Conscience

Conscience: (n) an inner guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.

I am discovering that my mind has become a garage, where I store all the memories and stuff that can no longer be used–simply because most of them are more than twenty years old.

Therefore, they are viewed as useless.

If you don’t believe me, just bring up something from the 1980’s, and look at the confused, frustrated and sometimes angry faces of the young humans around funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
you, who don’t understand that you forgot that “they weren’t born yet.”

So I have to be careful as I mention Jimminy Cricket. I do so because when I think of the word “conscience,” he is the pesky insect that comes to mind. He insisted that we should let our “conscience be our guide.”

Well, it doesn’t take me long driving down the freeway to notice that if the conscience actually does exist, it has not been evenly distributed. There are people who are courteous, and there are folks who only got the first part of the word: curt.

So I have to ask the little cricket if he could help me understand whether this conscience thing was there at birth, or if somebody didn’t need to hover over all living souls to make sure that they grew up giving a shit about anything but themselves.

Having raised a number of children, I can tell you that they do not arrive on Earth as human beings. They are actually more of a confirmation of Darwin’s theory of evolution–they are little monkeys who scream, wiggle, piss, poop and grab for everything in sight, until they are trained to escape a life in the jungle, and can be welcomed to Suburbia.

A conscience is not something we’re born with. It’s something we are taught–and hopefully taught so well that we retain it once we are no longer able to be sent to our rooms.

 

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Compelling

Compelling: (adj) evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.

Before I begin my writing session every morning I like to have a granola bar and a cup of coffee.

I use that as an opening sentence, not because it was valuable to your well-being, but rather, I wanted some clever way to start this essay.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What I’m about to share is not particularly enlightening nor clever. Turning on the television set for background distraction, I was confronted–no, presented–with four stories. These were the leads for the news on this particular morning’s broadcast:

There was a girl, slightly inebriated, dancing on a boat

A man handed a woman a piece of candy at a funeral

A preacher carelessly brushed his hand up against a famous singer’s breast

And a little boy comically took a mouthful of bitter chocolate powder, and then spit it out

I am not trying to be critical. After all, I watched the stories, and remembered enough to reiterate them to you.

But there was nothing compelling here.

Any attempt on my part to be compelled by these passing fancies would be bizarre.

Do I need compelling challenges in my life?

Considering the fact that I am a human being who thinks returning a shopping cart is an act of charity, I should be looking for possibilities to be motivated to escape my lower monkey, and spend at least a minute or two with my higher angel.

 

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Bawdy

Bawdy: (adj) dealing with sexual matters in a comical way; humorously indecent.Dictionary B

Somewhere between porn and Puritan lies perfectly hilarious.

I have never been interested in pornography, and honestly, even less drawn to the life of the pilgrim.

Human sexuality is comical. Actually, it’s downright silly.

Even though some people videotape themselves having sexual intercourse, most of us would run away from such a viewing in a combination of embarrassment and horror.

Why? Because for those brief moments when we’re seeking pleasure, we also tend to reject all forms of pride and civilization.

Who cares?

All I know is that when we trivialize sexuality and make it merely a physical act, it normally develops tinges of violence.

When we say it is sacred and must be blessed by God’s presence, we repress our sexual instincts and invite perversion to create a playground in our being.

I am often bawdy.

Raising a bunch of sons, I joked with them and made it clear that sex was not a taboo subject, nor was it hatched in the heavens, surrounded by prayers.

It is one of the most important balances we can achieve: to land our understanding of human sexuality somewhere between monkey and angel.

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Banter

Banter: (n) the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.Dictionary B

I do not know whether you’ve heard yet, or discovered it in the obituary columns, but banter has died.

The silly, challenging, comical, poking fun and sometimes nearly flirting with degrading conversations that friends once had with each other have been murdered because the movement of social media has deteriorated our interaction to, “please like me–or I hate you.”

Here is a startling statement: every piece of critique or even criticism is not necessarily meant to be confrontational.

I sometimes find myself joking with strangers in a grocery store, only to discover that they become alarmed if I even connote that they are anything short of divine.

Here’s what I know for sure–repentance is impossible if you already think you’re God.

If all your ways are righteous in your own eyes, then you will fail to realize that your emotional soul may be desperately in dissaray or on the verge of disintegration.

Introspection is what the human race requires to survive and to make sure that we don’t kill each other off.

And the best way to allow for introspection is to permit banter, which is a “safe zone,” where suggestions or ideas for discussion can be hatched without blatantly or viciously attacking another person.

Yes, long before I tell you that I think you’re an ass, I could have relieved some pressure by asserting that “even a monkey could learn how to change the toilet paper roll.”

We think we become more civilized by saying the right thing all the time, when all we’ve done is set up a situation for saying what we really feel–at the wrong time.

  • I would much rather you would joke with me than insult me.
  • I would prefer that you would poke fun at my foolishness instead of gossiping about me behind my back.

Banter is the gentle comedy we use to steer our friends in a different direction, so we don’t have to intervene … and constantly send them to rehab. 

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Audio-Visual

Audio-visual: (adj) using both sight and sound, typically in the form of slides or video and recorded speech or music.

dictionary with letter A

Today I am imagining a cave man or one of those early human beings–whatever you may call him or her–sitting by the fire, grunting out a story about a fascinating hunt-down of an angry mastodon.

Noticing that the audience has lost attention, he decides to add a drum beat and scrawl out in charcoal on a nearby series of smooth stones some pictures, to accentuate the thrill of his kill.

His audience is suddenly much more receptive.

Thus the beginning of audio-visual.

Nowadays, we wouldn’t even think about trying to tell a story or share an idea without the use of a sound track and flashing pictures on the wall to illustrate our points.

Matter of fact, anyone who would consider simply using the human voice to tout a message would be viewed as arcane, out of step or certainly old-fashioned.

But in a generation which is constantly being bombarded sensually, perhaps the best way to communicate new ideas is through sensory deprivation.

  • What happens if we take away every sense except the ears?
  • Or maybe we remove the other four senses and just leave the eyes?
  • What if, instead of launching a huge campaign for a new line of baked goods, we just release the smell of the delicious product into the air?

Even though I appreciate those who come to me at my concerts and ask me if I have AV material (which is shop talk for “audio-visual”) I have to tell you that imitating the antics of the monkey next to me does not make me a superior monkey.

Somewhere along the line you have to get the monkeys of the world interested in something other than flashing images of bananas.

I believe the next movement in advertising and communication will have to be relieving our senses of attack, and finding a way to simply tell our story by the fireside.

 

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Apiary

dictionary with letter A

Apiary: (n.) a place where bees are kept.

This is really unfair.

I guarantee you, I will not remember this.

Am I the only person who thinks an apiary is a place where you should keep apes?

How am I supposed to remember that an apiary is where you keep bees? A word picture won’t even help me. My God, the horror of blending a monkey and a bee.

And even though I’ve seen people who tend to these little buzzing wonder-units, it does baffle me. Because they make honey but they will sting–so much so that if you don’t have that funny wire mask on, and the white suit that makes you look like the Marshmallow Man, you’re always in danger of them…well, getting a bee in your bonnet.

But then the shocking news came to me that bees were beginning to die off, and that if they continued this extinction, pollination could cease and therefore crops would not grow and we will eventually all starve.

God, I wish my pollination was so powerful.

So I really have mixed feelings about bees.

I know they’re important. I know they make something sweet in life. I also know they sting.

But I understand that if they do sting, word has it that it can be fatal to them. Maybe something God should have instilled in the human being–some sort of system whereby you get three mouthfuls of gossip and then your head falls off.

I am not the kind of writer who will close this off with some silly reference like, “Whatever bees will bees.”

I am well beyond that.

  • I am astute.
  • I am articulate.
  • And I have enough fear of the works of Shakespeare to avoid such trivialities.

Oh, what the hell.

Whatever bees will bees. 

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Anthropogeny

dictionary with letter A

 

Anthropogeny: (n)  the study of the origin of humankind.

I guess it doesn’t matter much whether you believe in Darwinian evolution, all the way up through the human, or if you believe in a Creator who spoke everything into existence in seven God-ordained days.

Still, somewhere along the line, if it’s evolution, some monkey looked around the jungle and said, “Enough of this banana farm! I’m launchin’ on my own.”

Or some Adam, in a Garden with Eve, said, “Enough of the rules. I’m gonna eat what I want.”

For at the core of humanity, there is a willingness to learn and a strong unwillingness to apply the knowledge.

This has caused many people to be self-loathing, with disparaging thoughts such as, “I’m only human” or “human beings are crap” or “people are no damn good.”

But I think the true essence of the history and the progression of the human race is found in the simple statement, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

And those who focus on their flesh often find that they gain only temporary pleasure because there’s no spirit, and those who tighten the spiritual belt become critical of other folks because they’re jealous over unattained pleasure.

So what’s the best way to be a human being?

Clean–unafraid to admit who you are, what you’re feeling and what you desire, realizing that tomorrow it may change. So since you know that it may change tomorrow, you aren’t intent on stealing, killing and destroying to acquire the moment’s whim.

In the process you can try to become a bit more effective at taking what you’ve learned and using it to improve your situation.

So as it pertains to the raging debate between the evolutionist and the creationist, we still end up with today, in which we’re human beings in need of some direction … and are desperately required to be more honest.

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