Corroding

Corroding: (v) to eat or wear away gradually as if by gnawing, especially by chemical action.

At one time I adopted (or maybe adapted) three extra sons into my household.

It was a inspiring feeling—the sensation of helping these kids out, but also the pride that came from doing something out of the box, which funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
other people “oohed and ahhed” over because of its nobility. (That’s who we are–a mixture of possibility mingled with ego.)

Well, back to my story.

I wanted to make sure the young fellows were comfortable, so in a fit of generosity, I decided to buy them little candy bars which I could hand out after meals as desserts. The candy wasn’t that expensive, and I knew they would look forward to having one after enduring the latest green bean surprise.

Here was the problem: every time I went into my pantry, there were fewer and fewer candy bars. It was not due to the fact that much time had passed, and many meals had corroded my supply.

No, I was being pilfered.

There was someone in the home who was taking more than his fair share of what I bought out of tender loving care.

It created two problems. First, there were fewer candy bars than there should be, and unless I purchased more, we would run out before the end of the week. Secondly, if I didn’t get to the bottom of who was copping the treats, I would buy more and inadvertently feed the addiction to both chocolate and deceit.

So even though I felt foolish, I realized that the greatest corrosion in the situation was the breaking of trust and allowing one or more of the young men to believe that taking what was not offered is acceptable, and not stealing.

It was painful.

I think the third degree went on to the fourth and fifth degree and the inquisition took at least four hours.

Finally, one of the young men broke down, in a reaction that landed somewhere between tearful and enraged over being trapped and admitted that he was the one who snatched the sweets. It was ugly. It is always ugly when something of value begins to corrode and it becomes necessary to trace where the attack is coming from.

But because the young man admitted he was the one, I was able to continue to buy candy bars, and trust that the other two fellows would watch him like a hawk—to protect their prize.Donate Button


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Corollary

Corollary: (n) an immediate consequence or easily drawn conclusion.

Although it is not simple to explain to a six-year-old, nevertheless it still needs to be taught.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I had to instruct all of my children in a simple principle:

If you lie to me, we’ve got nothing—no relationship, no interaction, no possibility, no way of drawing close to each other.

Because lying comes with a corollary.

If my children lied to me, they were telling me they did not believe that truth would give them standing—even though I told them that no matter how bad they may think the truth might be, it was never as evil as the tiniest lie. And if they lied to me, they were saying they did not believe the truth could be heard and that they would still be able to continue being loved and appreciated.

Once they showed me they didn’t care about the truth, I knew they didn’t care about my feelings. Without the truth, I have no way to measure the depth and breadth of my relationship with anyone.

Once they created the corollary that they didn’t care about my feelings, they were making it obvious that their pride was more important than our relationship. You can see—it’s difficult to continue a friendship at that point.

Since their pride was more important, the only thing left for me was to leave them to their pride without my respect, trust and affection.

We create corollaries every day.

We make exchanges.

We explain through our actions not just what we think of a certain situation, but what we think about one another.

And even though we all would like to live in a vacuum, inside a bubble where we would be free of commitment, criticism and responsibility, no such world exists.

We have this world—where the truth does make us free—because suddenly we are liberated from all condemnation, incrimination, scrutiny and most importantly, no longer in fear of being doubted.


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Control

Control: (v) to dominate by giving direction

 It certainly doesn’t make me a genius, nor particularly insightful, to tell you that the greatest problem on Planet Earth is lying.

Once it begins, there is literally no possibility of anywhere to place trust.

You have to question everything. It is not only annoying, but impractical, because time does not allow us to cross-examine everyone we should be able to funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cbelieve.

Yet, rather than attacking lying, I would much rather point out where lying slips into our lives and trickles off our tongues. Basically, it occurs when we try to establish that we are in control—but circumstances contradict our assertion.

Once it becomes obvious that we are not in control, but instead, constantly need to evolve toward better choices, we can stop lying.

We can simply say, “Oops! I missed that one.”

But if we’re afraid we’ll lose status, value, importance or power by not touting our control, then we quickly draw out our lies and spill them, like poison.

It’s not really human.

This is why any reasonable philosophy requires the participants to be prepared to repent and change—or they will end up perishing in a lifestyle of deception.

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Consignment

Consignment: (n) agreement to pay a supplier of goods after the goods are sold.

There are three of them.

Yes, three different interactions with human beings that are disconcerting because they require a certain amount of trust in a stranger, which seems completely irrational.

May I start with a car mechanic? I don’t care who he knows, who knows you or who knows him.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

When you are bringing your vehicle in to be checked over, you are walking in the assumption that this attendant standing before you, glibly relating what has befallen your transportation, is speaking the truth.

Now why would he do that?

We don’t trust anybody else that much.

If you live in a household with children, you don’t bake three dozen chocolate chip cookies without finding a really good hiding place. Even though they’re your children and you’re supposed to trust them, you don’t.

But we take our cars–and put them in consignment–to a complete stranger under the assumption that he is going to love that four wheels as much as we do, and for some reason, give us a good, jim-dandy deal.

Secondly, a pawn shop. I suppose if you get desperate enough to go and pawn something, it may not really matter if it works out well in the end. Survival may be so important in the moment that considering future moments might be irrelevant.

But what’s to keep a pawn shop guy from tearing up your ticket, selling your thing, making some profit and then pretending he never even saw you before?

So to a certain degree, we consign to this broker virtue that just may not exist–because we are desperate to receive a financial fraction of what our item is worth.

And of course, finally and obviously, there is the actual consignment store. You bring in your clothes or your used appliances, and they agree to set them out for people to buy–and later they present you with a check. And you have no idea if it represents any fair portion of the amount for which they sold your treasure.

So please don’t come to me and say that you have difficulty putting your faith in your loved ones or your trust in God.

For any person who will believe a mechanic, a pawn shop broker or a consignment store owner, should believe everybody

 

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Business

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Business: (n) the practice of commerce.

“Business as usual.”

Maybe if we clarified what “usual” is, we might have a better idea of the true nature of business.

If by business we mean simply finding a way to create commerce without any real concern except profit margin, then we unleash an unruly effort on the world that doesn’t seem to answer to any higher guideline.

But if we know what the “usual” is of business, and that “usual” has productive roots, then business can be a good thing–matter of fact, the heart of every endeavor.

For even the Good Book tells us not to be slothful in business. What is slothful in business?

Anyone who starts a storefront or an Internet escapade should ask two questions:

  1. Is this needed?
  2. Can I maintain quality?

Because if it’s not needed, it not only will have a short life, but it continues to increase the cynicism about true ingenuity in the marketplace.

And if the essence of quality if sacrified to manufacturing costs, then people will cynically hold a broken piece of junk in their hands that makes them further suspicious of the world as a whole.

Slothful in business is when we’re more concerned with producing than we are with being productive.

Not every corporation needs to have a noble cause–but everyone who decides to market a product needs to be able to give a quick explanation of its purpose and value, and also a guarantee that it was put together with tender, loving care.

Anyone who thinks that’s unrealistic will probably find him or herself in a slothful profile. And anyone who asks the two magic questions–is it needed and can I maintain quality?–is helping to build the trust among humans that is necessary to keep us from self-destruction.

 

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Begrudge

Begrudge: (v) to envy someone the possession or enjoyment of something.

Dictionary B

Civility, courtesy, trust.

These are three different profiles we take in dealing with each other.

We try at all times to keep a “civil tongue” about us. That means if we discover we don’t like somebody, we try not to turn it into a clash or all-out war.

But civility does lend itself to duplicity. In other words, we’re nice to somebody’s face but speak great harm to their back side.

And people actually want more than civility.

So to those individuals who might be worthy of our confidence, we extend courtesy.

That means that even when we think they’re lying, we pretend they’re not. If we think they’ve bit off more than they can chew, we remain silent and let them swallow or choke on it.

Most people are satisfied with being granted courtesy, even though the station does not offer the possibility of tuning themselves up better.

What we often begrudge–what we refuse to grant people, which is the prize above all gifts–is trust.

Trust is that abiding notion that I believe in you enough that I will allow you to lead me in a direction which I may not totally understand, but because it’s you, I will follow.

Even though I have to admit that trust is hard to come by, when human beings prove themselves worthy of it, it is cruel to lump them in with the mass of amateur deceivers … and begrudge them the opportunity to rise and be respected.

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Avow

Avow: (v) to assert or confess openly.

They call it allocution.dictionary with letter A

It is the action demanded of a criminal in a court case when a guilty plea has been accepted and it becomes his or her responsibility to admit to all of the facets and details of the crime.

Even though we demand this from the more sinister members of our society, we do not require it of the common man or woman.

The most popular rendition of denying one’s previous deeds is the apology. I think we all would agree that an apology from a murderer in a courtroom would not only be insufficient, but insulting. And the lack of requiring that people avow their involvement–good or bad–in a situation gives enough wiggle room that we are never quite certain of what is true and what is false.

When truth becomes a bouncing ball, it’s not safe for anyone to play.

Very recently, I have become convinced of the intelligence of coming clean. It’s a three-step process:

  1. I come to myself.

I realize I have done or am doing something unfruitful, perhaps even wrong.

  1. I come to the facts.

I decide what would be an accurate assessment of my situation and how to phrase it in such a way that I could unburden my conscience and clarify my need for repentance.

  1. I come to others.

It simply is not enough for us to be aware of our own frailties. We gain power and position when those around us know we can be trusted because they have heard us be honest about uncomfortable matters.

It is certainly much more popular to disavow–to distance oneself from causes or endeavors that have proven to be detrimental. But the ability to avow one’s involvement, positive or negative, is the trigger for our trust of those we love or those we wish to lead us.

 

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AK-47

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

AK-47: (n) a type of assault rifle, originally manufactured in the Soviet Union.

It’s a big gun. That’s what I know.

I’ve never fired one of those. I have used a shotgun. That was pretty impressive.

Impressive… What do I mean by that?

I think guns are fascinating. Otherwise we wouldn’t want to play with them as children. After all, nobody wants a squirt-monkey or a squirt-hose. No, it’s a squirt-gun.

Being able to point something at somebody and dispel ammunition–even if it’s just water–is pretty thrilling. But you see, that’s the problem.

Somewhere along the line–at about the age of eleven or twelve–the bullets change from H2O to a helluva lot more deadly.

When would I want a gun?

  • If I were in the wilderness and a bear was getting ready to attack me, I think I would rather have a gun than a bow and arrow.
  • I guess if I was trapped on a desert island and was trying to track down game, using a bullet might be more effective than setting traps or throwing rocks.
  • I think if we’re going to insist on having wars, we should give our soldiers weapons to match the enemy’s, or be prepared to be enslaved by being “out-gunned.”

But I just don’t believe that guns are the answer to everything. It’s like so many other things in our society–the solutions we come up with seem to create their own dilemmas instead of alleviating conflict.

Putting a gun into the hands of a common man who, at this moment, is rational, does not mean that this person will be logical under the influence of alcohol, anger, frustration, or just dumb stupidity.

I guess what bothers me is the idea that law-abiding citizens require guns to protect themselves from non-law-abiding citizens. It begs the questions:

  1. When should I pull a trigger and release a missile of death to terminate the life of another human being?
  2. Should I do it because they have entered my home to steal from me?
  3. Should I shoot them because they are walking on my sidewalk, speaking threats in the direction of my domicile?
  4. In my frivolous and often unpredictable nature, should I be trusted to decide who lives or dies simply because I have a weapon to determine the outcome?
  5. Or are all these questions moot–because we have a Constitution that allows us to be “gun-toting,” so that’s all the justification we need?

There’s no doubt–guns are cool. I would be greatly fascinated to look at someone’s gun collection. I just wonder how we can determine how these weapons are used, or … how we can trust one another to make that decision.

 

Aggravate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAggravate: (v) 1. to make a problem injury, offense or situation worse 2. to annoy or exasperate

It takes two sticks rubbed together to create a fire.

At least, that’s what I hear. Having never actually used that method to generate the friction, I’m not certain it’s true, but I have no reason to question it.

I do get aggravated. When I calm myself down and think about what caused my aggravation, I realize it’s always one stick that I brought and another stick brought by somebody else.

The main stick I bring to create aggravation is always insecurity. It would be difficult for me to notice when I was being mistreated unless there’s a part of me that’s looking for it.

The people who aggravate me are individuals who bring their own insecurity my direction, and I begin to rub my stick of inferiority against them, resulting in fiery disagreement.

Why am I insecure? Here are three reasons:

1. I need too much. I have plenty, but rather than reveling in my abundance, I look over the shoulder of my benefactor to see if there’s more coming. What an idiot.

2. Part of me is not happy unless others have less. It hurts me to even write these words down–but there is a childish little boy inside me, who sometimes hopes that I end up with one more than my friends.

3. I believe in a God I don’t always trust. My prayers of politeness are not stimulated from my soul of belief. I am not always convinced that my “Father which art in Heaven” is willing to get off His throne and come to my house.

You put these three together and you have a stick up your rear that’s ready to be rubbed against somebody else’s inconsistency to create aggravation. And aggravation is the siphon that sucks all the fuel and potential out of human talent.

How can I stop feeling insecure? There is an old hymn which affords us an answer:

Count your blessings                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Name them one by one…”

Every time I do this, I am nearly embarrassed by the bounty provided for me–by God, life, my friends and my own abilities. It chases away my insecurity.

At that point, it is very difficult for me to become aggravated because I have no stick to rub.

May I remind myself of this today … and begin the count.

Adonai

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAdonai: (n) Hebrew name for God

He said to me, “That’s Mr. Jones to you.”

He was like, four years older than me, but a real pompous type. I know it’s not a good thing to say, but I immediately hated him.

I don’t like it when people make a fuss over their titles and names. I don’t trust them. I find them insecure. And the truly great people I have met in my life have always come back when I’ve tried to call them by some proper terminology. Yes–they’ve always asked me to just call them by their first name.

It’s why i have problems with things like “Adonai.” Do you know why the Jews came up with “Adonai,” meaning master? It’s because they weren’t allowed to say God’s name.

What a stuffed shirt! Really?? I know you’re God. I know that’s special. But are you really going to insist that people use initials for you or come up with other terms so your name won’t be defiled in some way??

I just don’t buy it–because if you’re God and you’re great, why do you need to keep convincing people of your greatness? It would be like a famous actor name-dropping other famous actors around friends so as to remind them how great he is. What a jerk.

So I am not convinced that a lot of the things we believe about God are really Godly. They’re certainly not confident. And they’re definitely not benevolent. And they REEK of piety and insecurity.

I am so glad that when Jesus came to earth, he said, “Relax. Stop calling Him by all these weird names. He’s Father. He’s Daddy.”

Yes, I get a little uncomfortable in our American culture at times, when parents insist that their offspring refer to them as “sir” and “ma’am.”

Maybe it’s respectful. But it’s also annoying.

Isn’t “Dad” better? Isn’t “Mom” preferable?

So even though I know that “Adonai” is a term of reverence from Judaism, I really cannot accept a God who insists that His name be revered instead of his position as my friend and father being honored.

So maybe fear of God is a good thing, but somewhere along the line … you have to stop being scared.