DBA

DBA: (adj) Doing Business As

Over-prepared.

I have been guilty of this.

I have what I consider to be a healthy sense of gloom. (I’ve never bought into doom, but gloom catches my fancy.)

So if I’m going to a meeting, I always take too much information.

If I’m being interviewed, I have been known to over-answer the question.

And in the process of doing this, I cast a suspicious light on myself, because folks wonder why I’m yammering so much without being probed.

For instance, I recall the first time I went to a bank to start an account with my music group. I was unnerved. Well, maybe not unnerved, but kind of a mingling of overly careful and defiant.

I had read what the bank required in order to open an account called DBA—”Doing Business As.”

In other words, it was me doing business as the name of my music group.

It was really quite simple.

Matter of fact, we were halfway through the process of signing up with the bank officer when I started jabbering.

I offered that we were just getting started.

I detailed examples of how much money we made—or how little money we made.

The process, which was really rather uncomplicated, became bizarre because of my off-putting approach. Then the bank officer, feeling a bit uncertain due to my jittery profile—which now included some sweat at my brow—called over his superior to handle the matter.

I was screwing this thing up.

When the senior officer arrived, he sat down and realized that I had just painted myself into a corner of flummox. He turned to me and said kindly, “Calm down. People get DBA accounts all the time—and most of them aren’t criminals.”

I laughed.

It felt good to laugh.

Matter of fact, laughing may be the only remedy when we have allowed ourselves to go bonkers over nothing.

Cross-Reference

Cross-reference: (n) a reference from one part of a book, index, or the like, to related material, as a word or illustration, in another part.

I think there are three.

Yes, there are three books that I feel are necessary to be used to cross-reference one another.

In doing so, they help us to land on common sense and some measure of universal truth.

Unfortunately, people normally revere only one of these books–or might include two.

But it is the enjoining of all three that gives us the perspective, the insight and the balance to understand where we’re going and why each one of these volumes was written in the first place.

For me—in no particular order—for me this trio of books is:

1. The history book

2. The science book

3. The Bible

Rather than trying to find out where these particular collections of knowledge contradict one another, I think the wise human journey is finding out where they coincide.

What part of our human history helped us discover a scientific fact that can be cross-referenced in the Bible?

I will go as far as to say that if these books do not cross-reference each other, we should look at the situation with suspicious eyes. For just as the history book certainly needs to be updated with events, and the science book needs to be refreshed with available data, so the Bible needs to have inclusions enlightenment that is everlasting instead of temporary, acquired from a former time.

But if history, science and the Bible all agree on a matter, it is pretty safe to chase the dream.

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Critter

Critter: (n) any creature.

Painful as it may seem, sometimes you just have to make a decision.

Neutrality may appear to be a safer ploy, but if you continue to insist that you can go one way or another, you usually end up going nowhere.

I will give you two examples of what I’m talking about.

The first one would be our selected word for the day—”critter.”

Although Webster insists it is synonymous—equal, if you will—to the word “creature,” you and I know it is not.

If I were sitting at a dinner with people of education, prominence and self-imposed superiority, and I were to utter the word “critter,” they would immediately assume that the conversation needed to be doled out in syllables of less than three.

Yes, I would be classified as a bumpkin.

I might be viewed as a hillbilly.

Considered quaint, but not cute.

And they would be afraid that I might break out into strains of Dixie, insisting that “the South will rise again.”

I don’t care what state you’re from (except maybe Mississippi). If your governor kept referring to creatures as critters, you might think it was a populist choice. But even if you were a small-town type person, you would be suspicious about trusting this individual to be in charge of the state treasury.

No, I don’t think you can say “critter” and not have all the accoutrements, sins, attributes and burdens of the Dixon part of the Mason cast upon you.

The same thing is true with the word “y’all.”

You can say, “All of you,” or “us together,” but the minute you say “y’all,” memories of moonshine and the Klan pop into the mind of your hearer, and you are cast among the ignorant.

I am not saying I agree with this, considering that I lived in the South for many years. But I have also traveled all over, and even though I grew up in Ohio, if I go to Wisconsin, they will insist I have a Southern accent.

It’s not because I have a drawl or a twang.

It is simply because sometimes I chat y’all up ‘bout ma’ critters.

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Corroborate

Corroborate: (v) to make more certain; confirm

There are those final moments at the end of a heated argument when two or more people stare at each other, exhausted from trying to outwit one another, realizing that life needs to go on, yet all the debaters are suspicious of exactly how that could happen.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Human beings are the most fragile, yet indestructible, organisms ever conceived.

We can have our bodies shot with radiation to kill cancer.

People have fallen out of fifteen-story windows, landed on cement and survived.

Yet one foolish accusation or ill-placed assumption can render us emotionally paralyzed, unable to continue without years of therapy or medication.

What is it that causes us to believe that disagreements, which are plentiful, are somehow or another insurmountable?

There may be only one thing that aids the survival of the human race: a single action placed at just the right time after we have failed, cursed, stumbled, lied, cheated, argued and even threatened violence. It is the stillness which often comes over the soul and allows a moment of heartfelt reflection.

At this juncture we realize that the best way to confirm what we hope, what we are or what we believe is to stop fussing and go out and find a way to corroborate it.

  • Cease wishing; begin to work.
  • Stop praying and instead, produce.
  • And fail without becoming a failure.Donate Button

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Cordial

Cordial: (adj) courteous and gracious; friendly; warm:

“It doesn’t work! Not nowadays!”

That’s the statement flung in my direction whenever I suggest that kindness, gentleness and being cordial is a viable option to bitterness, strife and animosity.

It seems the entire human race is frightened by the prospect that being merciful is setting them up, like a golf ball on a tee, to be driven far, far away by a funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
smack with a club.

Yet no one sits down and asks the simple question, “What happens when people are no longer intimidated by your bad attitude?”

You may frighten people off by being suspicious, nasty and unfriendly, but eventually, someone will be terror-free, and others will learn to shed their fear of you. Then they will come with torches and pitchforks, to kill the Frankenstein who was so rude to them.

That would be you.

There’s one thing for certain—no one has to go to bed nervous, asking him or herself, “Is my cordial attitude going to backfire on me?”

There’s a peace that follows being peaceful.

There’s a blessedness attached to being a peace-maker.

It is so precious that people will begin to believe that you’re a child of God.

The bravest thing you can ever do in your life is to refuse to fight, argue, attack and brutalize another human being. The risk is that they will still turn on you and destroy you while you stand there, helpless.

But there is the possibility that your unwillingness to draw blood in conflict with them will at least give them pause.

If you refuse to join the battle, any further attack makes them murderers if they kill you, not warriors.

Cordial people survive to have great-grandchildren and write the history books about those they out-loved.


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Checklist

Checklist: (n) a list of things to be done

A checklist is most effective if it is written, attached to a clipboard, with a pen or pencil nearby to cross off things that have been accomplished. Without all these ingredients, it is very similar to writing an essay on “What I Would Do If I Lived on the Moon.”

In other words, well-intentioned but impractical.

The reason people are afraid of organization is that it demands we organize. In organizing, we lose two very essential units of our egotism:

  1. The power to be completely spontaneous
  2. And the erroneous notion that we are so smart we will remember everything we need to do.

Therefore, on this issue there are three kinds of people:

  • Those who have a checklist but never use it
  • Those who refuse to make a checklist because it’s demeaning and stupid
  • And those who have a checklist who do not mind being considered stupid or find it demeaning–because they get things done.

It is completely alright to be suspicious of anyone who likes a checklist. After all, it’s weird–similar to coming into the acquaintance of a nine-year-old boy who likes wearing his bicycle helmet.

But it is very important–whether fretfully, fearfully or faithfully–for us to pursue the organization of our thoughts the very moment that inspiration is delivered to us, and use ink or pencil to memorialize them for all time.

Or at least until we have the erotic pleasure of crossing them off of our list.

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Charming

Charming: (adj) pleasant or attractive.

Mr. Webster, please make up your mind.

Is it pleasant, or attractive? Truthfully, the two rarely run races together.

Those who are attractive don’t necessarily feel the need to be pleasant. The absence of pimples and the presence of dimples grants them
license to be just as snooty as they deem necessary.

And those who are not attractive often don the apparel of “pleasant,” to clothe themselves in a righteousness that should be suitable for the runway of life.

So which is it?

I suppose there might be a tiny handful of humans who are attractive and pleasant–which enables them to go into a bar and get a date without buying her a drink.

So I disagree that charming has anything to do with pleasant or attractive. Charming is just damn smart. It’s the realization that not everyone will find you attractive, no matter how much you primp, and being pleasant may be suspicious rather than advantageous.

My definition for charming is finding a way to be sensitive to the moment.

Weep with those who are weeping, rejoice with those who are rejoicing. And stop thinking that God has voted you to be in charge of all moods.

If you are able to sensitize yourself to the situations around you, granting a bit of grace to the emotions that crop up, you will bear fruit in the human family.

 

 

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Antithesis

dictionary with letter A

Antithesis: (n) something or someone who is the direct opposite of something or someone else. i.e. Selfishiness is the antithesis of love.

It’s all about the word “as.”

Even though I may be criticized for arguing with Webster’s Dictionary, since it is considered to be the ultimate authority on wording and meaning, I must tell you that calling selfishness the antithesis of love is a bit old-fashioned, uninspired and lacks practical application.

Sometimes we just say stuff because we think it sounds noble. Things like, “selfishness is the antithesis of love.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I suppose if people were diagramming that sentence or looking for focus words they would choose love, neighbor or yourself, but actually, the key word is “as.” For after all, we actually do love other people in complete proportion to how we view and embrace “us.”

  • If we are plagued by too much insecurity, we tend to be suspicious of others.
  • If we’re too boastful and self-indulgent, we make the dangerous assumption that other people are the same as us, so we end up suspicious.

What truly is the antithesis of love is fear–and the worst fear in the world is to be afraid to honestly accept who we are.

Until fear is addressed, love is a theory.

Until anxiety is ministered to, we will have a tendency to fret and fume, allowing opportunity to slip away.

So if you take the big three–faith, hope and love–and look for the antithesis to each, I believe you will end up with a trio of human “nasties” which plague us all.

For I would say the antithesis of faith is presumption–people who assume that everything will be taken care of because they are special.

And the antithesis of hope is lying. Yes, nothing is more frustrating to our hope than when we are lied to by those who feel they can manipulate us.

And as I have already said, I believe the antithesis of love is fear.

What would happen if we just took one week of our lives and addressed the presumption, lying and fear which haunt our efforts, and reveal them for the charlatans they truly are?

At the very least … we might just begin to believe in faith, hope and love again.

 

 

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Amass

dictionary with letter A

Amass: (v.) to gather together or accumulate a large amount or number

Oh, cautious soul that I truly am, I am always suspicious of the majority.

When human beings amass in large quantities, stuffing themselves into arenas, large sanctuaries or convention halls, I become a bit disconcerted.

Because to gain applause you have to get the approval of many people at the same time. Already that connotes a great degree of compromise. It also encourages demagogues, who espouse the present popular stumping, screaming from the podium until the listeners become frenzied.

Every time I become concerned about my level of popularity or fame I go on the Internet and watch a news reel of Adolph Hitler circa 1932 in Germany. No one could have had more charisma. If you read his speeches in English, they are filled with nationalism, pride and a great sense of “Yay us.” So of course, people amassed behind such encouraging themes.

But here is the startling fact: human beings are just better when we’re not kissing our own ass (or nearby asses).

Certainly we require a certain amount of appreciation, but mingled in with that should be adequate doses of challenges, questioning and even the occasional on-the-spot review.

Although I realize that I am in the minority in my lack of acceptance for the majority, I will tell you that the best decisions I have made in my life, the most amazing transitions and the most valuable conclusions arrived at in my soul, were accomplished in moments of reflection, and punctuated by seasons of repentance.

  • So those who amass wealth are prodded in their spirits to give it away. If they aren’t, we call them “stingy butt-holes.”
  • Those who amass friends are in need of sharing that friendship with the entire world instead of swallowing it whole. Otherwise we think of them as glory-hounds, flitting from one party to another.
  • And those who amass respect are obligated to share it with “the least of the brethren” around them, so as not to convince the gathered horde that superiority has been achieved, and therefore the inferior ones should be trekked to the gas chamber.

I don’t believe in a lonely life. But I do believe that the “road less traveled” is not only quieter, but gives you a chance to look deep inside and discover the need for improvement.

 

Aloof

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aloof: (adj.) not friendly or forthcoming

Stupidity always attempts to be clever, but lacks either the pedigree or the intelligence to pull off the act.

Aren’t you glad? Otherwise, stupid ideas could slide into place under the guise of being cool and wise, and overtake our better sensibilities.

But be careful–stupidity will try.

That’s the case with the word “aloof.” Whenever I hear the word used, it is generally preceded by an additional word: remaining.

Yes, the advice you often receive is to “remain aloof.”

You see the trick? Stupidity is trying to step in and convince us that our best profile as human beings is to act like we don’t care–and on top of that, to select that posture as often as feasible.

Here’s the truth: human beings are not naturally aloof. We are taught to do that. We are practically browbeaten into being suspicious, worried and frantic.

Naturally, we are gregarious.

After all, there are only two kinds of kids on the playground: those who are feverishly playing, and those who feverishly want to play. There are no children who want to “remain aloof.”

“Aloof” is the ridiculous contention that by standing in the shadows or perching ourselves on the bench, we will be able to criticize the other players in life simply because we are better than they are–and after all, we didn’t even participate.

Aloof comes in many forms:

  • “Doing your own thing”
  • “I was just being myself”
  • “Our group has more opportunities”
  • “We don’t agree with those folks”
  • “They don’t seem to like us, so we ignore them”

But I will tell you–“aloof” is always the fire-starter for all bigotry. It tells us that we have the right to separate ourselves off from all the other human tribes and offer our opinion … without giving our support.