Courteous

Courteous: (adj) polite, respectful, or considerate in manner.

I do not want to be cynical, but I have given up on the concept of trying to call out mankind’s better nature.

My voice is hoarse, my throat is raspy, and my mind is boggled from the many attempts.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I think the approach needs to be different. Rather than trying to convince people that being courteous makes them excellent folk, what we should do is infuse into their awareness that being courteous keeps them from having to deal with bad shit.

For I will tell you—when you are self-centered and discourteous, you will inevitably offend someone and find yourself embroiled in an argument, feud or ongoing hassle.

These kinds of struggles take energy, time and close the door on the possibility of you being free of the interference of others because they offer their opinions openly about what an asshole you are.

Yes—take a moment and realize that being courteous is not the “noble path,” but rather, simply the opportunity to live a private, selfish life, where you don’t have to hear other folks explain to you why you should be more courteous.

So to sum it up in a nutshell:

Be nice

So you don’t have to pay the price

Of constantly being reminded of your vice.

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Corroding

Corroding: (v) to eat or wear away gradually as if by gnawing, especially by chemical action.

At one time I adopted (or maybe adapted) three extra sons into my household.

It was a inspiring feeling—the sensation of helping these kids out, but also the pride that came from doing something out of the box, which funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
other people “oohed and ahhed” over because of its nobility. (That’s who we are–a mixture of possibility mingled with ego.)

Well, back to my story.

I wanted to make sure the young fellows were comfortable, so in a fit of generosity, I decided to buy them little candy bars which I could hand out after meals as desserts. The candy wasn’t that expensive, and I knew they would look forward to having one after enduring the latest green bean surprise.

Here was the problem: every time I went into my pantry, there were fewer and fewer candy bars. It was not due to the fact that much time had passed, and many meals had corroded my supply.

No, I was being pilfered.

There was someone in the home who was taking more than his fair share of what I bought out of tender loving care.

It created two problems. First, there were fewer candy bars than there should be, and unless I purchased more, we would run out before the end of the week. Secondly, if I didn’t get to the bottom of who was copping the treats, I would buy more and inadvertently feed the addiction to both chocolate and deceit.

So even though I felt foolish, I realized that the greatest corrosion in the situation was the breaking of trust and allowing one or more of the young men to believe that taking what was not offered is acceptable, and not stealing.

It was painful.

I think the third degree went on to the fourth and fifth degree and the inquisition took at least four hours.

Finally, one of the young men broke down, in a reaction that landed somewhere between tearful and enraged over being trapped and admitted that he was the one who snatched the sweets. It was ugly. It is always ugly when something of value begins to corrode and it becomes necessary to trace where the attack is coming from.

But because the young man admitted he was the one, I was able to continue to buy candy bars, and trust that the other two fellows would watch him like a hawk—to protect their prize.Donate Button


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Cope

Cope: (v) to struggle or deal, especially on fairly even terms or with some degree of success

In an attempt to make ourselves look very noble, we end up creating scenarios which are often intolerable.

When the word “struggle” is introduced into the human mindset, the simplicity that life was intended to have is sacrificed to chase one little ball down the street because we fear there will never be another ball.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
It could be one of our greater weaknesses.

Matter of fact, we love to watch movies and documentaries about human beings who struggle with their life circumstances. We tear up because we realize how courageous their efforts might seem.

Yet, often the bravest thing you do in your life is to stop struggling and find a place where you can rest your soul, and cope better.

Yes. It’s not so much “coping with” as it is “coping better.” To do so, you may find yourself needing to abandon foolish adventures which have already slapped you in the face so many times with disappointment that you’re nearly silly.

Life is not meant to be tough.

It sometimes appears that way because it isn’t fair. But when it isn’t fair, it doesn’t do any good to hang around and try to tear down the wall.

Instead, walk awhile–until you find a door or a window.


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Clout

Clout: (n) influence or power

Liars talk too much.

It’s one of the sure ways to pick ’em out. Rather than just stating the facts or presenting the situation, they feel the need to emphasize some
aspect of their story to further impress you with its validity.

That’s always been my problem with the word “clout.”

How much more reinforcement is necessary for a good idea?

How many times do we need to recite our accomplishments before we understand that nobody cares?

How often will we find ourselves stumbling over words because we are not yet convinced that the room has been swayed by our argument?

Does a nation have clout because it has a big army? (Candidly, the nations which have had big armies throughout history are no longer around.)

Do a people have credence because of their faith in God or their morality? If that were the case, the Puritans would still be very popular instead of deemed assholes for killing little girls as witches.

Does a woman gain clout by convincing everybody that she’s just as good as a man, when being a man may not be good enough?

How many characters do we need to introduce to develop the plot?

How many promises should be secured before we decide to move out and attempt a noble deed?

When I was in my thirties, a very prosperous music producer told me that I had no future because I didn’t carry enough clout. I looked him in the eyes and said, “I decided a long time ago not to carry anything I didn’t need.”

We don’t need clout. Actually, it warns of insecurity, pomposity and arrogance.

If I believe I am the best at anything, I need to leave my house more often.

If I think that God favors me because of my numerous religious inclinations, it may be necessary for me to encounter those human beings who scrape together fifty cents, knowing they need sixty cents to survive.

If you want to legitimize the word “clout,” then here is a better definition:

Clout is when I have the humility to realize I don’t really matter, so if I want to keep from being invisible, I should open up my heart and do what I can for the human race.

 

 

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Clod

Clod: (n) a stupid person

A novel, noble notion just came to my brain. If I could turn it into a lifestyle choice, I might just transform myself a decent human being.

No promises.

What if I could tell myself that I will not criticize, condemn, mock or marginalize any other person who is doing something that I have–at least once–done myself?

Can you imagine that?

Can you comprehend how much ammunition I would remove from my “judgment gun?”

For I will tell you for certain: I have been a clod.

I have been a stumbling, bumbling sweaty mess of gelatin, trying desperately to impress, as I proceeded to diminish any confirmation that I had a brain in my head.

I fumbled.

I bumbled.

I said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and failed to do what was right to the right person.

I have been a clod.

I have been a stranger in a strange land, and that land was “Intelligence.”

I am clumsy–often without excuse, still feeling the need to make one.

If I could just learn that such weakness is much more acceptable if I do not treat others differently than I want to be treated myself.

For you being a clod is no different from me being a clod, which is absolutely the same thing as “clod-dom” everywhere.

Yes, if I would just stop condemning those who have done what I have also done, I would lighten my emotional workload by at least a ton–every single day.

 

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Autobiography

Autobiography: (n) an account of a person’s life written by that person.

Every one of us exaggerates our toleration.dictionary with letter A

In an attempt to come off open-minded, generous or even willing, we put forth the idea that we are much more free in our thinking than we actually are.

This is true of autobiographies.

If I were to be honest, I would have to tell you that any sentence that begins with “I” which does not contain some shape or form of self-deprecation will be viewed by the listener or the reader as vain.

Even “I went to the store” reeks of self-involvement or threatens the inception of a boring tale.

I don’t know how the autobiography got started–because unless you’re confessing your sins, shortcomings or warning others of the dangers of poorly pursued habits, books that begin with “I” always end up feeling like a poke in the eye.

Matter of fact, I have begun to ration the number of times I allow myself to use the words “I” or “me.”

It’s not because I’m noble. It’s because there is no possibility that anyone else will find my “I” storyline nearly as fascinating as I conceived it.

But if you do not write your autobiography, you’re at the mercy of someone in the future who actually finds you interesting enough to pen a biography concerning your life and deeds.

That could be risky. After all, maybe after you’re dead, your rendition of life may not be nearly as interesting as you thought it was. And a neutral party may choose to be a bit more clinical than you.

But still, all in all, it’s much safer to stay away from “I” when it comes to reciting your deeds. Because even though we insist that confidence is a good thing, it really is more like the three wishes from the genie in the bottle:

Choose and use wisely.

 

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Archive

dictionary with letter A

Archive: (n) a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.

Making memories.

Just yesterday someone was extolling the beauty of such an endeavor.

It seems noble–to “archive away” the blessings of our lives, to be retrieved at various intervals to enrich our thinking and stimulate our warmth.

During the holiday season, I find myself in the presence of family. Even though I realize the word “family” is a noun by the laws of grammar, in many ways it is a verb–either past or present-tense.

For the danger, as we well know, in getting together with those who were raised in the same house, and who even share genetic material, is that the conversations will drift back to former times instead of truly enjoying the moment or even dreaming of great ideals.

It’s just not for me.

So to balance this out:

  • I must be willing to cease to be someone’s dad in order to press forward and become their friend.
  • They must be willing to abandon obligatory reverence or even some fearful flashbacks, to acquire the tenderness of a “new-wine relationship.”

It takes great maturity to be childlike in our faith. Without that maturity we all have a tendency to remain childish.

I don’t think I would make a very good archivist. I would understand the concept, but I think my mind would push towards making new inroads instead of visiting the museum of my past.

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Anschluss

dictionary with letter A

Anschluss: (v) the annexation of Austria by Germany

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if somebody had caught little Jack before he became the Ripper, and told the lad never to play with knives?

Or maybe if there had been somebody in the house of little Johnny of the Booth clan, saying that black people aren’t really meant to be slaves?

It would have been nice if someone would have caught Jeffrey Dahmer yelling at a cat and mistreating one before he went on a killing rampage.

There are moments reserved for the brave.

They happen to all of us.

Yes, each and every one of us have “crazies” in our lives.

For instance, several people were responsible for Adolph Hitler–and because they didn’t want to interfere or be judgmental, they decided to let him proceed in his growing insanity.

It would have been wonderful if the British and the Americans would have made a big deal over Hitler annexing this little piece of Austria. Why? Because Hitler wasn’t ready for war at that point.

He thought he was. But what created his war machine was the confidence that grew in his troops as they conquered Europe.

Yes, by the time he got to annexing France, he became nearly unbeatable.

I thought about this a lot when I was a father, raising my children. Sometimes I was tired and it was easier not to make the object lesson, calling out bad behavior. Matter of fact, sometimes it seemed noble to “let one slide.”

But I rarely did.

Because facts are … the little confrontation you have today always eliminates the war which could rage later.

 

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Annuity

dictionary with letter A

Annuity: (n) a fixed sum of money paid to someone each year, typically for the rest of his or her life.

In my saner moments–in other words, when I’m more sane–I actually come to conclusions that are factual instead of impudent.

Because when I read the definition of “annuity,” I thought how wonderful it would be to have somebody who would present me with a check on January 1st which would cover my expenses and frivolous notions for an entire calendar year.

Trying to be noble, I would say that this would make me more productive because the fear of financial failure would be lifted from my shoulders.

But then candor enters my tattered soul and I have to admit that this would make me nothing but lazy.

  • After all, without a bit of uncertainty, I don’t work as hard.
  • Without a tinge of peril to my health, I might stop eating vegetables.
  • Without some insecurity about my love relationships, I might doze off on my commitments and cease to be interactive with the kind souls around me.

Yes, even though I don’t want to admit it, I am a better human being because things are occasionally screwed up. Not only are they defiled by my efforts, but many of them are ruined by my friends, associates and just flukes of nature.

I become more proficient and appreciative because I have to adjust and correct errors. Sometimes jubilance comes to my heart because I have miraculously figured out how to make ten dollars work like twelve.

Without this, I become a “kept man,” a prisoner to the generosity of others instead of the beneficiary of my own talent.

So even though I am not so virtuous as to turn down such an annuity if it was offered to me (hint, hint) I am fully prepared on this lovely day, to concede … that I am better off without it. 

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Andersonville

dictionary with letter A

Andersonville: (n) a village in southwestern Georgia that was the site of a large and infamous Confederate prison camp during the Civil War.

The Civil War was our holocaust.

Actually, little will be achieved in this country until we universally accept this statement as true.

The Civil War is when we took a race of people, segregated them, mistreated them and then ended up fighting a war which included in its pursuits the decision to continue that same practice indiscriminately.

We murdered, created new weapons to increase the casualties and took brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers and placed them at odds with each other, continually making a “Sophie’s Choice” within the boundaries of households.

  • It was horrific.
  • It was unnecessary.
  • It was short-sighted.

And when you add in the treatment given to fellow-Americans as prisoners of war–on both sides–you have almost an identical parallel to many of the atrocities that were perpetuated in Nazi Germany.

It is our humiliation.

It is a war we should study because we need to make sure that in our present dealings, that none of the ignorance that brought about the massacre and slaughter can be welcomed again.

We need to put away all the trumpets, banners and paraphernalia from that conflict into a trunk and bury it in the ground with a ceremony of repentance.

There is nothing from that period of time that is worthy of our praise, let alone our consideration.

I admire the German people because they look on the horror of their own recent history and refuse to repeat it–by making sure the only reference to it is an apology.

To live in a country that still refers to “Yankees and “Rebs,” “North and South,” “Union and Confederate” with a sense of regional pride is an abomination to our belief in all men being created equal.

The Andersonville prison was a location where the anger, frustration and evil that had been perpetuated for three centuries was brought to bear and turned into a living hell.

But the Civil War was not noble.

It was not good.

It was not brave.

It is our holocaust–and because it is, we should reverence those who suffered and pledge to never repeat such foolish iniquity again.

 

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