Crackpot

Crackpot: (n) a person who is eccentric, unrealistic, or fanatical.

 So what is a crackpot?

It may not be a word we use much nowadays. We favor asshole. But asshole has too broad a beam to it (pardon the expression).

A crackpot is something specific. A crackpot is a person who may start out well-intentioned but ends up ridiculous because he or she always makes the same mistake.

Crackpots leave out a step.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

For instance, it’s easy to find crackpots in religion. Many start out with a common theme: God created us. It’s a good beginning. But then they jump ahead to crazy notions:

God only loves us.

God wants us only concerned with worship.

God wants us to preach vigorously against sin.

God wants us to keep heaven on our mind.

God wants us to fight for Him.

They leave out the middle steps which justify our faith. For instance:

God created us all—and then here comes life.

You see? There’s a lot of living before we get about the business of dying. There’s a lot of living that needs to be done in peace and joy before we stand face-to-face in an afterlife of eternal glow.

The same thing is true in politics:

Our country needs to have its problems solved, says the politician. Well, it would be difficult to disagree with that. What makes these politicians crackpots is that they skip plans, responsibilities, taxes and timelines—and they jump straight ahead to attack their political enemies, blame other countries or try to load down great legislation with too many programs—and this brings everything to a screeching halt.

In business: “We are out to make a good product…” Then the crackpots of industry leap ahead to this statement: “…and more importantly, make a huge profit.”

Somewhere between the product and the profit there needs to be a happy consumer, a well-cared-for work force and balanced books.

A crackpot is someone who starts out with a good idea and skips all the work it takes to achieve solvency, assuming that the reward should be enjoyed right here and right now. 

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Bum

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bum: (n) a vagrant.

Yesterday, I once again heard the word.

It sent a chill down my spine.

I was situated next to a lady on the curb, and a gentleman walked by who obviously was not on his best streak of luck. As he disappeared in the distance, she turned to me and said, in her meanest, most nefarious tone, “Bum.”

I paused.

Actually, I found myself in the middle of a flash-back–because in the early years of my life, when I aspired to be a writer, musician, singer, or something of that sort, I ferociously ran away from the workaday world, having a great fear in my soul that once I got my first paycheck, I would never be able to wiggle myself out of the commitment.

In the process of trying to be something that nobody else thought I had the right to be, I got called “bum” a lot–even by family members. It never ceased to sting.

I pretended it didn’t bother me–but there was something really coarse and evil about having other human beings judge me solely on whether I was solvent by their standards.

So even though I should have responded more quickly to the lady, at length I said, “You never know. Maybe someday that young man you just called a bum will write fourteen books, have three daily blogs, thirteen screenplays and travel all across the United States, trying to bring common sense and love to the world.”

She stared at me with a quizzical look and then replied, “Ain’t no way.”

I just smiled.

Way.

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Budget

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Budget: (n) an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.

Sometimes I think the word “budget” was created so that the word “over” can be used more often.

Over budget.

I don’t exactly know why we’re so obsessed with budgets. I mean, I understand the practicality of them, but itDictionary B often resembles the little ant talking to the rubber tree plant.

In other words, we can account for many things as human beings:

  • We can tally.
  • We can work.
  • We can place things in envelopes.

But none of us are prepared for the surprises. Usually, those unplanned happenings are negative and not positive.

For instance, your car never tells you that it grew another transmission. That would be nice.

This is why, when we play Monopoly, and we pick the card that says “Bank error in your favor. Collect $100,” we almost feel like crying.

What is the value of a budget? The greatest purpose for a budget is to confirm that we have the possibility for solvency in the first place. Without such a consideration, we can launch a ship and run out of supplies in the middle of the ocean.

It’s called “counting the cost.”

And even though it doesn’t solve all problems, it at least informs us that if the wind blows just right, the figures we put on paper have half a chance of covering the need.

 

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Bourgeoisie

Bourgeoisie: (n) the middle class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values

It was called a skeleton key.Dictionary B

Certain locks were made to be universal, and opened by a single common key.

It was so simple. You just put the skeleton key in the lock and it opened up the door.

You didn’t have to have key cards or specially-ground units specifically designed to open particular doors. Of course, it fell by the wayside because it didn’t provide much in the way of privacy.

But as we consider the future of our country, with a desire to honor the needs of its people, let us realize that leading with finance or the ownership of things may be a good campaign approach, but it does not do very much to further our joining together as a nation.

Yes, we need a middle class. That middle class should have solvency. But that solvency should be used to expand the vision of those families to look for reasons to help others.

As it pertains to the bourgeoisie, you cannot simply give money to people and think it will miraculously turn into mercy.

It doesn’t.

Therefore–as in the case of the skeleton key–the most important thing we can do is teach people to value each other so when they do go into the marketplace and achieve success, or even prosperity, they will open their hearts to use their profits to profit others.

 

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Bag Lady

Bag lady: (n) a homeless woman who carries her possessions in shopping bags.Dictionary B

Our society has become obsessed with converse thinking.

In other words, if you have the boldness to make a statement or take a stand on an issue which you feel is particularly important, there is always some cynical, perhaps even jaded, passerby, who will pull an obscure point of reference to disprove your contention and try to show it to be ridiculous or foolish idealism.

I mean, you can walk in a room and say to the gathered that we all should learn to love one another, and at the end of half an hour, the denouncing voices will explain that this kind of general affection among humans is impossible because of the dangers of crime and even terrorism.

Never is this more true than on the subject of the homeless.

I have often presented the theory to those around me that it doesn’t hurt one little bit to pull a dollar out to help folks on the street, without feeling the need to inquire of their intentions or plans on using your 100 pennies.

I am frequently argued to the mat by those who present a contrary view, insisting that I am emboldening these individuals to remain without solvency.

Sometimes I am informed how crazy they are.

A certain handful of detractors cite statistics concerning the criminal records of those without a place to sleep.

They will also point out that the homeless and the bag ladies are a blight on the community and needn’t be so because there are agencies to assist them in finding their place in society.

Yes, I will tell you, we live in a converse world.

Those who have decided to become our leaders feel it is essential to present the darker side of every issue as a precautionary tale, lest we become too open to one another and end up with messy conflicts through our generosity.

I am weary of it.

I don’t want to know what the bag lady is going to do with my dollar. If she needs a cheap bottle of wine to get her through the day, then God bless her.

And God damn me if I forbid it out of my self-righteous, superior attitude.

If we don’t get out of our converse thinking, we’re going to begin to believe that there are no absolutes which lead us to goodness.

Instead, in trying to find the potholes… we will cease to build roads. 

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Amnesia

dictionary with letter A

Amnesia: (n) a partial or total loss of memory.

It is the sin of humanity.

How quickly we forget what it was like to be who we just were.

So the eight-year-old laughs at his baby brother, who needs a pacifier.

The teenager is critical of why her little punk sister plays with Barbie dolls.

The twenty-three-year-old, starting a new job, is baffled at why all the high schoolers are so worked up about the prom.

The thirty-five-year-old business man/father is perturbed at the lack of solvency and forethought in those twenty somethings.

The fifty-year-old, working on his career and retirement plan, cannot comprehend how younger generation gets by without worrying about an IRA.

And everybody over seventy completely forgets what it was like to be younger, as they convince themselves that life consists of finding good prices on meds, staying active and eating a healthy, early dinner.

Yes, the greatest gift we give to one another is remembering what it was like.

Without this we are not an asset.

Just an ass.

 

 

 

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Account

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Account: (n.) 1. a report or description of an event or experience. 2. a record or statement of financial expenditure or receipts. 3. an arrangement by which a body holds funds on behalf of a client. 4. importance of: money was of no account to her.

It’s that last definition that I’m most familiar with.

As a kid, my mother and father often referred to local folks as being “of no account.” I suppose they might have had some insight on the issue because they owned a loan company and received payments from many of these citizens each and every month, or on other occasions, DIDN’T receive such remuneration.

As a youngster, I didn’t think much about the statement–it seemed logical enough. It communicated to me that there were certain people who were valuable and self-sufficient, and then there were those who hung on for dear life by their fingernails, waiting for others to solve all their problems so they could slip into the back door to the celebration party, sheepishly bringing some chip dip and pretending they were part of the miracle.

Here’s the problem: if we could actually extend compassion to another person without feeling supremacy, then such an action would have divine conclusions. But the minute we open our wallets, our hearts or the door to our finance to other creatures who are less fortunate, we tend to place a status on them which renders them incapable of solvency.

How can you help somebody while at the same time empowering them?

For about two decades, we have attempted this by using the verbiage of “self-esteem,” pumping people full of hot air like balloons. When we arrive the next day and they’re flat, we pump them up again. No one knows for sure whether it’s on the eighth pumping or the twelfth that we stop being gentle to these deflated souls. But as long as we’re using air to try to make people look plumper instead of the opportunity  to be viable, then a part of our society will remain of “no account” and another portion will be nasty and snide.

Are there people who are just destined to be dependent? I don’t know. But the minute I believe that’s true, I cease to be of any value to the world around me.

I think we should approach life as if it’s an elementary school cafeteria. We all stand in line, get the same plate of food, walk to similar tables, with identical eating utensils and we either devour our portion with joy, producing energy, or we get too damn picky and end up hungry fifteen minutes later, looking for a snack.

The message? Encourage people to eat. Sometimes the food is a little less satisfying than other times, but eat it up. Sometimes it’s your favorite meal and you arrive at the next dining opportunity disappointed because it’s not repeated. Eat it up anyway.

Why? Because today has just enough in it for you if you slurp it up joyfully, granting you the opportunity to be successful.

I do believe that NoOne is better than anyone else. I just think some people finish their plate instead of scraping it into the trash. Those who do make it through the day understand why it happened. Those who don’t gave up somewhere along the way and lift their hands to the heavens, wondering why in God’s name it happened.

My mom and dad were wrong. There are NO people descended from Adam and Eve who are of “no account.” There are those children of Eden, however, who decline the provision given to them, dreaming and yearning for the magical apple.