Custodian

Custodian: (n) a person entrusted with maintaining a property; janitor.

No one is born a goddamn brat, but we are quick studies.

It’s because of what that position—brat—affords us:

  • We can claim to be superior without having to offer evidence.
  • We can hold our breath until we get what we want.
  • We can become the most important person in the room by making other folks jump and beg.

Unfortunately, the buckets of puke that accompany “brat” make it a tad obnoxious.

I have been a brat.

I did more than play it on television. I took my experience with the role and incorporated it into my personal life.

When I was about to graduate from high school and my classmates wanted to dedicate the yearbook to our school custodian (it was that kind of era—championing the underdog and a search to lift up the obscure) I was against it.

I thought it was stupid.

I could not imagine giving an award to anyone who wore a matching shirt and pants.

The worst part of it was, they asked me to interview this custodian and write the blurb that would appear under his picture in our annual.

I was pissed off.

Worse than that, I was rude to this aging gentleman, who worked very hard to clean up all the snot from the noses of the brats who walked his hallways.

Another problem immediately came to the forefront: trying to get this servant to speak.

He didn’t want to talk about himself.

He didn’t want to elaborate on his past.

So finally, to meet the deadline, I wrote my impressions about him. For you see, over the half-hour encounter, they had changed.

Managing to get a few words from him about his daily activities, immediately I realized that I would be unwilling to do what he performed. But what struck me was his final statement, which I inserted into the prose of my piece.

I’ve never forgotten it, and it remains in my mind even today as a true pearl of wisdom. He said, “I think what I do is important, because it’s what I’ve been given to do.”

It was a brilliant axiom.

One that I wish our national leaders would take into consideration.

One which daily haunts my soul.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Centurion

Centurion: (n) the commander of a hundred men in the ancient Roman army.

I’m not sure what causes a person to be open-minded.

Certainly rejecting fear would help.

Relieving yourself of the conviction that you and all your co-horts possess the only answers would also be beneficial.

But in the Good Book, there is the story of a centurion. He has a servant. Now, we know the centurion is in charge of a hundred men, which
means he’s been given some rank and confirmation of the authenticity of his ability. So why would such a fellow be concerned about a servant? How would that relationship have sprouted?

We know that the gentleman was not only a commander, but was also open to the idea that opportunities can come from unlikely places. So rather than having a servant who hates you, why not have one who loves you?

But when that servant becomes sick and you realize that all those possessing medical knowledge who surround you are inept in advancing a cure, then it becomes necessary to use your open mind to consider a more unorthodox option.

How about an itinerant preacher from Nazareth, who is disrupting his religious community, but supposedly has healing in his hands?

The centurion did not allow his sense of Roman superiority to overwhelm him, leaving him without a remedy. He sent a messenger to ask Jesus to heal his servant. When Jesus started to head his way, the centurion was sensitive enough to realize that if this Nazarene came into his home, the young man would be considered unclean because he was at the hearth of a heathen.

So the centurion told Jesus just to say the word, and the servant would be made well. After all, as a centurion, he did that all the time with his soldiers. “You go do this. You go do that.”

Jesus was impressed. He said, “Never have I seen so great a faith.”

So maybe the definition of faith is when we realize we don’t have anything to lose, so being open-minded about other choices just might be life-saving.

 

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Abraham

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abraham: (n.) the Hebrew patriarch from whom all Jews trace their descent.

Yeah, let’s talk about Abe.

You see, the problem is, he had two families. Like so many men, he may like to forget the first one when he finds that “love is better the second time around.” But it doesn’t change the fact that he is also the father of the Arab nation.

One daddy, two families–with one of the families somewhat ignored by Papa in favor of the other, more acceptable choice.

This whole problem in the Middle East is really just a giant family squabble. Abraham decided to take his servant girl as a lover and even though his wife approved, supposedly, she later became jealous when the baby born through the process started growing up and hit puberty.

Then the story gets all messed up. One woman gets jealous of another woman, chases her out of the scene, and a young man grows up without his daddy–but still definitely linked to him.

So you can see, it would be very difficult for the Jews and the Palestinians to come to the peace table when the Jews are convinced they are Abraham’s ONLY children and the Arabs believe they deserve a piece of the matzoh.

And Abraham comes out of this whole thing unscathed. Even Christians try to tie themselves back into the “seed of Abraham,” although Jesus made it clear that God was “able to take stones and make children of Abraham.” Matter of fact, that pretty well describes the children of Abraham, doesn’t it? Stubborn people with rocks in their heads.

We see the same situation in this country today, as people divorce and think they can maintain a couple of different families without there being any friction. It never works, though we will continue to do it simply because our lust, passions and preferences demand it.

So you can feel free to talk about the faith of Abraham–but even the Bible that tells his story lets us know that he was just a man who occasionally lied, took short cuts, and let his wife push him around, leading him to abandon a little family he’d put together, which has now turned into a great nation at odds with his other family-nation.

What a mess.

Sometimes it’s just better if you keep it in your pants–or, in the case of Abraham, your robe.