Combative

Combative: (adj) ready or eager to fight; pugnacious.

No one who has been to war is anxious to get back.

No soldier who’s seen his buddy explode next to him is convinced that the flag is worth such a horrible sacrifice.

No general yearns to put his plans to the test in the field of blood and gore unless he is completely out of his mind.

But in the same theme, none of us should ever walk into a room knowing we haven’t had enough sleep, haven’t worked out a conflict in our lives or are reluctantly participating in an event–and subject those around us to our combative nature.

In a gathering of a hundred people who are circling around and fellowshipping, it only takes three individuals slipped into the mix, who have shown up in bad moods and ready to argue, to turn the remaining ninety-seven into either frightened victims or triggered their angry monsters.

The human race is combative.

Somehow or another we have convinced ourselves that war changes boundaries or establishes authority.

All war does is steal away a generation of fertile, creative and productive minds.

 

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Coincidence

Coincidence: (n) a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent cause

I’ve never actually tallied the number.

I think it would be fairly interesting to go through the entire dictionary and meter the words provided, based upon whether they offer a positive result for humanity or usher in a negative one.

Some words would be obvious:

Peace would go in one category and war in another.

Joy would have its own space and sadness would hobble to the corner to be alone.

But there are certain words that would be more difficult to categorize:

Coincidence.

Coincidence comes from the term “coincide,” which means to happen at the same time, whereas coincidence requires a bit of magic.

An unexpected arrival.

Which one is it?

I believe each and every one of us is privately are always trying to place our self into situations that will grant us fulfillment.

It may be the definition of sanity.

I go places that make me feel good. If I don’t go places that make me feel good, I end up feeling bad by my own decision.

So is it possible that we maneuvers our beings to coincide with promising possibilities, and then, all of a sudden we find ourselves in a delightful coincidence?

Are we manipulators of our circumstances, so that we can declare a miracle from God?

Do we shift, shimmy and wiggle our way on streets that we deem will give us an avenue to pleasure instead of pain, and then act pleasantly surprised at our destination?

Perhaps it’s just impossible to have coincidence without coinciding our energy in a particular direction.

All I know is, the more I try to be happy, the more often happiness inhabits my heart.

Disheartened? I use it to confirm my disappointment.

I will coincide with good things so when the coincidence of goodness comes my way, I can be overjoyed.

 

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Cognitive

Cognitive: (adj) knowing and perceiving

Thinking works best when thinking has not occurred before we decide to think.

It’s the only way to keep it fresh.

If you show up to a meeting, a counseling session, a conversation or even a family gathering having “thought out” what you’re going to say, the possibility for the event being a productive one is hampered.

To be cognitive is to be willing to arrive at a meeting with a blank slate and no pre-determined conclusion.

There’s nothing wrong with studying or having your facts in place. But if it becomes obvious that you’ve been trumped by your adversary with more thorough coverage of the subject matter, the cognitive brain relinquishes turf instead of protecting it.

There are three signs that a person has a cognitive brain:

  1. Cognitive leaves the door open for the possibility that a stone was left unturned in your investigation.
  2. Cognitive opens up two ears when others are talking, just in case there’s something to be learned.
  3. And cognitive is prepared to make the adjustments to the reality of the situation instead of merely standing by a press release which was printed long before the debate began.

Without this kind of cognitive reasoning, we always end up in war instead of the humility of admitting that we have much to learn from each other.

 

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Cadge

Cadge: (v) to ask for or obtain something to which one is not strictly entitled.

I did not know this word.

Sometimes when I run across a word I don’t know, I pursue it no further, figuring that if I’ve survived to this point, I will probably be safe to
ignore it for my lifespan.

But for some reason, “cadge” piqued my curiosity. I’m glad I looked it up. I probably will never use it–because people will look at me with that wrinkly face which communicates, “You’re just showing off.”

But to cadge–or cadging–is an infection in our society.

It is a mental illness, leading us to believe that we are to get something before we give something.

All of nature contradicts this assertion:

  • Seed comes before harvest.
  • Consideration breeds love.
  • And we must do unto others if we expect them to do back to us.

But somewhere along the line, we’ve begun to honor the social interaction of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

We wait to see what is available, what people are willing to give, and then we decide how open and kind we will be to them.

Case in point: People who live in the inner city, who often have darker skin, are not able to make large contributions to their congressman. Therefore, it is unlikely that they will get the potholes fixed on their streets. For after all, the politician is cadging to acquire money to re-elect him or her, and since nickels and dimes rarely add up to dollars, the poor will have to wait until someone who is not elected, elects to help them.

We tout ourselves a Christian nation while promoting a social “take and give” which is Jewish or Muslim. It is a philosophy of retaliation–an attempt to get something before we give something, so we can decide how little we have to give for what we got.

It is nasty business.

And it is doomed to failure because there are certainly people who are better at the game of “cadge” than we are.

 

 

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Cadet

Cadet: (n) a young trainee in the armed services.

When I was a teenager, we hated soldiers–mainly because we hated the war. (Well actually, the real reason was that we were all afraid we were going to be drafted into that war to be soldiers.)

Nowadays, we revere the armed services.

We not only “support the troops,” but we’re “grateful for their service” and laud their efforts.

Risking being controversial, may I say that somewhere between deeming the military despicable and granting them sainthood lies the truth.

All of us should be a little embarrassed that it’s necessary for us to have an army. We should pray for a world where such regulation and violent alternatives either decrease or cease to be.

Since that is not our present situation, we should teach our cadets to be war-ready but peace-loving.

In so doing, we will have our first line of defense prepared but not eager.

Well-gunned but not trigger happy.

And provided for without being over-stated.

I salute those who are willing to take up arms to defend the defenseless.

But I warn my country that every time we put a young man or woman in uniform, placing them in harm’s way, we risk losing the abundance of energy and power they could give us by living for their country rather than dying for it.

 

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Bunker

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Bunker: (n) a reinforced underground shelter, typically for use in wartime.

We have begun to create bunkers to buffer us against contact with one another.

We don’t view it that way–we call them political parties, church denominations, clubs or ardent study of cultures.

But the more we try to segregate that which we believe makes us special, the less and less valuable we become to one another.

If Washington, D.C. is a bunker, and your local church is a bunker, and your community is a bunker, and your race is a bunker–then isn’t it just bunk?

Bunkers are meaningless attempts to make people unique by alienating them from one another, placing them in positions to be defensive.

In the process, we all become perniciously offensive to one another.

How do you know if you’re in a bunker?

If you have to go somewhere else to hear ideas that aren’t your own, you’re probably already buried in the ground.

 

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Buck

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Buck: (n) slang for a dollar

I don’t know who gets to decide what’s important and what isn’t.

I’m not really sure how we place value on one thing while assigning insignificance to another.

For instance, a buck private in the army is the lowest rank, yet no war can be won Dictionary Bwithout thousands of them.

There are times when a single dollar bill seemed so unimportant to me that I joked around with a friend and took a match and burned it, just to see what it felt like.

Then there were occasions when I rummaged through the seat cushions of my car because I thought I remembered dropping a dollar bill down there.

Also, if there’s some sort of problem when “the buck stops”–and it more than likely will be here–maybe it would be a good idea to do more to prepare for buck stoppage.

  • What is important, what is worthless?
  • What is without value, and what is invaluable?

There is one constant mistake humans make which triggers all the afflictions that trouble our species: we misuse what we have because we’re either anticipating or demanding more.

Just solving that misdemeanor can set in motion a lifestyle which salvages the little … and transforms it into much.

 

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