Correlate

Correlate: (v) when two things affect or depend upon another

Déjà vu—that odd, often creepy sensation—that what we’re presently experiencing we have already encountered.

I have actually heard many explanations for this phenomenon, so let me tell you what I think one of the instigators may be for a déjà vu moment:

Every piece of the heart and soul inside us, loving us, tries to subliminally warn us that the place we’re in, the steps we are taking and the mood we’ve selected has been pursued before, and did not bring about much fruitfulness.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I believe one of the great gifts imparted to me as a human being is the instinct of knowing I’ve done this stupid thing before in some way, shape or form, and now would be a good time to bail out.

The present political situation seems very familiar to me. It doesn’t feel odd. Matter of fact, this is the third occasion in my lifetime when I’ve seen the United States temporarily go insane because half of the country was supporting someone the other half believed to be crooked.

Let me give you a correlation:

It would be similar to living in a house with a father and mother who campaigned to divide the affection of the children, causing brothers and sisters to be at war because they side with one parent over the other.

This is what we’re being asked to do today.

We were also asked to do this in the late 1990’s, with President Bill Clinton, and of course, in the early 1970’s, with President Richard Nixon.

If any of you out there lived through these experiences, you should allow your brain to give you a beautiful déjà vu, and begin to correlate, in your thinking, the similarities and traps—and thereby avoid being sucked into a war of insults and lies, and instead find your identity, maintain it, and laugh at the ridiculous fiasco.

Here are things that correlate: telling the truth, honesty, repentance and change

On the other hand: lying, cheating, denial and destruction.

Truth will always end up on top. It’s not because God is controlling the Universe and killing off all the liars. Rather, it’s because people like you and me begin to correlate and come to agreement. As painful as the truth may seem, it does free us from the need to defend dangerous lies.

Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace.

Bill Clinton is still regarded as a flirtatious womanizer.

Whoever continues to lie in our present circumstances in America will join these two in obscurity.


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Confidant

Confidant: (n) a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter

Sometimes my own body scares me.

I believe it’s strong–but there is a fragility standing in the wings which often threatens to take the stage.

I fight feeling useless. I’m not. I just have this unquenchable desire to be more valuable. Or is it just ego?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I grew up in a household of violence. I don’t want to erupt with rage over something that is truly insignificant.

Although I’ve tried to put lying in my past, it hangs around like a lazy brother who might soon need a loan.

I am fat. I can’t escape that–at least, not so far. How much does this hurt me with my fellow humans?

I’m proud of what I do, but don’t want to be too proud. Otherwise, I might think I’ve done enough.

I work on being color-blind, but every once in a while some coloration clouds my reasoning.

I believe men and women are equal. I really do. Even when men make me question that and a certain woman I may encounter tempts me to be a misogynist.

I’m not strong all the time.

I am not smart.

I am not well-educated.

I do not have a diploma to cover every situation.

I enjoy creativity but honestly, despise obscurity.

I don’t want to be famous. Just helpful.

I’m not as good as I think I am, but not as bad as I fear might be the case.

I share this with you in confidence.

Are you a good confidant?

 

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Chosen

Chosen: (adj) having been selected as the best or most appropriate.

Without spraying dark, sticky thoughts into the air, I must admit that if I knew what I know now, I might not have chosen to be born.

I don’t think I would have chosen Mary and Russell as my parents. Considering my youthful antics, they might not have chosen me.

I certainly would not have chosen to be raised in the Midwest of the United States during a season when prejudice, bigotry and self-righteousness were considered to be “American values.”

I wouldn’t have chosen to be fat. Even though some people try to gain their self-esteem while encased in blubber, the excess poundage does take its toll.

I don’t know exactly what I would have chosen–I mean, I could continue this list and probably offend everyone I know.

But I certainly would have chosen Jesus.

This is not because I’m a religious person. Matter of fact, I have been known to doze off immediately at the mention of prayer.

It’s the practicality.

It’s the humanity.

It’s the responsibility that Jesus of Nazareth placed on himself and his followers that lets me understand that he “gets it.”

He gets what it means to be a human being on this planet called Earth. I don’t know if his manifesto would work on other planets. I don’t know anything about habitation in other galaxies.

But Earth requires a certain payload to launch your rocket.

I’ve chosen that.

I fail at it, and as long as I realize it’s a failure on my part and not a master plot against my happiness, I’m usually just fine.

I don’t know what else specifically I would have chosen.

I would not have chosen a career as a writer, because criticism and obscurity are your only friends.

Would I have chosen to pen this essay? Probably not.

I got up in a rather relaxed, lazy mood, and your interest just didn’t interest me that much.

So I’ve chosen, at times, to persevere–even though the immediate benefit does not scream its worth.

 

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Census

Census: (n) an official count or survey of a population

Every census is shortly thereafter followed by a tax. This began with Caesar Augustus in the Christmas story and continues today.

We want to find out how many people there are so we have some idea on how we should divide up the horrific amount of expense that’s involved in the process of us being people.

It’s a fussy way of reminding small towns that they’re shrinking and becoming less important.

The government can also determine where to send its money, and where the census tells them there aren’t as many voters, so no need to be nice.

It begins at an early age, when you plan a party at your house. The following Monday morning, after the party, the normal question is, how many people showed up?

Did you do a head count? Was the party successful because people had nothing else to do so they came to it?

No one asks if the chip dip turned out tasty. What flavors of pizza did you select? Was the discussion lively?

No. It all has to do with numbers.

We are a society obsessed with proving the value of our concept by collecting statistics on how many people are aware that we had a concept in the first place. We fear obscurity.

Yet no one enters the tomb with a companion–no census in the grave.

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Brag

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Brag: (n) a boastful statement

“If you don’t toot your own horn, it won’t get tooted.”

This statement is often said in public, and even though most of us are uncomfortable with the “brassiness” of it, we usually let it go by without contradiction.Dictionary B

Actually, I toot my horn so others will tell me how good it is. I require that confirmation.

Does this make me needy? It certainly makes me aware that my own sense of appreciation of my ability has limited quality to my soul.

It’s risky.

Since everybody is tooting their own horn, will they have time to stop and enjoy my melody?

Will I be left in obscurity?

Will I be ignored in favor of other horns which blare louder?

Perhaps. But the problem with bragging is that eventually circumstances arise which demand that we back up what we have claimed. Our reputation is whether or not we can confirm our bragging. If we can’t fulfill what we claimed, we will be deemed liars.

Jesus told a wonderful parable about arriving at a banquet and making a decision not to sit at the head table.

Yes–even if you think you’re worthy of it–even if you were invited to sit there–don’t. Seat yourself with the other guests until your host notices you perched below, and in front of all the attendees, calls you up to a place of honor.

Yes, I like that.

I can avoid bragging by doing amazing work and being discovered by those who are looking for such excellence, who call me up…and blow my horn for me.

 

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Bereave

Bereave: (v) to be deprived of a loved oneDictionary B 

I’m a silly goose (even though I’m not quite sure why that bird got crippled with such a characterization).

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but often I will be sitting alone and suddenly be overwhelmed with the remorse that will be felt by those around me at my passing.

I don’t know why I feel the right to project on them such a breakdown–but tears come to my eyes as I imagine them weeping over my demise.

Honestly, I cannot say that I get nearly as worked up about considering the death of another.

No, it is the absence of me on the planet that bereaves me.

I can’t imagine an Earth without my charming personality.

I’m reluctant to write this article, but having a certain anonymity due to the expansiveness of the Internet and my own obscurity … I assume I am fairly safe in maintaining this secret devotion to my own mortality.

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Belief

Belief: (n) an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Dictionary B

“Stacks.”

It is a word connoting an accumulation of stuff.

It’s supposed to be impressive. Why? There is a lot of it and it appears well-organized.

The problem with “stacks” is that anything beneath the top page is buried in some form of obscurity. Unless you patiently sift through the material, you will never exactly know what is eighteen inches below or fifteen inches above.

I used to have a bunch of belief.

I stacked it all up and called it my faith.

I took my faith and proclaimed it my religion.

And my religion became my calling card–to quickly explain to others where I stacked up in the rank and file of humanity.

But I rarely used my beliefs because they were encumbered, one upon another, offering very little freedom of expression.

Belief should never be an encyclopedia of recited ideals.

It is better served as a one-page resume which quickly tells those who are considering our acquaintance how valuable we find our lives to be–the experience which has enhanced our journey … and expresses our willingness to work for the better of the company.

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Anyplace

dictionary with letter A

Anyplace: (adv) informal term for anywhere.

“I’m waiting for my big break.”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard that statement uttered in my presence, and even to this day, it appears to be the mantra of all the American souls attempting to break out of their perceived poverty, into riches, wealth and notoriety.

I have been guilty of thinking that there will be an occurrence, event or even divine intervention which would propel me from obscurity into prominence.

Of course, the first presumption is that I deserve such acclaim.

Then there is a second burst of arrogance, allowing me to accept the idea that I’m prepared for such a spotlight.

But at no time when I have slid into this self-piteous “waiting room” have I ever asked myself, “What can I do anyplace?”

In other words, if I’m not doing what I can do where I am at this present moment, how do I ever expect to have that talent multiplied into a larger field of view?

But we really think that you can go on The Voice, American Idol, or America’s Got Talent and intone your ability or manifest your gig, and that you should receive a large prize and immediate universal acceptance.

I will tell you–there would be nothing worse in life than performing in front of twelve million people on television, only to discover two months later that you can’t get a gig at your local Holiday Inn.

The power of paying your dues is that when you finally get to the point that you have achieved some status, you know exactly how you got there and you have some experience which might permit you to remain for a season.

  • Some people are teachers–until they run across students who don’t want to learn. Sorry, educators. You gotta be able to do it anyplace.
  • Some people are entertainers until they have an audience of seven people. Sorry, let me inform you. You’ve got to be able to do it anyplace.
  • Some people are loving until they get around the hateful sort. Once again … anyplace.

Even though we occasionally let somebody who’s unworthy slip through the fence and play in the backyard, generally speaking, we like to make sure they’ve been invited and come through the front door.

To put it simply, I am not anything unless at anytime I can do what I do anyplace.  

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Anti-hero

dictionary with letter A

Anti-hero (n): a central character in a story, movie, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes.

Is it an oxymoron or just redundant?

For after all, there are no true heroes who fit the criteria we normally assess to such an honor.

  • All heroes come from nowhere just in the nick of time.
  • They cannot be manufactured–though we have hammered away.
  • They cannot be educated, though classes continue to be held.
  • They cannot be ordained, though religious institutions anoint at will.
  • And they are not born heroes.

One of the greatest misconceptions in our culture is the notion that people are born any particular way. We are all birthed with the need to be born again–emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically–or else to be cast in the role of being mere understudies of our parents’ stage work.

No one would expect a scrawny attorney from Illinois to be the central figure for the emancipation of the black race and the maintaining of the union of our country.

No one could ever have anticipated that a young man who struggled with math would later convince us that E does equal MC squared.

Could anyone have foreseen that a gentleman of great promise who was struck with polio and was confined to a wheelchair would be elected president four times, guiding us through a national depression and a world war?

Looking at a string of poets, musicians, authors, statesmen, inventors and liberators, there is not one of them who was naturally inclined to greatness.

It is those we preen to be heroes who disappoint us and those who we have cursed to obscurity who end up astounding us.

After all, could anyone have thought that a refugee to Egypt, who grew up in a village of less than five hundred people, the son of a carpenter, would be proclaimed the light of the world?

 

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Achernar

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Achernar: (n.) the ninth brightest star in the sky, visible only in the southern hemisphere.

That’s me. Of the eight stars available, I am the ninth brightest.

But you see, here’s the power. Or maybe better phrased, here’s the solution: if you realize you’re the ninth brightest star, it’s a good idea not to get caught up in number envy.

No matter how hard you try to promote that idea, the natural question to those reading your advertising material would have to be: “Hmmm. I wonder where the other eight are…”

I think the key to the whole definition is this: if you’re the ninth brightest star, become important by finding your own southern hemisphere. OK. Maybe you’ll never make it to the northern hemisphere. Maybe you’re stuck below the equator, the Mason Dixon line, the belly button or just underneath the radar.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have light.

The ninth star does not look dim unless it hangs around trying to compete with Numbers Three and Four. Only stubbornness, pride and foolishness would make such a stupid choice.

Things that have “gone south” still need to be “lit up.” And if you’re the ninth brightest star, that’s your job.

I occasionally have people walk up (even though they don’t literally “walk up.” That’s just a phrase authors use to establish perspective) and they ask me, “Don’t you wish you could reach more people? Don’t you wish you were more famous? Don’t you wish …”

“Wishing” is for fairies and lamp rubbers. I stopped wishing a long time ago and now spend my time considering, planning and performing what I can do. Somewhere along the line you have to leave the rest up to time, chance and the whim of God.

So there are only two important things to remember if you’re the ninth brightest star:

  1. Find a darker place–where you look really bright.
  2. Enjoy what you have to bring instead of wishing you had more.

That’s it. If you do that, you can be like our friend, Achernar: you can do a job and have a really difficult name to pronounce …  to further guarantee your obscurity.