Committee

Committee: (n) a group of people appointed for a specific function

As the years have passed, I have selected to remain silent when hearing ideas which are doomed.

When younger, I often voiced my opinion and even offered prophetic utterances of the gigantic failure which lay in the future of these ideas. It made me a nasty bastard, especially when the words ended up being true.

There are things people get excited about.

Voting–even though we continue to discover that the American public can vote for a candidate and prefer that individual by the popular vote, and a handful of elitists will go into a back room and change the will of the people.

Some folks get excited over new discoveries–an ingenious, creative way to use your toilet paper.

And truthfully, many, many of my fellow-delightful-humans are completely enamored with the idea of committees.

It seems so right: “Why don’t we all get together, discuss this and come up with a suitable compromise?”

I have perched myself in committees. I have watched them–and often been the victim of their anemic passivity.

Because after all, what a committee does is trim the edges off a knife until it looks sleek, is safer, but won’t cut a goddamn thing.

That’s what discussion does. We decide to become inclusive of every opinion, when honest to God, sometimes our opinions don’t matter.

Having a committee to discuss gender bias, racism, personal freedom–and voting, for that matter–is absolutely useless.

But yet:

We learn Parliamentary Procedure.

So we can have our committee.

And obviously pretend that we live in England.

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Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Changeable

Changeable: (adj) able to change or be changed.

It had all the appearance of being an official meeting.

Everyone was sitting around the table acting adult, and we were following Parliamentary procedure, which made us feel like “big kids.”

A gentleman spoke up and said, “Of course, no one likes change.”

Nearly everyone in the room nodded in agreement. Well, actually everybody but me.

You see, here’s what I have learned. If you work on an asparagus farm, it’s a good idea not to complain about the asparagus. And if you’re going to live on Planet Earth, which is in a constant flux of change, it’s a really good mental health move to stop bitching about transition.

Change is not inevitable–change is essential.

Change is the possibility of carrying the garbage out the door.

Change is being forced to consider the bottom line instead of just falling on your ass.

Change is when the Mother Nature, God, common sense, chaos and love meet together and agree, by some miracle, what direction to head.

Trying to appear “set in your ways” only beckons the concrete removers to come and chisel you out of your opinion.

What should our attitude be? What does it mean to be changeable?

Changeable is knowing that things will change–and if we get ahead of the process, we might actually have the privilege of determining some of the outcome.

 

 

 

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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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Booze

Booze: (n) alcohol, especially hard liquor.

“A small piece of cake.”Dictionary B

Being an obese man for most of my life, I have used that phrase over and over again.

When offered the confection at a wedding or a birthday party, in order to communicate to those around me that I am in total control of my appetites, I ask for a small piece of cake.

Then I usually follow the cutter over and watch carefully, whispering in their ear, “Just a little more than that.”

Why? Because I don’t want a small piece of cake, but can’t admit it openly without appearing to be “Gluttonous Maximus.”

I laugh at myself.

It’s the same tickle I get in my soul when I realize that the young folks around me who talk about “a glass of wine with dinner” or “a beer with pizza” are often finding themselves moving on to a cocktail, an evening of drinking and eventually, just having to admit they love their booze.

Since alcohol is not particularly tasty, and normally used for cuts and bruises, the motivation for drinking it is at least an acquired sensibility–an agreement to tolerate the swill to achieve a sensation.

Now, I have to admit that I am a tee-totaler, so my opinion has to be viewed as obsessed with prejudice.

But it is astounding that the difference between “a glass of wine with dinner” and “booze” can simply be the time we have on our hands, our perception of our problems, or whether some friend is willing to sit down…and get sloshed with us. 

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Betterment

Betterment: (n) the act or process of improving something.

I spend a lot of time considering the difference between the words “satisfied” and “content.”Dictionary B

Although I am sure others could come along with much better analysis of the situation, I believe the true way to live a full and abundant life is to be content while you pursue better ways to be satisfied.

If I’m going to wait for others to point out my weaknesses, my lacking will be so obvious that I more than likely will be overwhelmed with the option to improve–or worse, offended that these critics have challenged my holy turf.

That’s why I hired Jack-o.

Jack-o is my invisible friend who comes along with me on my journey to remind me of better ways to do things when I start compromising or settling for mediocre choices.

I make sure that Jack-o is fairly nice–even comical–so my feelings don’t get hurt. But he is there, poking me in the side, telling me that the second mile is ahead, and is only 5,280 feet away.

He wants my betterment.

He keeps me from being subject to the microscope of those who would love to disembowel my efforts.

He is my best friend.

And even though he occasionally arrives with an opinion when I am tired or frustrated, I am still grateful for the input … and benefitted by the counsel.

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Beef

Beef: (n) the flesh of a cow, bull, or ox, used as food.Dictionary B

It’s always a battle over three distinctly different approaches:

  • What I know
  • What I think
  • What ends up being true

Actually, most of us don’t know much of anything for certain. What we claim to know is usually an advanced stage of belief. In other words, people will tell you they know there’s a heaven, but that’s because they believe it very strongly.

Knowing is tough. Yet if we act like we don’t know, people accuse us of being dumb. So often, we insist we know without really knowing.

Which brings us to think.

Think is a dangerous combination of prejudice, upbringing and bad experience which we have equated with certainty as being valid. Of course, it can be good experience which leaves us idealistic.

But here’s the kicker: most people blend what they think and what they know and call it truth.

That’s why we fight all the time. Because what you think and know is not what I think and know.

So we have to be extremely humble about what we know, and mighty careful about what we think. Otherwise we will soon miss what ends up being true.

Thus…beef.

From year to year, the opinion on beef has gone from being an excellent source of protein to a murderer of the human heart.

If you bring the subject up, some folks will tell you they’re vegetarians because they want to be healthy, and other folks will never eat a vegetable unless steak has become one.

So once again, we’re stuck on this “think” and “know”–in danger of failing to find out what is true.

Beef is actually no different from prunes. You know the old saying about prunes: Are two enough? Are six too many?

Because if you eat just the right number of prunes, you will have happy times in the bathroom. If you eat too many, you will experience frequent toilet miles.

The same is true with beef.

Eat it every once in a while, and it is an immense builder of protein and strength for your body.

Eat too much beef and it turns into all sorts of heartfelt problems.

So take the time to be careful about what you know. And always be cautious to preface what you think with those glorious words, “In my opinion…”

Because truth eventually stumbles along. And the truth of the matter is, beef is like everything else:

It’s good until it becomes bad.

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