Sometimes it takes nineteen years to work up the gumption to follow through on one of your own pieces of brilliance.)

But twenty years ago, I thought to myself, the problem with human relationships is that they aren’t candy-coated.

We walk around with some adult, grown-up notion that things should be nasty, and the more bitter they are the better it is–because we’ll end up with such a great, complaining story.

It wasn’t until last year that I realized that this applied to me. I was waiting for somebody else to put it into practice. But then I sat down one afternoon and realized that I am sometimes hard to swallow:

I can be bitter

I can be nasty

I can be sour.

And the truth of the matter is, my responsibilities require that I use candor and truthfulness to get the job done. After all, can there be anything worse than a writer who’s a liar–which may force him to write more lies later?

Yet there are human ingredients of sweetness that can be added to truth, so that we can feel love as we embrace reality.

May we never lose kindness.

May we never forget the power of being gentle.

May we always take into consideration a sense of humor.

And certainly, may our daily lives be blessed by the power of apology and the simplicity of a thank you.

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Clergyman

Clergyman: (n) a male priest, minister, or religious leader, especially a Christian one

All the mistakes I’ve made in my life were caused by me thinking that what I had to offer was not enough.

Whenever I calmed down and realized that the stash in my duffel bag was the total subsistence of my life and journey, I was fine.

But when I allowed myself to be intimidated by forces around me which deemed my offering to be meager because it lacked some
certification, I always ended up either a fool or a liar.

I wanted to help people.

I wanted to use my art to do so.

I wanted to share a message that had humor, hope and heft.

But I also once was very young, and contended that I needed some title to punctuate my adequacy.

Since I did not go to college, I wasn’t allowed to be called “a Reverend.” Therefore I could not be a clergyman.

I don’t know why I wanted to pursue such a position–I guess I just wanted folks to be impressed when they heard the full extent of my resume spoken in a word: “minister.”

So I lied. I manufactured higher learning. And eventually I just called myself a “Reverend” even though I didn’t have any pedigree to bark out spirituality.

It took me many years to escape the foolishness of my insecurity. As soon as I did, I realized that being a clergyman was actually to my disadvantage, because my music, writing, dramatic pursuits and screenplays were much more effective tools for reaching my brothers and sisters than climbing into a pulpit and emoting.

I often think, what is it I’m doing today that’s equally as stupid as my pursuit of being a false cleric?

I don’t know. But I keep looking.

Because if I catch it early, maybe I can avoid some of the embarrassment that occurs when people finally find out the truth.

And…

They always do.

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Charlatan

Charlatan: (n) a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.

Even though I don’t believe there’s any secret to life–otherwise God would be a nasty uncle playing a game of hide and seek so He can take a nap–I do believe there are markers along the way, telling us how to make this passage of Earth-Time much more plausible.

One of those gems is to make sure you never critique anyone unless you’ve already scoured yourself to uncover the same condition.

If you call somebody a fake, you’d better make sure you’re not faking something yourself.

If you refer to somebody as a liar, you might want to precede that with an honesty session and unburden yourself of all your half-truths.

And if you claim that someone is a charlatan, you should be fully aware that the false claims you place on your qualifications–the additional bullet points you may slip into a resume–might equally define you as being a charlatan also.

Here’s a powerful message: take aim at yourself first, and then see if you can help somebody else.

Dirty people with dirty hands who come across other dirty people and try to help them end up just transferring much of their dirt onto the person in need.

God forgive generations of ministers, politicians, businessmen, counselors, teachers and even parents who voraciously took on the job of correcting…except where it came to straightening their own path.

 

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

Aggression

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAggression: (n.) hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront: e.g. his chin was jutting with aggression

Human beings are lions.

It’s the truth. Even though some folks portray themselves as lambs, it’s a little shocking when later on they sink their teeth into you.

The true journey of life is not about denying the lion and the passion you have for what you want, but instead, tempering it with the mercy to do it fairly and granting license to others to pursue their dreams.

I think the only aggression that exists in life is when we pretend to be passive and end up being mean-spirited.

I will be honest with you. I know what I want. I am not in denial. I’m not trying to hide it behind noble gestures or religious conviction. My only responsibility is to make sure I am candid with you about my desires and don’t pretend to be flexible where I am not and willing where I am resistant.

The greatest danger in life is to be a liar–and probably one of the worst lies is telling people that you don’t really care one way or the other.

Even though the dictionary portrays aggression as a violent act, passivity can be equally as devastating, if not disabling.

When I know someone is aggressive, I am fully aware of their intentions and can adjust my involvement based on that conclusion. But when they disguise their motives, they leave me vulnerable, without allowing me the opportunity to choose to receive their ideas on my own.

After all, can there be anything more dastardly than the statement, “we hate the sin but we love the sinner” or “I just want you to be happy, and I know the only way you’ll be happy is if you do … “

I am an aggressive fellow when it comes to my own life and passive when it comes to yours–and where that is not true is exactly where I need to work … every day of my life.

Accuracy

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accuracy: (n.) the quality or state of being correct or precise.

There they go again! The dictionary makes the assumption that “correct” and “precise” are the same. They aren’t. Because in defending the accuracy of my statements, I can often prove that something is correct and yet completely avoid precision. In other words, once I cross the fifty percent point on correct, I can prove it’s true, even though 49% of what I represent is not true–and therefore not exactly honest.

This happens so much that we have a series of phrases for it:

  • little white lies
  • promo talk
  • political speech
  • disinformation
  • embellishment
  • padding your resume

It has become so much a part of our society that the word “accuracy” tends to bring a smile of cynicism to the universal lips of every American hearer. After all, nowadays everyone brings their own statistics to prove their point, to convince you of their accuracy, when the other side of the coin flips over with contradictory numbers, which are supposed to be equally valid.

It has given me pause.

There are many things in my life which I’ve lied about, which at the time of speaking, I would have insisted were accurate, but not precise. In other words, there was a story behind each and every proclamation to give credence to the idea–if you understood my reasoning in the first place.

We hate accuracy because deep in our hearts, we are all ashamed of where we are. When we were younger, we had great aspirations and set out on a journey to achieve them, only to run out of funds in Buffalo on our way to New York City. So we sit in Buffalo and try to pretend that we’re still heading for New York  City–or that we’ve already been there–or that Buffalo has become our New York City.

You know what the problem with such inaccuracy is? A deceiver is the most deceived person in the room. Why? Because he or she knows the real truth. The rest of the people present are only guessing.

Yes, the worst victim of lying is the liar. He or she knows that the truth was available when the audience listening is stuck with the story presented.

I don’t know if I’m completely cured of promo talk, embellishment, disinformation and the like. I’m sure in a pinch I will squirm and come up with some sort of representation of my truth which is more pleasing to the ears of those who surround me. But as I’ve tried to become a more accurate person–precise on the details–I have discovered that most folks don’t really care one way or another, but they would certainly like to trust my portion of the truth for which I am responsible.

Remember–the boy who cried wolf ended up getting eaten by his previous lies. Why? Because nobody came. If you lie enough, people expect you to lie, so even when you come up with something important, which comes from a place of quality, no one is listening.

So here’s to accuracy, which is the pursuit of “precise” minus the ambiguity of “correct”–because being politically correct is only good if you’re looking for votes. If you’re looking for friends or the favor of God, you have to go one step further.