Contortion

Contortion: (n) something twisted

“That should be okay.”

It’s probably one of the more common phrases used in everyday life. After we’ve put effort into a project, we reach a point when it seems that nothing is improving—it isn’t getting better. Yet we have achieved a certain status that can be passed off as normal.

It is what we might refer to as a compromise, but often becomes a contortion.

After awhile, we don’t know what the original concept was because we have settled in to what has been determined to be an adequate variance.

There is certainly a difference between true morality and what is easier to achieve.

We all would agree, there is a uniqueness to truth which cannot be acquired by producing a “spin.”

Once we convince ourselves that something is not humanly possible, we can then take any contortion that’s handy and rename it “average.”

If we object to this process or stomp our feet and hold our breath and demand some form of excellence, we risk being ostracized, or worse, considered intolerant.

Yet there is a standard. It has been established through time, error and correction.

If you develop your own contortion to the standard, you attempt what your predecessors gambled, doing the same thing, suffering. 


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Bizarre

Bizarre: (adj) very strange or unusual

Dictionary B

The pursuit of normal has grown to abnormal proportions.

It is more than a mindset–it is a deep, ingrained fear that the slightest step from the prepared pathway will bring ridicule or destruction.

This has brought our society to an unnecessary impasse. We’ve divided into two unseemly camps–unseemly in the sense that neither gathering has acquired the high road.

There are those who believe that anything that cannot be lifted up in righteous glory from the King James Version needs to be extracted from our country, out of a fear of heavenly judgment.

Then there are those who are so uncertain where to place the lines that they’ve removed all the grid and assumed that everything is all right as long as it makes someone happy.

So we have no definition for right and wrong, just a judgment of what is wrong and a free pass on what is right.

What is bizarre?

I think anything that kills human beings is bizarre.

I would venture to say that stealing our life force and joy is also bizarre.

And certainly, it is bizarre when we set about to destroy ourselves or other people through gossip and vapid hatred.

If we could determine what is truly bizarre and agree upon the parameters, we could begin to progress and surprise ourselves at how happy we actually can be.

But until then, there will be two camps warmed by two very different fires.

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Andersen, Hans Christian

dictionary with letter A

Andersen, Hans Christian (1805-75): Danish author noted for his fairy tales, such as “The Snow Queen,” “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Little Match Girl.”

I ferociously attempt not to become cynical.

Matter of fact, I consider cynicism to be one of the more dangerous vices in the human nuclear arsenal of available missiles.

But at the same time, I grow weary of ideas that appear to be optimistic but really are pandering to an ongoing philosophy: “normal is the best.”

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the work of Andersen with “The Ugly Duckling.”

I don’t think we understand the message of this particular tale. What is communicated to me is that a little bird who appears to be an ugly duckling has to hang on through its grotesque phase, because in the end, the bird will end up in the “Kingdom of Normal”–as beautiful, evolving into a swan.

Is this really what we want to communicate? What if you are just an ugly duck? What if you aren’t an emerging swan?

What if you just plopped out of your mother with an incurable dose of homely? Is there room for an ugly duckling who doesn’t become a swan–to still gain acceptance, or even prosperity?

I know my man Hans thought he was being generous of spirit by portraying that those who were less fortunate or not well-endowed should persevere to someday gain place in our society.

But the place he promised them was beauty. We don’t all end up beautiful! There is a whole majority of the human race that has to learn to become functionally ugly.

  • They will never be airbrushed.
  • They will never be gorgeous.
  • They will not achieve stunning.
  • And they certainly don’t become swans.

So understanding that Mr. Hans was trying to bring honor to the Andersen family by putting forth a positive message, it ends up not being very Christian.

Here’s the truth:

Sometimes ugly ducklings stay ugly and only gain beauty and value … through determination.

 

 

 

 

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Adrift

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adrift: (adj) 1. of a boat or its passengers, floating without being either moored or steered. 2. Of a person, being lost or confused.

You see, I think we have a quandary. We have to learn how three words are quite different:

  • Uncaring
  • Bohemian
  • And peaceful

When I graduated from high school, I didn’t want to be normal. I had studied “normal” through twelve years of the educational system. Now, I was not critical of it. Those who found it appealing were not my enemies, but I did not get in line to take my number, waiting to be “the next one served.”

I found myself adrift. Those around me believed I was uncaring.

Not knowing what to do, I basically chose to do very little. Truthfully, I didn’t do enough to survive–at least, financially. The critics rolled in their opinions. Family was enraged. Friends deserted me.

I was on my boat and decided to float for a while instead of feverishly paddling or hooking some sort of motor up to my life so I could troll the waters of existing social acceptability.

I knew what I liked. I liked music, I liked performing and I liked writing. Was I good? Honestly, it was difficult to find out because I was always dodging the bullets of my pistol-packing townsmen, who were determined to “gun down” my laziness and put me back into submission with the grown-up way of thinking.

Yet I resisted.

Because I didn’t paddle and try to resist the tides and currents, I bumped into a lot of things, did some damage and appeared to those around me to be Bohemian.

“Adrift,” by definition, connotes a loss of control. But you see, I believe the GREATEST loss of control was giving it to someone else, who held my life as a timecard and asked me to punch in for permission to eat and breathe.

It took me about eight years to finally blend my motivation, talent, purpose and opportunities together, to come up with a lifestyle which was acceptable to those around me because it possessed some sort of pay stub.

I never resented those eight years that I was adrift. They were painful, often stupid, frightening, lonely and occasionally enlightening. They gave me the determination I needed to set a course and right my ship in a direction to follow my dreams instead of toe the line.

So even though “adrift” may seem to be a negative posture for any vessel, be it nautical OR human, for me, it was an oxymoron: a meaningful aimless quest.