Cleave

Cleave: (v) to either split or join

“A man shall leave his mother and a woman will leave her home, and they will cleave together and the twain shall be one flesh.”

A paraphrase from the Good Book. I think it’s very fascinating that the King James translators used the word “cleave.” Because as you can
see, it has a double meaning. It can refer to cutting apart–as in when it is associated with a cleaver. Or it can refer to enjoining, a fanciful term for clinging.

Isn’t that fascinating? Because that pretty well describes marriage.

A bad marriage can tear people apart. It can take a hatchet to their confidence and self-worth, leaving them childish and vengeful.

A good marriage, on the other hand, is when two intelligent people realize the power they have together, and mingle their energies into one solid human-life effort.

I guess what the Good Book fails to communicate is, what makes the difference? What distinguishes a bad marriage from a good marriage?

It’s actually the same thing that separates friendships, partnerships and family relationships. Somewhere along the line, people who love each other stop competing. It’s usually not planned–it’s probably not the by-product of a long conversation or hours of counseling.

Confident of the love of another person, we no longer feel the need to be superior. We are satisfied with a joint project. We don’t insist on separate minds, separate practices, separate ways or separate fears.

We blend. We relax. We realize that if love doesn’t work, then we’ve just used up our last chance.

How shall we cleave?

Shall we cut one another apart in an attempt to make our portion seem more valuable?

Or shall we blur the differences and congeal into a sense of oneness?

Donate Button

Celebrity

Celebrity: (n) a famous person.

I remember the first time it happened.

I was sharing at a book conference about my latest release, and the announcer, in an attempt to beef up my credentials, told the splatter of
humans attending that I was “a celebrity.”

His exact wording was, “We are so pleased to have our next guest, who has achieved celebrity status.”

The oddness of his phrasing was further punctuated by a pitiful smattering of applause.

The introduction bothered me.

Since we live in a social structure which insists on honoring a social structure, ranging from famous people all the way down to “nobodies,” it seems difficult to breathe in a sense of self-esteem unless we are constantly touting our self-worth.

After all, we don’t want fifteen minutes of fame because we desire to be famous. Rather, we want to make sure we don’t end up being the guy or gal who never got it.

So at the end of my little lecture that morning, I opened the floor to questions, and a young boy about nine years of age raised his hand. I have learned over the years that allowing such a lad to offer a question can open the door to, “Does anybody really like your book?” or “How’d you get so fat?”

But I took the risk, acknowledged the kid, let him take the microphone and offer his inquiry. He was a pretty nice little guy. The only thing he wanted to know was, “Are you really famous? Because if you are, I want your autograph.”

There was a giggle in the room. I don’t know if they were giggling because he was so cute, or wondering why in the hell somebody would want my autograph.

So I asked my young friend, “Have you ever heard of me before?”

He frowned and shook his head.

I laughed and said, “Well, then I guess I’m not famous. I guess, like everybody else, I’m just a celebrity in my own mind.”

Donate Button

 

 

 

Bribe

Bribe: inducement offeredj-r-practix-with-border-2

Tit for tat:

  • If you will do this, I will do that.
  • If you give me this, I’ll give you that.
  • If you believe in me, I’ll believe in you.
  • If you kiss me, I’ll kiss you back.

We are constantly bribing each other. We withhold blessing, generosity and affection as hostage while we negotiate our deal.

We need to be self-motivated. We should do things because we want to, not because we have to or we’re trying to get something off of someone else.

Truth is, if I love myself, I can do a helluva lot of good things. In order to love myself, I need to believe I have enough resources through my talent and faith to sustain success. That way I don’t have to negotiate bribes to acquire my sense of worth.

Dictionary BDoing things of our own volition is the secret to contentment.

Otherwise, you and I will continue to bribe each other, only satisfied when we feel we get the better end of the deal.

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


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Artist

Artist: (n) a person who practices any of the various creative arts. dictionary with letter A

I was a bit flabbergasted.

The young lady on the television show referred to herself as “beautiful.”

Being the rogue human specimen that I am, I immediately began to look for moles, blemishes and unwanted hair on her personage.

I wanted to hurt her. Isn’t that terrible?

Even though we extol the importance of self-love, personal worth and valuing one’s own being, when it actually turns into words that are spoken aloud, it’s really gross. It is a contradiction in our society which doesn’t seem to be addressed very well by the present thinking.

In other words, we want people to be great; we want people to be confident, but mostly, we want people to be humble.

It is the same sensation I experienced when watching the recent Grammy Awards and hearing people refer to themselves as “artists.” I just don’t think it’s a self-proclamation.

I guess if you want to call me an artist and you’re insistent, I can bow my head and thank you, but at the same time, proffer the notion that I’m working towards that goal rather than having achieved it.

There are just some things you cannot say in life without becoming an asshole. (For instance, using the word “asshole” too much places you in this predicament.)

We are a peculiar sort. We do not like people who hide in the corner in fear, having to be drawn out to offer their gifts.

But if anyone arrives at the party thinking they’re going to be the “life” and insisting on being the focus, we all want to run over and turn off the spotlight.

What is the correct procedure? Here’s what I believe:

Find out what you can do, do it a little better all the time and let the quality of the work speak for itself while you remain silent.

I would much rather be called up than put down.

How about you? Donate Button

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

Arrogant

Arrogant: (adj) having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.dictionary with letter A

“It is an attitude which your friends refer to as confidence and your enemies deem arrogance.”

This is a line from a novel I wrote some years ago.

There is a certain amount of self-worth necessary in order to conduct human business. But how do we know when we cross over into the boasting realm of “arrogant?”

Let me phrase it this way. I think you can call yourself confident unless:

  1. You feel the need to tell someone who you are instead of just showing it.
  2. You assume, upon telling them who you are, that a certain amount of respect should follow.
  3. You are offended when you occasionally have to take the lower seat because it’s the only one available.
  4. You bruise easily and heal slowly.

I feel if you’re able to avoid these four pitfalls, you can live a life of confidence without becoming arrogant. But even though it seems like arrogant people temporarily gain the day … at the end the destruction is much more violent and final.

 

 

Donate Button

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

Appliance

dictionary with letter A

Appliance: (n) a piece of equipment designed to do a specific task, typically a domestic one.

I have often thought it would be a very intelligent maneuver to set my mind to becoming more of a handy man.

I have a very firm conviction (though many of you would consider it a superstition): I think my appliances know that I’m ignorant.

I think secretly they hide out in the kitchen, the bathroom or the office and plot ways to make me nervous by pretending to pull up lame at the most inopportune times so they can view me fidgeting nervously, wondering how to accomplish my task without them.

If you think about it, this is the only self-worth an appliance has. No one pops the bread in the toaster, has it cook to a golden brown and then pats the chrome while saying, “Thank you, toaster for doing your job.”

The only time we actually acknowledge the toaster, or any number of appliances, is when they decide to go on the fritz or become intermittent in some disgusting pattern. It is only then that we appreciate the value they bring to the household.

Is it too far out for me to believe that these appliances might have some sort of agreement among each other, to seek approval by refusing to operate?

So I think becoming a little more handy with tools, threatening to break them open and play with their innards, might be enough to rein them into submission.

Of course, the times I’ve hung around such skillful laborers, I have quickly deterred from my passion to pursue their abilities, because within moments, their explanations and terminology leave me totally baffled. (For instance, a friend of mine talked a good ten minutes about various types of screws before I realized he wasn’t being lascivious.)

So since I’m pathetic with the implements which might be able to fix my appliances, I’ve decided to be very polite, gentle and appreciative to them. Landing somewhere between encouraging a baby to walk and a dog to retrieve a frisbee, I have developed lingo for each and every one of them to let them know how much I value their service.

  • So the dishwasher is “dear.”
  • The toaster is “cool, man.”
  • And the blender is “wow.”

I hope by using these little bursts of encouragement, I can keep them operating in tip-top shape…so they don’t feel the need to threaten me with the silent treatment or their shut-down mode.

 

 Donate Button

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

Anorgasmic

dictionary with letter A

Anorgasmic: (n) an inability to achieve orgasm despite responding to sexual stimulation.

I found myself in the position where it was necessary, or at least presumed to be, to teach a class on human sexuality to a group of adults. (I clarify that they were adults, because once we started talking about sex, they actually turned into a bunch of giggling teens.)

Considering that sex is so important to our well-being and self-worth, we actually have an extremely flippant attitude about the subject. I will grant you, it’s not necessary to become intellectual in the discussion, but certainly, if we don’t get beyond whispering, smirking and leering, we will never understand how we are meant to co-exist, procreate and satisfy one another.

I think the greatest mistake is the assumption that men enjoy sex and women tolerate it.

Here is a simple fact: No one avoids anything that pleasures them. I have run across people who were either bored or dissatisfied with adventures that promised pleasure and only delivered a modicum of the proposed package.

It’s like going on a vacation and staying at a hotel, hoping to sun-bathe, only to discover that the swimming pool has been closed for repairs. No matter how much you try to make the local restaurants and shops interesting, the original goal taunts you.

Even though we consider ourselves to have a high-falutin’ society, our approach to sexuality lands somewhere between Neanderthal and Bedouin.

Basically, we believe that men are to be pleasured and women are to provide the pleasure.

Once I was able to convince my class to stop snorting and chuckling, we discovered that human sexuality is meant to be a mutual effort made by two people to achieve orgasm–no matter what it takes.

The ideal circumstance is to make sure that the female acquires pleasure. Then the male doesn’t have to feel the need to perform, but instead, can relish the interchange.

  • Yes, women would be much more interested in sex if they were having orgasms.
  • Men would have to spend much less time wooing them if they were trained in how to assist a woman in finding her own space and time.

But to do this, we must admit that men and women are more similar to each other than different … and we just might be one or two generations away from that conclusion.

 

 

Donate Button

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