Charming

Charming: (adj) pleasant or attractive.

Mr. Webster, please make up your mind.

Is it pleasant, or attractive? Truthfully, the two rarely run races together.

Those who are attractive don’t necessarily feel the need to be pleasant. The absence of pimples and the presence of dimples grants them
license to be just as snooty as they deem necessary.

And those who are not attractive often don the apparel of “pleasant,” to clothe themselves in a righteousness that should be suitable for the runway of life.

So which is it?

I suppose there might be a tiny handful of humans who are attractive and pleasant–which enables them to go into a bar and get a date without buying her a drink.

So I disagree that charming has anything to do with pleasant or attractive. Charming is just damn smart. It’s the realization that not everyone will find you attractive, no matter how much you primp, and being pleasant may be suspicious rather than advantageous.

My definition for charming is finding a way to be sensitive to the moment.

Weep with those who are weeping, rejoice with those who are rejoicing. And stop thinking that God has voted you to be in charge of all moods.

If you are able to sensitize yourself to the situations around you, granting a bit of grace to the emotions that crop up, you will bear fruit in the human family.

 

 

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Bad

Bad: (adj) of poor quality; inferior or defective.Dictionary B

Speaking of bad, Mr. Webster, that is really a bad definition.

Truth is, something can be very high quality and still be bad. And we also have to consider what is generally bad versus what is bad for the human race.

General badness, if you’ll pardon my phrasing, is pretty obvious. Noticing that something is defective usually requires only the cooperation of the eyeballs.

But what is bad for the human race demands that we use wisdom while applying a sense of history.

So I will tell you right now, there are three things that are bad for human beings: anything that kills, steals or destroys.

I don’t care how high its quality may be or how much pedigree it may carry or whether we really enjoy it–it ultimately is bad.

That would include some things we deem to be good.

No one would consider it bad to be religious, but religion has certainly done its share of killing, stealing and destroying.

You would receive great criticism if you suggested that culture is a bad thing, but every day of the week culture is used as a motivation to kill, steal and destroy.

So what does it mean to:

  • Kill: Taking that which is living or is headed for life and terminating it.
  • Steal: Removing from someone’s possession a gift, attribute or portion that belongs to them.
  • Destroy: Eliminating something that has been accomplished and bringing it to nothing.

So I find bad things in religion, politics, entertainment and even in what we consider to be patriotism.

Bad often arrives with a promise of innovation and good quality–but it takes innovative people with a good quality outlook on life to identify the bad … before it kills, steals and destroys.

 

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Anger

dictionary with letter A

Anger: (n) : a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility.

I don’t think there’s anything that makes people more angry than discussing anger.

It is a bit comical that any debate on the subject of human displeasure, manifesting as spits of rage, actually produces such diametrically opposed opinions that you end up with a personification of the word you originally decided to discuss.

Anger is the most common emotion to human beings. Matter of fact, if you even consider those who claim to be “God in the flesh,” they are described as being angry more often than amiable.

But just because it’s common does not mean that we’re willing to accept it, adopt it, own it or admit that we participate. One of the great bastions of pride are those souls who insist they never get angry.

Let me give you a quick definition for anger which is a little different from Mr. Webster’s.

Very simply, anger is frustrated passion.

If it’s sexual passion and it’s not allowed to come to fruition, it can quickly become ferocious or even violent.

If it’s creative passion which is limited in resources or opportunities, it can descend into depression or even in the case of many unfulfilled artists, suicide.

If it is parental passion which is unable to communicate earth’s ways with its child, rendering the parent seemingly useless, it can quickly turn to tears and accusations.

Without passion, we basically die emotionally, causing us to produce a spiritual numbness that freezes our brain–without further illumination.

Yet when we have passion, we risk frustrating ourselves in a blandness of inactivity which can produce the anger of our undoing.

So what is the value of anger? It tells us that our passion is frustrated.

  • Don’t question the passion.
  • Don’t complain about the anger.
  • Minister to the frustration.

Maybe that’s why the Good Book says we should “be angry and sin not.” Because when the frustration that causes our anger is not addressed, every sin imaginable jumps up and volunteers to destroy us. 

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Alcove

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alcove: (n) a recess typically in the wall of a room or garden.

What an interesting definition. I always thought an alcove was more like a little chunk out of the mainland, where water creeps its way in, creating a still, calm environment.

Far be it from me to disagree with Mr. Webster–but since you have his definition, let me talk about mine.

I thought it was magical. Out on Hoover Lake, near Columbus, Ohio, there was this place. Maybe I’d better call it a spot. It was just an area of water near the shoreline, indented–about the size of two swimming pools–where we used to go fishing. We found it every time. After all, we thought it was magical.

There was a tree sticking up out of the lake, rocks along the shoreline, and the water was not terribly deep, so it was perfect for catching fish. I always believed it was kind of like a “resort area” for the little swimmers to go to–not suspecting there would be wise fishing souls like myself, to catch them on a hook.

I don’t really know if the fishing was better in that particular alcove. But I convinced myself it was. Matter of fact, I learned that the true magic in life is often in convincing yourself of something pretty good, so you can bring your heart and soul to the mission.

Catfish were in that alcove. I loved to catch ’em. I was a little squeamish about taking the hook out of their mouths because they have those barbs that can stick you. Often we used bread dough or a corn muffin as bait, because the catfish weren’t picky.

And it was easy to row over to the shoreline, get out of the boat, stretch your legs, take a good pee, and in just a minute, be back to the business of fishing.

I do remember being disappointed one afternoon when another boat came into our sacred turf. It felt defiling. How could it be special if other people discovered it?

But fortunately, they didn’t stay long. Completely missed out on the magic.

Isn’t that like life? One man’s alcove is another man’s disappointment.

So I apologize to Mr. Webster if I have misused the definition. But I’m afraid, considering my age, that I will continue to believe that my magical alcove on Hoover Lake is the vacation home of many a fishy possibility.

Accrue

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accrue: (v.) to be received by someone in regular or increasing amounts over time: e.g. financial benefits will accrue from restructuring.

THAT’S not the way the word’s used.

Sneaky, Mr. Webster! Trying to make us believe that the word “accrue” can be positive! WE know when the word “accrue” is used–it’s when we’re late on our credit card payment or our mortgage and we are warned that because of our tardiness, our account will accrue more interest.

“Accrue” is a THREAT.

It is a reminder that our temporary station of poverty is being downgraded with further poverty because we DARED to have some sort of ungodly lacking.

So in an ongoing attempt to remain an energizing force instead of a constant sapping off of the great American legacy, I suggest that we find ways to accrue interest … in ourselves. (You see the play on words? Not that it’s particularly clever, but it is sufficient for this twenty-four-hour period.)

How can I accrue interest from the world around me? Here are five really quick suggestions which will take you from being an ignored deduction to being a possible asset:

1. Stop complaining. Immediately that puts you in the upper percentile of the human family. You’ll get better tables at restaurants, better service at dry cleaners. Your family will start listening to you because there’s a possibility of something positive being said instead of abstract grumpiness.

2. Do what you say. Be careful with this one. Intelligence will demand that you speak less often so as not to have to back up your words. But once you have boldly made a proclamation, go ahead and put in the effort.

3. Stop thinking you’re better than anybody else. Even if you privately do hold these feelings, don’t publicly take out an ad on Craig’s List. When human beings are convinced that you are willing to be equal with them rather than superior, they are much more likely to cooperate–and much less likely to rob and kill you.

4. Don’t talk about politics or religion. It’s better to let your beliefs bear fruit and your political ideas prove out to be helpful to the surrounding problem.

5. And finally, keep growing. Don’t settle for your talent as it is. A certain amount of deterioration is inevitable in our earth span in order to confirm depreciation. If you’re not always moving forward and multiplying your abilities, you will gradually “deduct” in spite of your denials.

There you go. There are five ways to accrue interest without getting a phone call from a condescending telemarketer from India who mispronounces your name and threatens you with all sorts of penalties.

I was determined to turn “accrue” into a positive force of nature instead of a negative curse from financial institutions. I don’t know about you, but in the process of me accruing interest from the humans around me, I might just end up not having to accrue interest on delinquent accounts.

I’m not sure–but it’s worth a try.