Currier and Ives

Currier and Ives: (n) the lithography firm of Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives, which produced prints of American history, life, and manners.

Why is it necessary to advertise our depletion by criticizing what once brought us completion?

Why are we so sarcastic about elements that at one time brought comfort and joy to our souls?

After all, is cynicism really a belief system?

Is negativity a plan of action? Is sneering the equivalent of smiling?

Does denying have the energy of accepting?

I grew up in America. The country that surrounds me today is still my home—it’s just dirty.

Fortunately, we don’t throw away our bathroom because it needs cleaning, nor do we cast our clothes aside because they’re sullied with dirt.

Clean.

I need visions of where we are to go.

I need to see the best to achieve better.

I require encouragement.

I find it impossible to gain breath and sustenance on a diet of despair.

Currier and Ives once represented the simple life we now sarcastically proclaim ridiculous, and even sometimes insist is insensitive to all cultures.

Does this mean we contend joy, family, warm fires and beautiful pastoral scenes are “white” things?

Is it necessary to express the plight of the poor by having pictures of starving children? Must we alarm others to sickness by offering snapshots of bedsores?

My eyes are thirsty for hope.

I could stand a little Currier and Ives.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Conviction

Conviction: (n) a fixed or firm belief

There is a new rule. If the word “rule” sounds too stodgy for you, then call it a guideline.

If “guideline” is still too restrictive, you may consider it an insight.

If “insight” gives you the creeps, then let’s just call it an idea.

Here it is:

You are allowed, permitted and granted an opinion, as long as you’re willing to be wrong.

The very second that you—or I, for that matter—start insisting that our opinion is really a conviction held by millions and even, maybe, heralded by the heavens, we probably need to be hauled off somewhere to live in a poverty-stricken situation until humility settles into our souls.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Discussion would be no problem if we actually discussed. We don’t. We enter discussions with convictions.

Disagreements would still be fine if we were conscious of the need to evolve. But we aren’t, because our convictions arrived to us engraved in stone.

It would even be possible to argue—as long as our convictions didn’t cause us to be arrogant, feeling that we’re pleasing a political party, a science project or a deity by being stubborn.

I used to have many convictions. I used to scrunch my face up when I heard people advance their theories or share their preferences.

Whenever I did this, my ass always found my hole and created an unrighteous unity.

Over the years I have abandoned, ignored, walked away from and giggled at many of my convictions, realizing that the majority of them were hatched in the henhouse of speculation. Let’s be honest—your speculation is as good as mine, and mine is pretty worthless.

So now I listen, I get an idea of what’s going on, and from that idea I develop an inkling which I take into the discussion, only to discover that much of my inkling needs to be trimmed away.

I am not impressed with convictions.

What truly touches my heart is seeing human beings who have the mercy and grace to be wrong while still smiling.


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Cold-blooded

Cold-blooded: (adj) without emotion or pity; deliberately cruel or callous

The reason we call someone a sociopath is because our social abilities should be on a path. When they aren’t, it is odd, it is dangerous and it shows that something is horribly wrong.

Although it seems to be popular to imitate ruthless, the conscience placed into us by a Creator keeps us from being able to pull it off without great personal destruction.

I remember coming into the yard of my home and seeing that my dog had killed some guinea pigs my son was using for his science fair.

I could have sworn that my puppy was smiling.

That canine had no idea that he had done anything wrong. Matter of fact, he seemed a little proud of his teeth prowess.

Not until I began to yell and chase him did he realize there might be a problem and that he should get the hell out of the way.

You see, that’s not the way it is with people.

Maybe we watch too many TV shows.

Maybe that one hundredth horror movie was detrimental to our thinking.

But even though human beings are temporarily capable of cold-blooded actions–where it seems like they have no soul whatsoever–they actually are so tormented that they often end up mentally ill, committing suicide.

The danger with being cold-blooded is that too often guilt sets in–and it’s your own blood that’s cold.

 

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Cessation

Cessation: (n) the process of ending

“All good things come to an end.”

Unfortunately, all bad things don’t.

For some reason we get bored with good things and decide to either evolve them or abandon them. But bad things seem to be granted social
tenure. They get to hang around even if they do stupid stuff.

Why? Because bad things are grouchy and good things smile.

It’s a lot easier to ask someone who’s smiling to go to the back of the bus than it is to approach a grouchy person with such a request.

Yes, it’s true. As long as the black man smiled back at the white bigot, not much happened–which brings me to one of the things that demands cessation in our country:

Racism.

Truthfully it will not leave until we stop talking about the beauty of cultures and the glories of separate ethnic practices. Even though we insist that everybody is different and that it’s a good thing, we work like hell to try to find common conversation and similar ground. Otherwise, parties would just be drinking in silence.

Another thing that demands cessation is genderism.

There are those who think it’s cute to point out the difference between men and women, and in doing so, keep women in a position of scrounging for crumbs of praise, while denied the cake.

And if you don’t mind, I’ll close by saying that we need a cessation on the idea of being tough.

I don’t know how that works. If everyone is tough, isn’t that just a world filled with cranky people instead of toughness?

Someone has to be kind–otherwise, nothing happens.

Nothing breaks.

Nothing changes.

Cessation will occur when we stop being afraid of grouchy people–because we decide we enjoy smiling ones.

 

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Allotment

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allotment: (n) the specified amount  of something allocated to a person

Sometimes it’s not that words are bad. It’s just the company they keep.

I remember when I was in school. We had a principal and a vice principal, and I discovered after a while that the job of the vice principal was to wander the halls and tell the students why certain things couldn’t be bought for the school. It was because there was no allotment in the budget.

Yes, he was there to douse all hope for improvement, blessing or pleasure.

Somewhere along the line, good news has to be brought to human beings or we become old way too soon and cranky without needing to manifest such a negative emotion.

I know there are people who make their living teaching others how to budget money. Actually, there are famous public speakers and motivational authors who travel the country, instructing in financial solvency and ways to make sure that you don’t “live beyond your means.”

It’s difficult to find fault with them, but in some ways, I still do.

Because the thing I know above all else is that coming out in the black at the end of the month can often be a reflection on your mood. The amount of pain, struggle, scrimping and self-righteous hoarding often done to achieve a balanced budget is certainly admirable, but not very pleasurable.

Sometimes you have to step out of the “allotment” and go with the moment’s sensation of celebrating the goodness of life. I know it’s irresponsible. I know it’s the kind of thing that maybe our ancestors would have frowned upon, but I occasionally find out that there isn’t an actual allotment for anything of value, yet value is still required.

And if faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, then to believe that we cannot launch out in faith without peering at it in our wallets may be against the whole concept in the first place.

Sometimes what we need, require and dream is more important than making all the aspects of our lives add up.

  • I know it’s risky.
  • I know I’ve been foolish and ended up looking fool-hardy.

But life is more than allotments. It’s reaching the last breath of your time on the planet … and smiling because you did it well.