Condolence

Condolence: (n) an expression of sympathy, especially on the occasion of a death.

Condolence is a word that tries to define another word, which fails to clarify any meaning.

Expressing sympathy is ambiguous by itself. Saying that expressing sympathy is a condolence further muddies the waters of comprehension.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

There are times in life when being specific is required. Very simply, these occasions would be during joy and within sadness.

When we are overjoyed, we should be bubbling, with a great testimony of what sparked our soul with purpose.

And when sadness places a dark cloud in front of our eyes, we need to be able to personalize that pain, granting it a genuine, human quality.

I do not want to express my condolence to you, nor do I feel inclined to send my sympathy.

What I want to tell you is that when I heard of your anguish, it stopped my day. My brain put a moratorium on any further thoughts, and for a while I was transported in my spirit to your side, speechless, not wanting to do anything but embrace you and let you know that you are not alone.

 

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Bilingual

Bilingual: (adj) fluent in two languages.Dictionary B

Perhaps one of the better definitions of “honorable” is sharing one’s experience while freely admitting it is limited.

I have an exciting life, filled with many journeys, but most of them have occured within the confines of the United States. I have been to Canada several times, and made a ten-day journey to Haiti.

It hardly classifies me as a world traveler.

I share this preface because I want you, as the reader, to understand that it is fine to offer our testimony as long as we’re willing to warn the hearer of the limits of our scope.

So since Canada speaks English (though some of my brethren in the deep South would disagree) my only true experience of bilingual situations lies in my escapade to Haiti.

The thing I immediately sensed upon arriving in this country is that I wanted to be able to communicate with them in their own tongue. My lack of preparation for such a maneuver left me quite aggravated with myself.

So I set about to rectify the situation by learning as many phrases as possible. Since I was actually doing some public speaking, I was issued a translator. He was a delightful young fellow with a desire to please.

As I gradually assimilated a few words here and there, I realized that this fine youthful translator was editing many of the things I was saying.

So after one of my little talks, I confronted him. A bit red-faced, he candidly replied, “Well, I tried to make sure that everything you said would meet the approval of the audience so they wouldn’t be upset with you.”

I laughed, but instructed him to be more faithful with my content.

We are so afraid of words that even as they are translated into other cultures, there is a gnawing fear that we might say something unacceptable.

The chances of that happening are highly likely.

So that is the reason–whether we’re speaking our native tongue or a tongue that is native to our audience–we always need to remember that humility should precede our words, gentleness should accompany them and a willing spirit should follow.

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Besiege

Besiege: (v) to purposely surround

Dictionary B

Good intentions are the excuses we are prepared to make when we know, deep in our hearts, that we may just be interfering.

It really comes down to two words: hug or surround.

What is the difference? If you’re standing at a distance, they can appear to be the same thing:

  • In both cases, they resemble an embrace.
  • In both cases, they bring you close to the source of your focus.
  • And in both cases, they temporarily confine others to your moment’s emotion.

But a hug is something you want–or even need.

Being surrounded is the whim of the person who’s decided for you what you need.

You can see, one is quite the opposite of the other.

There is a general weakness in the human race which makes us feel that we are responsible to make other people as devoted, sacred, disturbed or entrenched as we are–even if it doesn’t make them happy.

We don’t want to be a testimony to others–we prefer taking the role of judge and jury.

So in my journey, I’ve discovered that even though I think I have an insight on the predicament or progress of other human beings, I will stand afar and allow them to know that I’m available … but not besieging them with my presence.

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Banish

Banish (v): to send someone away from a country or place as an official punishment.Dictionary B

All through my teenage years, I used my arrogance as a means of establishing dominance. And of course, dominance seemed to grant me justification for my arrogance.

I was convinced I was valuable.

I was energized by my obvious ability, and I had no comprehension of anyone disagreeing with my self-assessment.

All the time, I was quietly making enemies.

These enemies were silent out of fear of my intense attitude mingled with some respect for my accomplishments.

  • They were waiting.
  • They were biding their time, looking for me to fall.
  • And I did.

In my era, I committed the worst possible breach of local protocol–I got my girlfriend pregnant in a time when young people were not supposed to have any awareness of their genitalia.

On top of that, I was a good church-going boy who now was the father of a baby out of wedlock.

I needed wisdom.

I needed mercy.

I needed to know what the hell to do next.

But since I had never expressed vulnerability, no one allowed me the courtesy of being wounded. They took all of the pent-up anger and frustration over my self-righteousness, and banished me and my girlfriend to an island by ourselves, where we were viewed as outcasts and a disgrace to the populace.

Now, I’m sure my reflections may seem overwrought, and the testimony of others who lived through the era might render a different tale.

But banishment is not the reality of the action. Instead, it is the sensation of the loneliness.

And I was lonely–so lonely that I considered aborting the very child that made my union with this dear woman viable.

I didn’t.

I survived the banishment and I guess my village got over all of my hypocritical indiscretion.

Life went on.

The amazing thing is that I have found myself many times possessing the same seat of judgment, with the ability to levy punishment against others and banish them from my sight.

I cannot tell you that my record is spotless and that I’ve always been a just judge.

But thank God, often the memory of being solitary and confined to my own iniquity and mistakes has caused me to extend tenderness … instead of shoving the problem-makers away.

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Aficionado

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Aficionado: (n.) a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject or past-time

I am almost certain that these two particular words NEVER, or perhaps better stated, RARELY, work together.

I am talking about knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

In my life I have encountered people who were knowledgeable, but the information they attained through schooling or experience had disembowled their enthusiasm.

Likewise, I have been in the company of those ablaze with enthusiasm, only to discover that their limited scope of comprehension had cursed the project to the great pit of ignorance.

Yes, it is a rarity to discover a human being who is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic, therefore fulfilling Webster’s definition of aficionado.

It is perhaps one of my primary goals in life–to learn the inner workings of my craft without becoming jaded, cynical or bored.

  • For I will tell you, the worst person in the world to teach you about the Constitution, government and the great American dream is a politician.
  • I have never found ministers to be a tremendous source for bolstering one’s faith through their personal testimony.
  • I certainly would not want to discuss lifelong love and fidelity with a prostitute.
  • In turn, becoming excited about the wonderful choices available in a restaurant is not always accomplished by talking to the chef or the owner.
  • And needless to even say, having an inspiring dialogue about the glory of music is doomed to failure if you are going to chat with the first violinist of a symphony.

My goal? To learn to do what I do better–while still maintaining a childlike heart, as if it were the first day on the job.

People often ask me  if I get tired, sharing the same stories and songs. You can sense that part of them WANTS me to be burned out. But there is a little boy or girl inside, who instead wants to leap for joy if I am still thrilled to be on my playground. So it is always my magnificent pleasure to inform them that each song I sing and each word I speak surprises me every night with new significance.

I would love to be knowledgeable. Just not snarly.

I desire to be enthusiastic. Could I do that without being inept?

“Aficionado” should be the goal of everyone who wants to see the world get better.

To do that, we have to learn the truth and allow it to set us free … instead of making us depressed.

 

Aerialist

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aerialist: (n) a person who performs acrobatics high above the ground on a tightrope or trapeze.

We will trust in something.

  • Those who do not put their faith in God find great solace in education, knowledge or science.
  • Folks who are not physically inclined are comforted by reading, writing or thinking.

It always astounds me when I watch folks working a trapeze–how they overcome their fear of heights–until I realize that it has little to do with that. I suppose it would even be possible to have such an apprehension, and as long as you placed your faith in the skill of maintaining your craft, you would be fine.

After all, an aerialist does not trust the wire he or she is walking across. The wire is the obstacle. Certainly, they are careful to maintain the integrity of the line, but they place their faith in the jungle control and well-trained connection they have with their muscles and bones.

Walking across a high wire is not about trusting the surface nor even your balance. It is having the physical tone to know that when you place your foot down anywhere, the tendons and ligaments that control that appendage are strong, firm and sure.

It’s true of anything in life.

As I write this article today, there are millions of people who would insist they are incapable of such a task. They would find it nerve-wracking, if not foreboding, to put together sentences or ideas that possess interest.

But I trust the muscle. As I think, I say.

It’s a confidence that has grown in me as I have arrived at the moment of composition, without any idea ahead of time about what I’m going to share. I dig deep into my soul and find not only a topic, but a personal insight.

An aerialist is not a person who places his faith in chance, but rather, someone who knows that his body will respond the same, whether walking in the air, or on terra firma. An aerialist is a human testimony of working what we do well until we can have total enjoyment in the experience because we have logged the hours of practice.

It’s true for all of us–or else the lack of the truth leaves us feeling inadequate or meaningless.

I cannot walk on a high wire, but I do understand what gives them the impetus and confidence to do so: it is the same muscle and moxie that grants me the window to open every day … to let the fresh air of ideas sweep through me and from me.