Crackpot

Crackpot: (n) a person who is eccentric, unrealistic, or fanatical.

 So what is a crackpot?

It may not be a word we use much nowadays. We favor asshole. But asshole has too broad a beam to it (pardon the expression).

A crackpot is something specific. A crackpot is a person who may start out well-intentioned but ends up ridiculous because he or she always makes the same mistake.

Crackpots leave out a step.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

For instance, it’s easy to find crackpots in religion. Many start out with a common theme: God created us. It’s a good beginning. But then they jump ahead to crazy notions:

God only loves us.

God wants us only concerned with worship.

God wants us to preach vigorously against sin.

God wants us to keep heaven on our mind.

God wants us to fight for Him.

They leave out the middle steps which justify our faith. For instance:

God created us all—and then here comes life.

You see? There’s a lot of living before we get about the business of dying. There’s a lot of living that needs to be done in peace and joy before we stand face-to-face in an afterlife of eternal glow.

The same thing is true in politics:

Our country needs to have its problems solved, says the politician. Well, it would be difficult to disagree with that. What makes these politicians crackpots is that they skip plans, responsibilities, taxes and timelines—and they jump straight ahead to attack their political enemies, blame other countries or try to load down great legislation with too many programs—and this brings everything to a screeching halt.

In business: “We are out to make a good product…” Then the crackpots of industry leap ahead to this statement: “…and more importantly, make a huge profit.”

Somewhere between the product and the profit there needs to be a happy consumer, a well-cared-for work force and balanced books.

A crackpot is someone who starts out with a good idea and skips all the work it takes to achieve solvency, assuming that the reward should be enjoyed right here and right now. 

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Comport

Comport: (v) to conduct oneself; behave.

In an attempt to avoid being considered assholes, we have gradually deteriorated the quality of character in almost every profession in our country.

By no means do I want to come across as a prig, and certainly not self-righteous, but it does occur to me that without some guidelines on howfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C we should comport ourselves–conduct our affairs–in the everyday world, we will start settling for less…until we have none.

For instance:

If you’re going to be a teacher, you should comport yourself by being willing to listen to things that sometimes may seem ridiculous.

If you’re a father, you should choose strength by respecting the equality you have with the women around you.

If you’re a preacher, you should comport yourself by being a student of humility.

If you’re a banker, you should reluctantly refuse loans and joyfully and gratefully accept deposits.

If you’re a politician, you should comport yourself by rejecting the erroneous concept that dishonesty is necessary to propel good ideas.

If you’re a writer, you should be an encourager.

If you’re a musician, you should uplift.

If you’re a laborer, you should believe that your work will endure.

If you are a believer in God, you should make God believable through the life you live.

If you’re an atheist, make sure you bring something to the table of caring humanism.

It is not necessary for us to judge one another.

But it is certainly required that we set standards on how we comport ourselves when we’re given the humbling opportunity of serving others.

 

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Cobbler

Cobbler: (n) a person who mends shoes as a job

Some jobs by their nature are just flat-out annoying.

Honestly, I’d rather be a garbage collector than a politician. A politician has to interrupt the lives of people to get a vote–never thoroughly making them glad for the intrusion.

On the other hand, a garbage man arrives at your house and hauls away your stinky-poo without irritating the hell out of you.

That’s why I would like to be a cobbler. (I’m not actually thinking of changing employment–just aware that the occupation would certainly offer skill to produce blessing.)

I don’t think I would like to be a haberdasher–because even though you may make a beautiful hat for someone, once they put it on their head, unless they pass by a mirror, they soon forget the nobility of your efforts.

But a cobbler takes a pair of shoes that you really like–so much that you want to get them fixed instead of giving them away to Goodwill–and then restores them to a state of newness. You put them on your feet and they feel so good. You look down and you admire them, and you’re so proud of your choice to repair instead of repel.

So every time you see your cobbler, you say, “Thank you so much, and my toes add a double-amen.”

You may not even recognize your haberdasher–the cat who made the hat.

Your sight of your politician may generate a scowl on your face, which you are unable to remove until the next time you view ice cream.

But your garbage man…

Well, you would invite him over for lunch, to meet your cobbler.

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Bumble

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Bumble: (v) to move or act in an awkward or confused manner.

Some things should be bumbling.

Yes, there is nothing wrong to bumble during certain events.

I think sex should be bumbling.

I think when we portray sex as a free-wielding, professional action done by two gymnasts, it loses its humanity, and also ceases to encourage the participants to talk to each other about how to make things better.

I think it’s alright to bumble over describing your achievements. This sense of over-confidence and “staring-the-devil-in-the-eye” defiance which is promoted in the business world just makes us look so much worse when we can’t back up our claims.

I think it’s good to bumble when you’ve done something stupid and in the process of apologizing, some tears of real repentance sprout, halting the flow of speech.

There is a charm to bumbling over answering something that you’re not completely sure is true, and cautioning those around you to check it out and confirm your accuracy.

It would be inspiring if a politician bumbled on a question, only to explain the delay by offering an unexpected, but divinely inspired, “I don’t know.”

We are so intent on coming across as adept, worldly and well-seasoned that we fail to realize that a certain amount of vulnerability gains us the empathy of people around us … who wish they had the guts to bumble.

 

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Brazen

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Brazen: (adj) bold and without shame

Up to this year, I would have sworn or even argued that the word “brazen” could not be used except for referring to a “hussy.”

And a hussy, in this context, points to a woman having an extraordinary appetite for naughtiness.Dictionary B

But after I experienced the political climate that infested our country, I will tell you that “brazen” does not require a tube top and a foul mouth. It works just as well with an overly expensive suit or a pantsuit.

We were led to believe that virtue, kindness, consideration and courtesy are optional. These ideas of common ground and gentility were presented to us as signs of weakness rather than the building blocks of strength.

We talked about affairs, chauvinism, racism, lying, cheating and deceit as if they were a badge of honor to establish acclaim for a well-seasoned practitioner of politics.No one stopped to ask what such activities would breed in the hearts of the common man and woman.

So we stand back, a little astounded that people are a bit more surly and considerably more apathetic. Maybe they don’t choose to become as brazen as the front-runners of the political parties, but they have adopted some of the nastiness and made it their own.

So it falls the lot of sane men and women everywhere to kindly, but purposefully, challenge surliness and awaken the indifferent. It is a work that should have been unnecessary had we been offered wizened souls.

But since we weren’t, it is the new mission of the angels.

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Brash

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Brash: (adj) self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way

Brash is the uptown insult we hurl at an adversary when he or she says something we don’t like–whether it’s rude or not.

So it’s difficult to know what truly is brash and what is simply rejected by the hearer.Dictionary B

The politician may candidly point out that the American public need to take more responsibility for their own lives, and therefore be deemed brash.

The director of a movie may instruct his actor to be more authentic and stay in character, and certainly be proclaimed as brash during the break by the affronted thespian.

And certainly a preacher who points out the error of sinful ways would be considered a bumpkin–and brash.

But actually, brash is when something that is very obvious and already recognized as a problem is brought up once again simply for the sake of poking the bruise.

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Boo

Boo: (exclam) said suddenly to surprise someone.

Halloween–many years ago in Central Ohio, driving around with one of my buddies and three cheerleaders from the high school who came with us because we Dictionary Btold them that we knew where there was a ghost.

We had no idea what we were talking about.

But we realized the only way we could pull this off and get the lovely young ladies so scared that they would grab us around the neck and hug us for comfort was to come up with an unbelievably creative story and weave it in such a way that terror would fill the interior of my Chevy Impala.

There was an old house outside our town which had been abandoned for a long time–so long that moss was growing up the exterior walls, and also bats flying in and out of broken windows. We decided this was the best place to go to establish the foundation for our tale.

When we arrived in the pitch-black surroundings, we noticed in the upper left-hand corner window, there was a faint glow, as if someone had placed a candle. It was so eerie that I knew the god of story-telling, wherever he or she may be, had prepared it just for us.

I began my fable.

“In this house an old man killed himself up in that very left corner window, by hanging from a nearby rafter, swinging in the breeze.”

As I pointed to the window, there was suddenly a shadow that swept across the faint glow, floating back and forth.

It was damn spooky–so much so that the girls went absolutely stark-raving nuts, screaming–and I nearly eked out one myself. We huddled together in the car, staring up at the mysterious phantom illumination.

After a few minutes I got so freaked out that I started the car and took off, much to the chagrin of my friend, who still wanted to continue the fear-mongering (perhaps to the point of turning it into a make-out session.)

But you see, even though I made up the lie, and knew it was not true, I had convinced myself of its validity, to the point that I was thoroughly prepared for that old ghost, at any moment, to descend upon us with a big, old-fashioned “boo!”

Let me see: I generated a lie which I began to believe and because I was convinced of it, acted as if it was the truth.

Hell … I became a politician.

 

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