Calculating

Calculating: (adj) acting in a scheming and ruthlessly determined way.

Do me a favor.

Stop trying to outsmart me.

Yes–that would be the kindest thing you could do for me.

If you don’t like me, respect me, appreciate me or want to be around me, don’t attempt to use your calculating ways to make me look foolish
so you can have a good giggle with your real friends as you walk away.

I’m a human being.

I’m looking for a chance to be with people who will see my faults, mention them privately and then defend me in front of those who would try to destroy me for my weakness.

The American culture has become a great competition in trumping one another. I do not mean any disrespect to our President, but the phrase was alive before his administration, and it endures.

If your greatest need is to conquer me, then I surrender.

If you must prove you are my intellectual superior, then I nod to your diplomas.

If it’s your muscles that must be praised for their firmness and size, I will stand over here meekly and applaud.

Although I have tried to be a calculating person, the end result was always a Pyrrhic victory–I won without possessing anything in my hands. Yes–an empty feeling of vanquishing.

I’m not interested.

I’m not willing to be either the instigator nor the victim.

If you want to deal with me, come clean or don’t come at all. I can handle it. Can you?

If you have a need to be better than me, then feel free to pursue your path, but also be prepared for the end result of your ignoble effort. 

 

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Caesar

Caesar: (n) a title used by Roman emperors

There are certain words that just should not be associated with human beings: king, queen, pope, master, lord, dictator, supreme ruler,
emperor and the general title of Caesar.

We are people. We just do too many fruitless, ridiculous, repetitive and common things to ever believe that any backside was polished by the Divine.

Yet when you get in the presence of someone who deems him or herself to be superior, and has come up with a matching handle to enhance the claim, it is fruitless to attempt to chide them to some sanity and awareness of their human roots.

So Caesars fight Caesars to be the Caesar above all Caesars.

Now that’s a tossed salad.

Yet how wonderful it is to walk around with the simple desire to enjoy life and bless other people and casually quip, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.”

 

 

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Blues

Blues: (n) a melancholic music of black American folk origin

Dictionary B

For a very, very–and dare I say, very–brief time, I ran the sound and light system for a blues club.

I was offered the opportunity because one of my sons was the chief engineer, and he needed a couple of nights off, so he generously afforded me the doorway to pick up a few extra bucks.

I had two nights of training, and even though I have a nearly passable understanding of electronic equipment, it was immediately obvious to me that I was out of my league. Not only was I an anachronism to the atmosphere of the institution, but the inadequacies of my working knowledge of the sound and the lights soon became apparent to everyone.

Also, listening to blues music two nights a week for four hours certainly does not leave you “in the pink.”

Blues music is a constant lament that “life is not fair” and “women need to find their place” and realize that men are superior. It is also self-indulgent in the use of the instrumental solo, trying to simulate anything from tooth extraction to orgasm.

After a while, the mingling of my disdain for the repertoire and my ineptness behind the board made it necessary for the head of the band to reluctantly approach my son and ask him to courteously and gently fire me as quickly as possible.

Although my fine offspring tried to be consoling, I was so relieved by being relieved that I’m afraid I showed my relief.

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Black Hole

Black hole: (n) a place where people or things, especially money, disappear without trace

Dictionary B

For years, in moments of frustration, I succumbed to calling individuals around me who found my disfavor, “Asshole.”

I never felt good about it.

It was a rather sleazy term, with no real meaning. After all, the problem was certainly north of their posterior.

Yet it made me temporarily feel empowered and superior, so I gave in to the inclination.

But no more.

I have found the perfect insult for those around me who are oblivious to the needs of others and think they are driving on the highway of life in the carpool lane.

They are black holes.

When anything full of life, potential, mercy, goodness, gentleness or legitimate humor gets anywhere near them, they swallow it up into the darkness of their oblivion. They do not possess the ability to retain, but instead are bottomless cups, constantly needing refilling.

The danger is that our society might become so accepting of these “black holes” that we start believing it is human nature to be devoid of empathy.

That would be most unfortunate.

Because even in the carpool lane, it is required for you to have two people.

 

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Beige

Beige: (n) a pale sandy yellowish-brown color.

Dictionary B

Am I the only weirdo who stops and thinks about God creating people from the dust of the Earth?

By dust, do we mean blowing sand from the desert? Or are we referring to soil?

Either way, God did not make humanity out of baby powder.

What I mean is, tweren’t white.

It’s amazing how Caucasian people came up with the idea that they are superior, considering their lack of pigment and the fact that they don’t resemble the hue of dust.

The first man and woman who were created were certainly darker in shade. A dusty brown.

So even though people jokingly say that they’re going to “go wild” and paint their den beige, and then giggle–actually, if you blended all the colors of human skin together, wouldn’t you end up with beige?

Isn’t our coloration very mediocre and therefore equally insignificant?

Because the beauty of beige is that it refuses to offer enough excitement to dazzle the room. It requires knickknacks, carpeting and wall hangings to bring it to life.

Huh.

So do we.

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Beggar

Dictionary B

Beggar: (n) a person, typically a homeless one, who lives by asking for money or food.

I was always curious what was meant by the word “chooser.”

You know–the classic closer on the phrase, “beggars can’t be…” culminating with the object, “…choosers.”

So much is made of choice.

We extol it as a symbol of our control, prowess and independence. But an amazing percentage of the events that transpire in our lives provide us no opportunity to choose, and often make us look like beggars.

People diagnosed with cancer have certainly not been given a chance to select a disease, and suddenly find themselves beggars to the doctor–and if they happen to be individuals of faith, on their knees, begging the heavens.

I guess we’re afraid of the word beggar, because no one wants to be beggarly. As Webster has proven in the definition provided for us today, we relegate being a beggar to the bedraggled homeless element in our society, who should be grateful for our pocket change, while no real change is ever offered to them.

Are they just destined to be poor?

I don’t think anyone is a beggar unless we treat him like a beggar.

If you have a five-year-old child and you take him to the store, and you haven’t provided a plan to give him a treat, you will end up with a little beggar on your hands.

If you’re a well-employed, successful individual who wants to purchase a house, but find yourself a few points deficient in your credit score, you may very well turn into a beggar in front of your loan officer.

So perhaps a beggar is not a position, but rather, a judgment we lay on each other when we want to feel superior and make another feel inferior.

For instance, my children will still come to me, asking for money. I have a choice. I can roll my eyes and be disgusted that they have the audacity to request finance from me, or I can make sure to remove all the elements of “beggar” from their consciousness, and let them know how delighted I am to be of assistance.

Last week I gave five dollars to a gentleman sitting alongside the road. Feeling he had a role to play, he began to grovel and feign tears in an attempt to prove to me that I was his superior and he, the dependent.

I refused to be part of the play.

I told him it was my blessing–that I hoped that in some small way he would be able to use it to brighten his day.

I took the “beggar” out of the definition … and gave him the chance to just be a man who I was able to assist.

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Bandit

Bandit: (n) a robber or outlaw belonging to a gangDictionary B

“Bandit” is normally a word that would appear in the narrative of a novelist who has already used the terms “crook, hoodlum, robber and renegade” and finally resorts to “bandit.”

But “bandit” is an important word, even if I didn’t have to write about it.

Very simply, a bandit is someone who steals from you.

I can honestly apply the term to many Hollywood producers who have certainly been bandits by robbing me of precious hours of time with their inane offerings.

I have also run across bandits in the clergy–who have sucked my life out with some sort of sermon or homily, going down a gospel trail to end up at the cave of misunderstanding.

Let us not forget the politicians, who are bandits not only in their misuse of money, but also by crapping on the honor of representing “we, the people.”

But what really struck me as I looked at this word is how often I might be a bandit.

  • How many times have I quietly taken something that was not mine because no one was looking?
  • How many times have I robbed the needful respect and dignity of other human beings so as to make myself look superior?
  • Can I count the occasions when I have purposefully dominated the conversation for fear that someone else might actually gain a breath of appreciation?

Bandits steal.

Perhaps one of the worst attributes of terrorism is the fact that they disengage us from our sense of well-being and turn us into defensive weaklings, hiding behind our fear.

Bandits are robbers–and as robbers, they are crooked.

And from their crookedness they try to scare us away … from straightening the paths.

 

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