Confusion

Confusion: (n) lack of understanding; uncertain, bewilderment.

People often get confused about confusion.

I suppose that’s because if you allow it to happen, it can be very confusing.

It occurs when we begin to believe that complicated answers are better than simple ones. We also start feeling there are questions that have no answer funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
whatsoever, and therefore the situations must be endured instead of conquered.

If you can convince someone that evil is powerful, ignorance is supreme, indifference is rampant, God is impotent and human beings are careless, then you can pretty well control the narrative and generate a climate of gloom and doom. Once you do this, it’s possible to control people simply by frightening them.

Yet, it’s difficult to scare people who have joy.

Fear is hard to promote among those involved in true love.

And terrorizing an individual who has faith is nearly impossible.

To create confusion, you must present a dilemma in which the problems seem insurmountable and the resources, limited.

Every dictator, tyrant, false teacher and unrighteous religion has maintained a following of human beings simply by convincing them that the problems are so immense that to continue to try to resolve them would only create more confusion.

If you want to save the world, simplify things.

And as you do, sprout a smile.

 

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Breach

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Breach: (n) an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct

A great book once alleged that there’s a power in “repairing the breach”–finding that break in etiquette or sensibility that can be covered with a multitude of grace.Dictionary B

It is a noble notion.

The difficulty with the mission is that people will often argue with you about whether there’s a breach in the first place. After all, a common conversation with fifty Americans will render much different responses:

  • Is there racism?
  • Is chauvinism a problem?
  • Should poverty be addressed or should we just try to motivate people to work harder?
  • Is there a God or are we on our own?
  • Are people of different lifestyles entitled to their rights?
  • Should we judge people by the color of their skin?
  • Should we question religions?
  • Is it possible that some people are just better than others?
  • Do the heavens have a “chosen people?”

If we cannot agree that there’s a breach, then the repairing will be considered foolish or intrusive.

What can we agree on about our pain before we seek a relief?

It is not so much that our problems are complicated–it’s more that they’re denied.

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Balm

Balm:(n) a fragrant ointment or preparation used to heal or soothe the skin.Dictionary B

Dried out.

The skin begins to flake and fall off because of a lack of moisture.

Got it. Some lotion, or balm, is very helpful. You also might want to drink some water.

But in like manner, our society is dried out. Pardon the expression, but we’ve become quite flaky.

To sit around and discuss the condition or lament our dryness seems futile.

We need a balm–something to spread all over us which will moisturize us and make us pliable to reason and willing to at least consider the truth. Those noble souls who are willing to bring that ointment to our society will certainly be doing the work of the angels.

So what is the balm?

I will give you a little secret. There are two things you can do which totally change the complexion of the human beings around you:

Don’t worry.

Don’t hurry.

Everything bad that happens in our lives occurs because we are worrying or complaining when opportunity knocks on the door, or we’re in such a hurry that we make stupid mistakes.

It’s no more complicated than that.

If you’re going to spend all your time hurrying to solve a problem that’s come up and the rest of the time, worrying about the next problem around the corner, you will be undesirable and a real flake.

Just bringing a non-worrisome attitude without hurrying is a balm of healing to our times.

  • Stop preaching.
  • Stop praying so much.
  • Stop trying to find the new solution to the old problem.

Don’t worry. Don’t hurry.

You will anoint every situation with newness … and bring “fresh skin” to the human race.

 

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Arduous

dictionary with letter A

Arduous: (adj) involving or requiring strenuous effort.

Are you ready?

I’m gonna pitch you a movie idea.

Fade in:

Man wakes up in the morning, discovers he doesn’t have a razor to shave his beard. Rather than complain to his wife or go out into the world unshorn, he gingerly reaches into the shower, removing his wife’s Lady Bic, peering around the room cautiously to make sure he’s not observed.

He slathers his face with shaving cream and carefully runs the precious object across his face, freeing himself of jungle fuzz. He rinses the borrowed object with great intensity, placing it back into the shower, smiling into the mirror as he splashes his face with his favorite cologne, turning and heading out the door with a smile.

What do you think? Are you ready to invest?

Of course not.

No one would make this movie, because it is a tale of a human being finding a way to work things out without becoming exasperated, frenzied or completely debilitated by circumstance.

Somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves that if our lives are not filled with arduous tasks, then we’re really not grown-up and we haven’t proven our mettle. With that desire to appear mature, we’ve taken things that should be simple and made them as painful as possible, whether politics, business, family life or religion. The more hot coals we can walk over, the more we are convinced of achievement.

If there is a line being formed by those who are looking for less arduous ways to approach life, I would like to get into it.

I’m never proud of myself when I become exasperated. I don’t feel manly swearing at traffic or frustrated because my hammer decided to hit my thumb instead of the nail. Cursing doesn’t strike me as a sign of strength, but rather, evidence of the little child that failed to die sometime after puberty.

There may be arduous tasks. Most of them are not what we perceive them to be.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself, or anyone else, is having a mechanism in your soul which sucks up problems that seem insurmountable … and spits out simplicity.

 

 

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Allay

Allay: (v) to diminish or put to rest.dictionary with letter A

I put some thought to it.

Actually, I’ve only heard this word used in relationship to fear.

I supposed you could “allay someone’s burden.” Or possibly “allay activity,” but I’ve never heard the word used in that function.

But it is beautifully and spiritually applied when it allows us to confront and overcome the tragic trepidation that keeps us from achieving our fullness.

Allay my fears.

Matter of fact, I don’t know how far from the truth I would be if I said that fear is at the root of all the iniquity that profoundly cripples our efforts.

So having things that allay our fears may be the definition of a gift from God. How can we allay our fears?

1. By allowing ourselves to believe that the world is not really out to get us. The world is too busy with itself to have much concern over our affairs.

2. By accepting the fact that worry is not only useless, but it is a time drainer. It extorts from us the energy and talent we might have used to address our conflict.

3. And finally, that mysteriously but faithfully, life offers dilemma, which normally seems to have a briefer life expectancy than we prepare for.

Flatly, problems are lazier than we think they are. They depart more quickly than they threaten, stalking off to trouble someone else.

I was grateful for this word today. It lets me know what my job is as a human being–to allay fears … starting with my own.


Acute

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acute: (adj.) relating to a bad, difficult or unwelcome situation present or experienced to a severe degree: e.g. an acute housing shortage

Even though as a chauvinist nation, we refer to them as “drama queens,” there are certainly plenty of kings to go around, not to mention princes and princesses.

It seems to be fashionable–yes, that’s the word I would use–almost a cloak we wear, of feeling that we become more important by overstating our difficulties and over-emphasizing our struggles.

By no means am I suggesting that we should walk around in pain without seeking solace. I am not trying to insinuate that becoming a “John Wayne” type of character, with a bullet lodged in your shoulder as you continue to fight the Indians, is what is required in order to fall into the category of brave.

I just don’t think that everything that happens to us is cataclysmic or even necessarily worthy of a posting on Facebook.

In my own life, I fear that lamentation is a sad seeking in my soul–feeling sorry for myself instead of searching for resolution. For there are many problems people consider to be acute, which to me, sound not only solvable, but really, not even that difficult.

But if you play down somebody’s dilemma or try to eliminate their suffering with a quick fix, you will often be met with great resentment and anger.

So what is the best way to survive trials and tribulations without becoming whiny? There you go. There’s the quandary.

Because as much as we WANT to empathize with other human beings, we also want them to prove that they are part of our species by displaying a backbone and walking upright. See what I mean?

So I’ve come up with a little three-step process, which I think helps to keep me from becoming Billy Brat, who believes he’s being bullied by the earth around him.

1. Don’t think about your problems too long before you speak them out loud. I’ve never had a difficulty that lived in my brain which didn’t double in size every hour.

2. Be aware that there’s nothing new which hasn’t been experienced by somebody, so the solution may be embarrassingly easy. Of course we want to contend that our particular cross is unbearable, but usually it’s just a couple of sticks of wood.

3. Be prepared to have good cheer. Whether you end up laughing at your problem, giggling at the simplicity of the solution, or just LOL-ing at yourself for being so worried–humor is the only door of escape from stupidity.

I don’t think any of our problems are as acute as we think they are.

Maybe it’s because none of us are as cute as we think we are.