Cheerful

Cheerful: (adj) noticeably happy and optimistic

At least a dozen times this week, I’ve heard the sentiment expressed.

Sometimes it is phrased, “It’s the least I could do.”

On another occasion it was uttered, “Well, at least you could…”

Since the human race is lazy, somewhat disconnected and suffers from being lost in oblivion, let us discuss what is “our least.” What is the bare minimum that we
need to bring to this journey to make it enjoyable for us and tolerable for those who surround?

  1. Listen until you’ve heard before you speak.

We spend too much time thinking we know what people are going to say and leaping in with our opinions. Wait for a period. How about this? Wait for them to take a breath before you advance your insight or objection.

  1. If you’re in a bad mood, show up quiet.

A complainer can silence a room of praisers. You may think what you feel is important, but if you wait a few minutes, the energy of others just might lift your spirits.

  1. If you are feeling cheerful, don’t be obnoxious.

Folks have aches, pains, fears, and maybe even bad news they are carrying. Give them a chance to recuperate from their damage.

  1. And finally, sustain.

What you’ve set out to do, what you’ve decided to feel and the way you wish to live–carry it through to at least the end of one day.

There’s a power in being cheerful, and that power is that it unleashes the possibility of problems being solved instead of merely debated.

 

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

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Checkmate

Checkmate: (n) in chess, a check from which a king cannot escape.

Rudy was not rude–but he was very stubborn, especially when it came to chess.

He loved the game and had practiced it since he was a boy of five, and now, at sixteen years of age, he was anxious to take on all comers. He loved to obliterate the competition, bragging about how few moves it took him to conquer.

He was certainly obnoxious.

He was so bratty that everybody wanted to play chess with him just to pull him down a peg or two from his glory perch in the sky.

Everybody but me.

I had learned to play chess when I was very young, but never liked the game that much. Even though I realized stating that aloud made the smug and the pseudo-intellectuals believe that I was stupid, I still found chess to be slow and over-rated.

So I had no intention of playing the game with Rudy the Rude. (I changed my mind. He was rude.)

This frustrated him and caused him to put out vendetta after vendetta, and eventually he told me that if I could beat him, he would give me five dollars and if he won, I would owe him nothing.

I thought it was time to risk my ego for the possibility of remuneration.

Call it what you will–an alignment of the stars, a lucky few moves, Rudy losing concentration, or maybe me just being better at the game than I thought I was–well, I beat him.

Checkmate.

He went ballistic. He was so angry that he nearly accused me of cheating–except that our little match had gained an audience of about twelve people, so there were witnesses.

He reached into his wallet, handed me five dollars, and screamed, “Double or nothing!”

Now, let me tell you that I possess many vices. For instance, I’m obese. I’m kind of lazy. I need to work on my consideration, like every son of Adam. But I am not bone-dead stupid.

Possessing the Golden Ring, it is not a good idea to go to a pawn shop and hock it. I wasn’t about to give Rudy another opportunity.

I think it nearly drove him crazy–because every time he began to discuss his God-given ability with knights, kings and rooks–there was always somebody who had been at the great match, and was prepared to remind him of his Waterloo.

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Chalice

Chalice: (n) a large cup or goblet

Every once in a while, I fancy myself a flitting twit of noble extraction who was accidentally birthed in Central Ohio due to a curse of a witch
with an axe to grind.

This doesn’t happen very often or my communiques would be coming from a sanitarium.

But there is a nasty part of my soul that wants to be superior.

I want to be a king instead of a serf.

I want to drink out of a chalice instead of a cup.

I want to have whole cooked birds placed in front of me so I can peruse where to dive in to the crunchy brown skin and begin to gorge myself.

I want to have the fanciest car in the parking lot.

I want to have an outfit that someone recognizes as an “original” from Italy.

I want to be viewed as a “cut above”–the rib-eye, soft and moist, near the heart of the beast.

I desire that the focus be placed upon me and all spotlights trained in my direction.

I find myself in a twist of obnoxious pretense, grabbing my chalice, bedecked with jewels, and sipping wine that was pressed only by the feet of virgin maidens.

I want to be special.

I want to be revered.

I want my glorious chalice of appreciation.

And then…

My friend walks in the door and tells me I have my shirt on backwards.

I realize God has placed me where I need be.

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Cadre

Cadre: (n) a small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession.

“I’ve gotta be me.”

It’s a sentiment I’ve never found particularly worthy of my attention. I’ve never been so certain of myself that I did not yearn to have the
fellowship and input of others.

I have found that the word “solo” is a great synonym for “alone.” I don’t like to be alone.

I don’t need other folks to make me feel valuable, or to surround me with a sense of inclusion. It’s just divinely remarkable to encounter individuals who share common anything with one another.

  • Common taste.
  • Common talent.
  • Common faith.
  • Common appetites.
  • Or even common foibles.

Human beings were never intended to be perfect and can be quite obnoxious when pursuing it. We’re at our best when we hang around with each other, admit our weaknesses and garner energy off the cadre of souls huddled in our corner.

When I have attempted to be autonomous, it was like I found myself standing naked in a room full of doctors. It was inevitable they would find something wrong with me.

Am I hiding? Perhaps.

Am I weak? Most certainly.

Am I benefitting from interaction with others?

Always.

 

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Bravado

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Bravado: (n) a show of boldness intended to impress

After some consideration, using the intelligence I have available, I’ve decided that the word “bravado” really has no context unless modified by the adjective “false.”Dictionary B

Although I believe a certain amount of confidence is necessary to pursue our activities, it must always be saturated in the humility of knowing that the possibility of error is looming.

Bravado is the sensation that by simply bullying the available space around us with our superiority and all-knowing attitude, we gain the attention that will grant us the opportunity to dominate.

But just as in the cartoon, the little fish swallows the guppy and is then eaten by the bigger fish, who goes along for a second or two, and then is consumed by a yet larger member of the watery world, only to have him ultimately swallowed by the whale–such is the destiny of all bravado.

We may screech and scream our prowess–only to be overtaken by one who is more adept at screeching and screaming.

What is the correct profile to maintain an efficient amount of self-esteem?

  1. Find what you can do
  2. Practice it until you can do it in the dark
  3. Look for your opportunity to do it
  4. Be extremely grateful for any appreciation and praise you receive.

In my opinion, this is the definition, full extent and boundary which keeps bravado from becoming … totally obnoxious.

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Blush

Blush: (v) to develop a pink tinge in the face from embarrassment or shame.

Dictionary B

Removing one misconception from the stacked-up views of a human being may temporarily topple the tower but will make the rebuilding more sturdy.

We are full of misconceptions.

Matter of fact, we feel compelled to lie to one another so as to remove all sense of embarrassment, shame or inadequacy.

So the singer who is loud and boisterous is never told that he’s off-pitch.

The beauty queen who is painted to excess to gain approval is never informed of how obnoxious she is.

And the politician is never surrounded by those who will truly ask the right questions.

We are afraid of embarrassment.

We are frightened that our weaknesses will surface, so we smother self-awareness under an ocean of flattery.

Sometimes I need to blush.

  • I need to realize I have said something inappropriate.
  • I have fallen short of expectation.
  • I am a bow-tie worn with a jogging suit.

It’s good for me.

It literally puts some color in my cheeks. 

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Bawl

Bawl: (v) to weep or cry noisily.Dictionary B

While I’m waiting for the good rendition of myself to arrive, I’ve decided to work with what is available.

Honestly, it’s the only way to keep from becoming defensive or offensive.

Because if you contend that you’re good, there are folks who will be glad to point out your over-estimation.

And if you walk around all the time looking for an altar of repentance, you will become an obnoxious victim.

I understand the importance of laughing, but I also must tell you the value of crying.

The difficulty I’ve encountered in the process of sprouting tears is that I generally do so in self-pity.

I cry, but more often than not, it’s for me.

So when it comes to forms of remorse like mourning and bawling, I must admit that I don’t even come close to these rather precious emotions unless I’m considering my own demise, how badly I’ve been cheated by others or the fact that traffic on the freeway dared to back up and inconvenience me.

Rather than purge myself of this inadequacy, I choose to treasure the moments when concern, compassion and gentleness towards others touched my heart.

I have probably bawled five times in my life.

Two of those times would have been over some lady who decided I was no longer needed.

Another time would have been the death of my son.

On another occasion, it would have been over-thinking my own mortality.

But there was that one time–that one amazing moment–when the heart of God entered my chest and made me feel what He feels when He sees his suffering children.

I will never forget it.

I yearn for it to happen again.

But it was a transcendent passage … when I stepped out of myself and saw the real need.

 

 

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