Crocodile Tears

Crocodile tears: (n) insincere tears

It’s difficult to determine what ends up making something popular.

I guess most folks would think that some action gains notoriety because it’s so successful.

Yet there are many things we do in our society that are not successful at all.

But we insist on continuing them out of tradition, politics or religion.

No, there’s more to it than that.

For something to be truly popular, everyone who participates needs to feel they’re getting something off of it.

Recently it has become prevalent to share your life story in front of a camera on television and to cry.

Everyone is supposed to feel great empathy.

Therefore, you can win over the favor of an entire audience while simultaneously making them feel generous with their concern.

The hitch in this plan is that ultimately, we all favor winners. Otherwise there would be no need for trophies, awards and accolades. So how is it that we are convinced that a close-up on our face with crocodile tears, sharing the tragedy that has happened to us, is supposed to be powerful enough to place us in a preferred position?

We now have singers who don’t sing for the joy of it or write songs because they feel energized or compelled. Rather, they hope that in singing or writing they can gain enough money to move their poor little family out of the trailer, and the youngest daughter, who was born with a third arm, can finally get that operation which is only performed by one doctor, whose clinic is in the Alps.

The ingredients are all there:

  • A sympathetic character
  • Crocodile tears
  • A nearly unbelievable story
  • And a wish that somehow or another, those who are listening will assist by voting this particular singer to the winner’s circle.

It works around this horrible assertion that bad things happen to us:

We are victims.

There were no opportunities to improve our situation to this point.

And there are forces at work to destroy us which we don’t seem able to curtail.

Now, if this is the case—in other words, if there’s truth to the fact that any one of us can be impaled by a mysterious destiny that’s targeting us—then I have to admit, the human life journey seems fruitless.

If I have no say, I’d rather not speak.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment: (n) physical punishment of a child

Decisions are made for different reasons.

Sometimes we decide to pursue a path because it seems wise. Other times, we choose to follow a direction because it’s popular. And then funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
there are those occasions when we tout our belief because we are convinced it makes us look good and righteous.

But all decisions—whatever they may be—need to be practical, because you will have to employ them and make them work.

For every stance you make will eventually come to the forefront, and your sincerity and purpose will be challenged to see if you are dedicated or just a big bag of wind.

Never is there any subject that typifies this situation more than child-rearing and the subject of corporal punishment. We live in an era when it’s cool to insist that spanking, physical contact or any type of punishment that involves inflicting pain on a child is forbidden and barbaric.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that assertion as long as you can live with it, and also as long as you’re aware that your magical little offspring will test your faith in the premise as often as he or she possibly can.

There are times that children just don’t listen.

There are occasions when you swear that they just came back from a week of camp in hell, and Satan was their counselor.

And there are needful impasses where you must overcome their foolish will with your reasonable nature.

Don’t theorize your willingness to abstain from corporal punishment.

Otherwise, you’ll find yourself making statements to your children about how “you will never…” And suddenly, in a moment of weakness, your “jungle” will arise and create a bungle.

Yes, you just might get on your last nerve and smack one of them.

To avoid this (as well you should) you need an intricate system of clever traps and diversions. If you don’t have these, and you allow your children to run your emotions ragged, the beast in you will come out and you’ll be embarrassed and feel worse than the time at church camp when you struck out in the softball game and all they needed you to do was get on base to win the game.

Hitting is wrong.

Self-righteousness is worse.

If you don’t have a plan on how to avoid corporal punishment, you will hit. It’s as simple as that.

So never say never unless you come up with an answer for, “Whatever…”


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Began

Dictionary BBegan: past tense of begin

If you acknowledge the source, you can avoid remorse.

Even though it’s very popular to talk about how to begin, the celebration is much more powerful if we first commemorate how we got to where we are now.

Yes, our “begin” is much more efficient if we laud our “began.” May I explain?

I began several years ago to stop being so fussy about trying to get my personal avenue in life. Yes, I have preferences. No one cares. Lamenting their apathy only makes me aggravated and grouchy. So I began to take care of myself and not require that others do it for me.

A decade ago, I began to be self-critical about my projects instead of waiting for the criticism of others. I would much rather be overly analytical of my personal affairs rather than having to recoil from critique.

I began to realize that financial responsibility is not optional.

I began to give independence to my children, so they could have a life separate from their allegiance to my fatherhood.

I began to talk less and think more.

I began to celebrate that intervention by problems is the only way to coax innovation.

I began to begin.

And in beginning … I can now celebrate what I began.

Donate Button

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

 

 

 

Backbone

Backbone: (n) the series of vertebrae extending from the skull to the pelvis; the spine.Dictionary B

It is what makes us Homo Erectus, which is really not a dirty term.

It means that we’re able to stand on two feet instead of crawl on four.

The spine itself is pretty important. People find out exactly how valuable when they accidentally break it.

But the term “backbone” is normally used to refer to some gumption that might suddenly come into the average person’s decision to be counted as something other than a sheep.

Matter of fact, I can tell you of a certainty, if you’ve never stood up for something eternal in a roomful of detractors, you’ve probably missed out on a particular portion of human growth that takes you from stooped over to standing tall.

Now, here’s the issue: what causes are worthy of such lonely last stands?

Because truthfully, there are many things that claim to be essential and are later declared either silly or maybe even dangerous.

I’ve always had a simple answer to that question: Anything that stifles joy is evil.

Now, I’m not talking about the maniac who joyfully murders people. I mean the basic units of human joy, which are:

  1. I am happy to be alive.
  2. I am happy you’re alive.
  3. I am happy we share this life together.
  4. I am hoping this happiness will continue.

Every time I’ve run across anyone who has tried to eliminate this glorious possibility, I’ve made a stand.

Many years ago, I wrote a play which included dancing, and I took it to some churches, where great objections were offered due to the fact that these evangelicals deemed choreography to be immoral.

I made a stand against them. I was one fellow in a room of 30 arguers. But I had no doubt.

Dancing brings joy. And “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” And since it appears in the very Bible that most of them thought they were defending, I thought I was on pretty safe turf.

Years passed, and dancing is now included in worship services of every denomination.

What is the new attitude which is stifling joy?

Find it. Get some backbone.

And speak for what will last … instead of being intimidated by what is popular.

 

Donate Button

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

*******************

NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button

 

Arbiter

dictionary with letter A

Arbiter: (n) a person who settles a dispute. 

Compromise is popular.

It has become so accepted that when someone utters the phrase, “We all need to compromise,” there is practically a collective “Amen” spoken in the room.

To achieve compromise, we often require an arbiter.

These are people who feel they are valuable by taking a bit of one side and mingling a little of another side to come up with a whole new rendition, which is only partially accepted by each individual party.

Honestly, this doesn’t work anywhere else in life.

Aside from Tex-Mex food, mixing cuisines is normally a disaster.

An ecumenical philosophy which includes all religions leaves you with precepts that should be written on fortune cookies and have about as much significance.

Congress gathering to mesh their opinions into a bill usually leaves us with a law which attempts to cover the subject like a blanket with our feet sticking out the end.

The times I found myself being an arbiter, I discovered a truth. Since the individuals were already disagreeing, trying to get them to sign off on a diluted format would be unsatisfying to both of them, and probably ignored in the long run.

I don’t believe in compromise. I hold to a philosophy of submission.

If two people are arguing, it’s likely that neither one has the total perspective.

If you can help people land on what has historical value, personal satisfaction and global respect, then asking them to submit to that conclusion creates the climate for a healing situation.

We can do this with anything.

Any issues possesses a core of emotional, spiritual and mental health which can be tapped if we’re not so intent on promoting our own cause.

But to do so, we must submit to ideals and truths which may be different from our own popular cultural outlook.

They say that politics is built on compromise. Actually, politics should be built on common sense. Each amendment to the Constitution should be looked at through the eyes of our generation and interpreted to honor the original freedoms without holding to the letter of the law.

The same thing would be true of corporate by-laws, marital relationships and even our reverence for the Good Book.

Compromise is the belief that there is “right” everywhere, and we just need to blend our “rights” together.

Knowing the nature of human beings, it’s more likely that we’re slightly mistaken in the first place, and we need to find common ground by submitting to more mature wisdom.

 

 

Donate Button

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

Amscray

dictionary with letter A

Amscray (v): (Pig Latin) to leave quickly; to scram

Patrick was not one of us.

I’m not exactly sure who “us” is, but old Pat certainly had resigned any position with the normal flow of the human race and had decided to take the body he stole from his parents and use it for strange causes.

It started when he was a junior in high school. Pig Latin became popular.

Now, I must confess that I’ve always found it annoying and pretentious–one of those things that if you chose to pursue, it was an admission that you had no life and little intention of ever socializing with others.

But Patrick was not satisfied to stop with Pig Latin. Sensing there was a whole barnyard of possibilities, he started trying to teach us cow calls and goose garbles.

When he got into llama language, I found myself, like others, trying to see him coming and racing to escape him on the other side of the school.

By the time we reached graduation, Patrick spent most of his time talking to himself in his animal tongues, and didn’t seem to mind in the least that no one wanted to be around him, completely enamored with his own creative conclusions.

I lost track of him for about ten years, but later found out that he had taken a position as Director of Operations at a Department of Motor Vehicles.

Considering the level of communication that normally goes on at a DMV … Patrick was perfect.

Donate Button

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

Advantage

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Advantage: (n) a condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position.

“Tall, dark and handsome.”

I never acquired any member of that trio. I do not possess that advantage.

IS it an advantage? I think if you’re tall, dark and handsome, you do get an immediate pass to the front of the line. Unfortunately for you, if you don’t back that up with “smart, hard-working and caring,” you probably will be booted to the curb quicker than someone who is plain-looking.

Why? Because you’re disappointing. You promised SO much with your looks and delivered SO little with your personality.

Therefore what seems to be an advantage quickly can become a disadvantage if you end up thinking you are a fleshly mannequin instead of a real human being.

Yet I will tell you that we all NEED an advantage–something that truly sets us apart instead of us merely “moving our parts” and getting “set in our ways.”

So I worked on ME. Actually, it’s a work in progress, so please do not think that I’m done. Three areas, paralleling “tall, dark and handsome:”

Since I couldn’t muster “tall,” I decided to be faithful. By faithful, I mean true to my own word while sensitive to the needs of others.

I went opposite on “dark.” I decided to be a light–to bring possibilities and hope instead of merely stating the obvious and offering gloom to the room.

“Handsome” out of the question, I chose to be attractive. Now you may think those are the same, but they aren’t. What is most attractive to other human beings is a glorious blend of humor, talent and humility. When you are able to mix those three spices together, you can put them in any dish and create a delicacy.

  • There is no advantage in being good-looking if you’re dumbfounded.
  • There is no advantage in wealth if you’re selfish.
  • And there is no advantage in being popular if you’re not prepared for the day when you will be pushed away by the latest fad.

The greatest advantage any human being can have is to tap your resources … and give a damn.