Debase

Debase: (v) to lower in rank, dignity, or significance

It’s difficult to know whether human beings prefer stories which end in success or are finalized in some degree of tragedy.

I, for one, become light-headed and sleepy if I hear too much good news all at the same time, fearing that some of it may be embellished to maintain the sugar content.

Yet I have to admit, all of this “dark theater” that surrounds me adds an extra layer of worry to my soul—which is desperately in need of being cleansed from unrighteousness.

But universally, all of us are aware that we take our turn being debased. Or as I jokingly call it—spending time in “de-basement.”

Sometimes we even stand in line for it.

We’ll enter a contest, apply for a job, petition for a cause only to be flattened at the last moment like a housefly which paused too long next to the watermelon.

It’s not just part of life.

It is actually the portion of life that makes life ultimately livable.

If I don’t know how to do without, or be left out, rejected and mistreated, I will never have the sensibility to be merciful to others.

It’s a helluva way to learn it.

Certainly the heavens should have thought of a more cotton-candy schooling.

But sometimes you go without so that when you go with, you have a greater appreciation and perhaps even a broader understanding of value.

So give me a story where someone tries, fails, survives, laughs, rallies and then kicks ass.

Thus, the definition of the American dream.

 

Cry

Cry: (v) to weep or shed tears

Sometimes we grumble that nothing is getting better.

It may seem that the surrounding world is out of control and we are stuck moving at about 30 miles per hour.

So it is refreshing to allow oneself to consider the things that have improved and progressed us, instead of maintaining a cave-man attitude, wearing better clothes.

One of those things is crying.

We used to believe that crying was for women and small children. Men either didn’t cry or cried so quietly that you could not tell they were actually weeping.

It was considered a sign of weakness.

Then something changed.

Maybe it was the realization that three or four dozen football players working their asses off to win a game, only to lose it by one point in the last three seconds, did evoke tears—and there was nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes, we did become a better race when we realized that men cry as much as women. They have just learned how to mask it and not completely break down sobbing.

I cry.

I like to cry.

I’m trying to learn to cry without needing the stimulus of feeling sorry for myself. There’s a certain nobility to mourning for the needs and losses of others. I mean, I know what to say when I’m around a fellow human being who’s hurt.

But I’m not satisfied with how little I feel.

For instance, I am still very much relieved that it’s not me who’s going through the trouble. I want to express my sentiments of support and hope but not turn it into an all-day affair.

Mainly, I would like to do more to remove tragedy, sadness and despair from the world around me, so I don’t have to try to work it up inside myself or fail to do so and feel like a jerk.

I cry.

Unfortunately, most of the time I cry for myself.

But every once in a while, the Spirit that lives within me breaks through, wins the day and allows me to feel what it’s like to be another—and be tragically damaged.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I never thought of it before, but until we allow ourselves to cry, we’re not putting the troubles out of our lives.

We’re just putting them out of our minds.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Croatia

Croatia: (Prop. Noun): a country in South East Asia, formerly a part of Yugoslavia.

I’m nearly positive.

There must be a lovely little restaurant in Hiroshima that serves a tasty bird’s nest soup.

Likewise, Nagasaki probably has gorgeous parks for walking and sitting and talking.

I once saw a brochure about the beaches of Vietnam, advertising how spacious and clean they are.

I have no trouble thinking about Hawaii as a utopian climate of perfection.

And Pearl Harbor must surely be a fine location. Still, it is difficult for me to imagine it without seeing attacking airplanes and burning boats.

I am also incapable of thinking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki without envisioning flaming ruins from atomic explosions.

And if I do actually consider the beaches of Vietnam, it would be with the arrival of American Marines, under fire.

Likewise, when I hear the word Croatia, what comes to my mind is war.

I am inundated with visions of tragedy, genocide and crimes.

For you see, sometimes I get very tired of my American brain.

I love my country. I’m patriotic, but the limited scope my mind possesses when I hear certain words rings a false note and is definitely tiresome.

Can I see an American Indian—a Native—without thinking about Custer’s Last Stand?

And have I gotten past all my imagery from the movies, about black men and women huddled together as slaves?

I will agree it is sometimes good to be reminded of past sins, frailties, atrocities and horrible deeds.

Yet it is equally as good to be refreshed with visions of hope, possibility and brotherly love.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Charger

Charger: (n) Archaic a large, flat dish; platter

Long, long ago, when an epidemic of the simple common cold could kill people off by the thousands, a flat serving tray was referred to as a “charger.”

It has very little significance to us, as we now view a small cord which attaches to our phone as the only charger of note.

But long ago, when a young girl breathlessly finished a dance, nearly naked from her exuberant efforts, her step-father, a king, greatly
aroused by her choreography, promised to give her anything she wanted as payment for her little strip-tease.

He was obviously staring down at a beautiful temptation, and also at the evidence that she had succeeded in waking up the “little king.”

She was a nasty little vixen, with a mother who had been trained to be ruthless and cruel. So the two of them got together, and the girl requested the head of John the Baptist–“on a charger.”

(This is origin of the slogan, “I want his head on a silver platter.” I assume that the request for the platter was to express extreme indifference.)

But it is a warning.

For the Prophet John made the mistake of generating enemies of souls with no conscience.

And the young girl, who had been raised by a bedeviled mother to use the lust of men to her advantage, was able to take the Baptist’s indiscretion in judging a queen, and the queen’s fury over his insolence, and turn it into a tragedy.

It teaches us all that we should choose our words carefully — and avoid making enemies of people who really wouldn’t mind putting our fate on a plate.

 

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Caution

Caution: (n) care taken to avoid danger or mistakes

“Casting caution to the wind…”

Pretty good advice if you’re discussing farting.

Other than that, it is a piece of vanity without any sanity. Yet the statement has merit because cautious people are painfully picky.

What is the right amount of caution?

Most of us spend a lot of time figuring out how we’re going to do things, where, or even when.

The better part of caution is the question why. Because just because I can, or because it’s available does not mean it is advisable. “Why” welcomes the spirit of prudence, bringing about the inner conversation that introduces common sense to the event.

Stop asking yourself if you can. Cease to make everything in life an attempt to prove your prowess.

Why?

I would never ask God to give me superhuman strength unless I needed to lift a car off of someone pinned in an accident. But at that moment, the request would be well-founded. No need for caution would be required.

But to win the privilege of a couple of beers over a bet is not worthy of pulling your back.

Simply stated, caution is when the need is so great that we must go ahead and do what seems to be impossible–because otherwise a greater tragedy may occur.

 

 

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Broach

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broach: (v) to raise a sensitive or difficult subject for discussion

All cancers are birthed and thrive in a climate of silence and indifference.Dictionary B

If there were an awareness, every soul would be on the lookout for such a killer. But for some reason, it becomes more important to maintain the illusion of good health than to actually confirm it.

So it is with our society.

Because we possess an irrational fear of being found without merit, or even weakened by vice, we fail to discuss the things in life that would make us stronger, wiser and more valuable.

We don’t know how to broach the subject.

It leaves us startled, insisting that a tragedy has beset us … one that was actually well-planned through the rigorous efforts of our dumbstruck apathy.

 

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Brake

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brake: (n) a device for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle

Oblivion is the condition we find ourselves in just prior to the tragedy we refer to as “an accident.”

This was my situation many years ago when I was driving through the Sierra Mountains in California, completely enraptured in the scenery and infatuated with a gorgeous waterfall.Dictionary B

I had a car with a trailer attached to it. There’s nothing particularly unusual about that. But when you pull such a trailer, you require additional brakes placed on the rear, so that when you want to stop, it helps you instead of mocking you.

So having ascended a high peak, it was time to come down the other side. I remember thinking to myself, how fun this will be–just placing the car in neutral and coasting down the side of the cliff.

The immediate problem was that the trailer I was hauling was actually heavier than the car I was driving. As I was coasting down the mountain, I noticed I was picking up a little too much speed.

I tried to slow down by hitting the brakes. I quickly discovered that my brakes were no longer willing to brake.There was too much weight from the rear.

Faster and faster I careened, descending the precipice.

To my left were rock formations and to my right was the end of the road and a really big fall. Straight ahead were twisty roads which promised to send me into the rocks or over the edge.

I kept pumping the brakes, hoping they would at least consider a bit of grace to cover my stupidity.

To this day, short of divine intervention, I do not know how I finally got that trailer to slow down so I could pull off and stop.

There was a horrible smell of burnt rubber–and pee-pee in my pants.

Ever since then I have been a great believer in brakes, especially when they’re well taken care of … and you don’t ask them to move mountains.

 

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Bier

Bier: (n) a movable frame for a casket

Dictionary B

If you want to creep people out, just start talking about death.

Matter of fact, in the pursuit of bizarre conclusions, I have even brought the subject up at a party, and watched the room go from appalled to reflective, culminating in depression.

There are three things that are true about death:

1. It is the only thing that is certain, that we are certainly unwilling to admit is inevitable.

2. Everybody talks about an afterlife, but no one is really in a hurry to get there.

3. All humans are scared shitless of it–even though sometimes we pretend we’re not.

Sooner or later, we get there.

  • If it’s sooner, we call it a tragedy.
  • If it’s later, we usually say something like, “Well, it was his time…”

Therefore, it’s best that we take a moment and consider the quality of our lives–because each of us will someday end up hauled away on a bier to a place where we will not return, to go where we are not acquainted.

So I guess the best way to end this little essay is to conclude that while we are waiting, enjoy each other … and have a beer.

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Behead

Behead: (v) to cut off the head of someone, typically as a form of execution.

Dictionary B

There are certain behaviors that foretell of tragedy.

In the moment the perpetrators may seem dominant, but they are doomed to be overthrown by the common sense and grace of history.

They are characterized by certain attitudes which lend themselves to the arrogance of superiority, leaving the executioners vulnerable to plot and mayhem.

One of the obvious candidates for this path of disaster is a culture which beheads human beings.

Although beheading is the final stage in a lunacy which is borne out through those who are moon-struck by stupidity, any culture will behead its enemies once it accepts three ridiculous premises:

  1. We are superior.
  2. God is on our side.
  3. It is our mission to rule the world.

If any group of people adheres to these three nasty tenets, they will grab the sword and freely eviscerate innocent people.

So instead of looking at the atrocity of beheadings, we should look at what causes all of us mortals to lose our heads.

Without this revelation … we are one excited idea from becoming murderers.

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Awry

Awry: (adj & adv) away from the planned or expected course; amiss.

What we all are trying to avoid in our journey is the sensation of disappointment.dictionary with letter A

We can survive tragedy, mayhem, struggle, poverty and anything that falls from the sky as long as we did not have great expectation that it would ever happen.

Even though I know it is popular to have big dreams, huge goals, and make presumptuous statements about the success of our lives, nothing could be any more detrimental to us than to look at what has happened to us, assume that everything went totally awry, and for us to sit in a huge puddle of muddy disappointment.

So what’s the key? How can we avoid disappointment, which cripples our faith?

  1. Don’t have a goal–have a direction.

As you head off in that direction, goals will pop up which you can pursue. But when you assume that your goal has to be achieved, Mother Nature will be more than happy to pour water on your fire.

  1. Have at least three plans.

In other words, if this works, I can do this. But if I get this opportunity, then I can achieve this level. And if it all comes in, by the grace of God, we get the whole enchilada with cheese sauce.

  1. Keep in mind, mankind is watching.

More opportunities will come your way if you’re a good loser. Even though we insist that we admire the winner, we spend a lot of time watching the “trailers,” and what they do next.

  1. And finally, be grateful.

I know it sounds silly to be grateful for a fiasco or when your plans go awry, but most of the things in our lives which we now possess did not come to us as a whole.

They arrived in pieces and we puzzled them together.

Life by its very purpose is intended to create a situation where “the greatest laid plans of mice and men” go awry.

Mice run and hide in embarrassment.

But intelligent humans look for a way to use the surprises to create new dreams.

 

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