Decentralize

Decentralize: (v) to distribute the administrative powers or functions of a central authority

The premise was simple:

Make sure that every Big Mac served in a McDonald’s restaurant anywhere in the world tastes equally as good.

Yet I will tell you, even if you have identical ingredients, it is still being made by people who rise and fall based on their level of passion.

  • You can organize.
  • You can inform.
  • You can bolster.

But there are certain individuals who will excel above others simply because they’ve established a standard which they refuse to abandon, even if inconvenience threatens them.

I know it is popular to believe the government can be decentralized—that we don’t need so much power in Washington, D. C., but instead, should distribute it throughout the states and local principalities.

But is it really possible that there are four hundred thousand respectable, trustworthy leaders to honor goodwill for the people?

How difficult is it to find one?

So if we can get that one example to be so shining that it encourages others to do better, then we have the makings of a possibility instead of a flop.

For I will tell you, even a leadership conference requires leaders.

And if you put fifteen people in a room, they will shake and rattle to their levels of importance and value unless you try to mess with it.

To provide for the common good means we need to have a central point where nothing but the common good is discussed, considered, honored and revered.

To expect this to be the same in Buttrick, South Dakota, as it is in Grassley, California, is not only optimistic, but maybe endangers good folks from getting good things.

Copyright

Copyright: (n) the exclusive right to make copies in music

I had just turned nineteen years of age when I was sitting in the back area of my mother and father’s loan company which they had opened in our small town, and for some inexplicable reason, there was a piano situated in one of the corners.

I don’t know how it got in there. I don’t know whether someone was unable to pay their loan and offered their piano as penance—but it was there.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I was also present—with my new wife, whom I had only been married to for about seven months, but we already had a first son. (You do the math.)

Long story apparently being made longer, I decided to walk over to that piano and write a song. I had sung songs for years. I had done my karaoke versions of popular tunes long before the “Kary” came from “Okie.”

I don’t know what gave me the idea that I could write a song. Maybe it was because I was nineteen and pretty convinced I could do anything. Somewhere in the expanse of the next hundred and eighteen minutes, I wrote two songs. I had no idea if anybody would think they were good—I was so damn impressed with them that the notion of seeking another opinion seemed redundant.

I did not know if I would ever write another song, so I immediately wanted to make sure these two songs were not only recorded, but copyrighted—to make sure that no less-talented individuals would steal them, attaining great notice and gain.

There were two ways to copyright my songs. I could make original copies of the lead sheet and words, and mail them to myself, and never open that envelope because it would have the stamped date on the outside from the official Post Office.

This did not sound dramatic enough to me.

So instead, I pursued the other avenue, which was to contact the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C, and receive innumerable forms, which I filled out, paying a small price for each composition. From that point on, once it was cleared that my songs were indeed original, I would have a copyright for all time.

My God. Who could resist such majestic red tape?

I went through the entire process, and even today, somewhere buried deep in a box in one of my closets, is a certificate informing the whole world that my two songs made a visit to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and returned home again—sanctified.


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Connive

Connive: (v) to secretly allow bad things to occur

Do you want to live a happier life?

That may sound like the beginning of an infomercial, but there is a way to live a more powerful existence.

Simply make sure you do the things you want to do, not the things other people are doing–and don’t sit around acting discouraged because the world is a mess.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Let’s start off with a cleansing principle:

Your children are your children as long as they live in your house and receive an allowance. Once they leave the house, they may love you dearly, but they yearn to be their own person.

If you follow their careers, their actions and their whims too closely, you will find yourself conniving to either justify what they do or imitate it.

Or take this into consideration:

We may have a government in Washington, D.C. that is corrupt. This does not give us a free pass to come up with our own rendition of corruption. We do not have permission to connive deals and lie to our friends, families and working associates because it appears to be the popular pastime.

Happiness is when you find what you want to do and you do it, even if you’re the only person who has found it.

I want to make it clear–I do love my family, but not enough to follow their ways nor to stall my life to gain their approval.

 

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Cherry-Pick

Cherry-pick: (v) to selectively choose (the most beneficial items) from what is available.

Living in an era when social slop is often offered as emotional cuisine, it is sometimes difficult to ascertain the bad from the good and call it ugly.

Matter of fact, upon reading the word “cherry-pick” this morning, a negative feeling came over me–images of prissy people sitting around
choosing their favorites based upon preference in design and structure.

People often say that I cherry-pick my political views, missions and certainly my spirituality. So to those critics, let me say with full-throated confidence:

You are right.

I have no idea if what I believe about government would actually work, but in my mind it is certainly preferable to the “dance of the dunce” that we presently parade in Washington, D.C.

I don’t know if I am any kind of expert on television, movies and entertainment–I just know that I don’t like anything that doesn’t both entertain and inspire me.

And I certainly cannot contend that the Gospel I believe in is completely in line with the one that was in the mind of the Nazarene who strolled the Earth in loincloth so many centuries ago. But after many years of living, I believe it is still the good news that actually functions in the hearts of all cultures.

It is time we begin to cherry-pick:

Start liking movies for their content instead of who stars in them or who directs them.

Begin to believe in ideas, not because 25,000 people gather to cheer them on, but because they are full of mercy and grace.

Listen to music that stuns our consciousness with an immersion of human awareness instead of merely demonstrating the height and breadth of technology.

I am a cherry-picker–and because of that, I have found my life to be fruitful.

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Ballistic Missile

Ballistic missile: (n) a missile with a high, arching trajectory, that is initially powered and guided but falls under gravity onto its target.Dictionary B

Speaking in the abstract is the most common way to end up with abstract thought.

Sometimes I am greatly confused how people who have absolutely no experience with some matter expound feverishly on the issue, displaying both intensity and ignorance.

That’s the way I feel about a ballistic missile.

As we deal with the many hot spots of controversy and conflict in our world, there are those wearing three-piece suits, ties, with freshly trimmed hair, sitting in Washington, D.C., who postulate on the need to aggressively launch air strikes against other nations to keep them from doing things which we have found unfavorable.

One day I found myself at a rally in Mobile Bay, at the coming-out party for a new battleship. I was not able to get on the ship since I didn’t have a pass, but stood about fifty yards from the vessel, as a dummy load of explosives was shot off into the air.

Once again, I was far away from the source of the explosion but the volume of that sound rattled my chest, giving me heart palpitations and leaving me unstable on my feet for the next half-hour.

It was terrifying.

So every time anybody mentions bombing, attacking or sending drone strikes to another country, I remember that sensation.

I often wonder how important it would have been for Harry Truman to have gone to New Mexico for the testing of the atomic bomb. Sitting in his office having it described to him made the decision to bomb Hiroshima too easy.

He had no idea exactly what he was doing. So when it came time to bomb Nagasaki, he rubber-stamped his decision and dropped a second annihilator.

It’s not so much that I question the wisdom of that move. Instead, I challenge the immaturity involved in making the decision.

If you’re going to pronounce death on a group of people, you should have an awareness of the power you’re unleashing.

I am tired of ignorant people talking about war like it’s a game of Stratego.

When a ballistic missile goes into the air, gravity brings it to earth–where it kills people who were once living.

 

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Backward

Backward: (adj) having made less than normal progress.Dictionary B

They are the two “S words” slung by liberals and conservatives at one another to degrade the character of the opponent, rendering them emotionally mortally wounded.

For it is the liberal who declares that the conservative is “stupid,” and the conservative who insists that the liberal is “sinful.”

I, for one, am weary of the ill-doing.

As a soul who travels the country in search of my lost innocence, I encounter people of every persuasion. There are foreign nationals, natural-born Americans, religious types, atheists, female, macho men and children of all shapes, sizes and dispositions.

I don’t find those who are politically bent towards the right to necessarily be stupid, nor do I find the “left-turn crowd” to be wracked with sin. Conservatives are not backwards and liberals are not forwards.

Actually, the human race is divided between those who are humble enough to give a damn and those who believe there is no one beyond tip of their nose.

I have members of my family who are convinced that anyone who lives south of the Mason Dixon line is buried deep within the intellectual groin of our country.

And I do meet people living in more reclusive areas who are sure that the politicians in Washington, D.C. who do not place an “R” after their name are Satan’s imps.

So my mission is simple: ignore the titles and deal with the hearts.

Because if there is a Judgment Day that comes along, none of us will be able to produce any of our pedigrees, but instead will be stuck with our deeds.

And my understanding of the Judge is that He has great mercy for those who believe that no one is better than anyone else.

 

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Article

Article: (n) a particular item or object, typically one of a specified type.dictionary with letter A

I occasionally bring up a phrase I heard as a kid to see if it’s still floating around in the general lexicon of today’s world.

More often than not it’s extinct.

But I didn’t have time to do this today, so I will venture a guess that a certain idea I learned as a child has probably gone the way of the hula-hoop. (Of course, how many people know what a hula-hoop is? Maybe I should say it’s gone the way of the last I-Phone.)

The phrase is “the real article.”

It’s a compliment we used to bestow on products, projects–and even people–when what they professed to be was what they actually delivered.

I would humbly contend that one of the errors of our time is the overabundance of opinions, which hang in the air, waiting for confirmation.

This is why I’m careful not to espouse too many doctrines or beliefs. I know I may not be able to follow up on them. More than anything else in life, I want to be “the real article.”

I want you to hear me say “blue” and not have you show up to get “green”–and a lot of excuses

I want to portray a functional form of love which is within my capacity instead of delivering you an ambiguous package of emotion, insisting it’s real (and maybe has come from God.)

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being shallow, weak and poor of spirit–as long as you have not portrayed yourself with a spotlight of nobility.

  • We don’t need people to be perfect.
  • We don’t require them to be great.
  • We are, however, pretty determined that they toe some sort of line of consistency.

The “real article” is a decision to set ourselves off and be candid about our weaknesses and willing to share our strengths without feeling the need to lie or apologize.

If there were a sudden burst of truthfulness that swept over the city of Washington, D.C., the legislators and even the President would have to admit that no single political party has all the solutions for our nation’s problems. Some resolutions require a conservative approach, and others plead for liberality.

It is the wise steward of purpose who can distinguish what needs to be done, and without fear, do what is necessary … and therefore, become “the real article.”

 

 

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Ambience

dictionary with letter A

Ambience: (n) the character and atmosphere of a place

I guess some vibes are normal.

For instance, at a funeral home, there is usually organ music, the sickening smell of flowers and people whispering tearful regrets.

At a rock concert, there’s screaming, with people pumping their fists, patting each other on the back and yelling lyrics at a stage which is too far away to hear.

In Washington, D.C., ladies and gentlemen dress up in their parents’ clothes and follow the rules of a Parliament they fought an eight-year war to escape.

And in church … well, sometimes it’s a somber climate with worshipful silence, and in other places, it’s tambourines, drums and modern interpretations of songs written by shepherd boys on a lute.

How important is ambience?

If I walk into a restaurant and the waiters are wearing tuxedos, the food is not necessarily going to be better–just expensive.

I think the aura or overall feeling that best exemplifies our country, though, is a beach on a Saturday afternoon at about 2:30. It is the oddest collage of beauty, beast, coolers, umbrellas, tanning lotion, tossed balls, screaming children, strutting studs and prancing babes.

It is America:  we boldly worship the sun while knowing that it’s slowly killing us with skin cancer, convinced that we have every right to occupy the available space on the sand, which is the width and length of our blanket and also, completely and arrogantly confident that we are just as good as the next bathing suit nearby.

Ambience is a tricky thing.

It’s used to telegraph propriety in a world that no longer knows what a telegraph is.

It’s a bit old-fashioned, it’s a bit presumptuous, and it certainly is often misleading.

Yet each one of us does generate an individual glow around us, which is either inviting or repelling.

And determining what that beam of self turns out to be … will decide our happiness.

Active

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AActive: (adj.) 1.of a person engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic pursuits 2. working; operative: e.g. the mill was active until 1970

I was so glad s I thought of it.

About nine months ago my knees started bothering me.

I have mistreated them profusely, being very active with my large frame–lifting, traveling, playing tennis and all sorts of physical exertions which my knees never actually signed on for.

When I realized I was no longer going to be able to run and goof around on them anymore without having a surgeon go in to rip my legs apart, disabling me for months, I was glad I saw the young man in Washington, D.C. who served as a courier between the Capitol and the White House. It was his job to get messages written on paper transferred as quickly as possible from one place to another. You know how he decided to do it?

Roller blades.

It was a magnificent sight. Even though he was completely young and healthy, he still realized that walking and running were insufficient to the need, and would result in exhaustion at the end of the day. So he glided along on his wheels, weaving in and out of foot traffic, cruising to his destination.

And it looked like he was having the time of his life, while performing a meaningful duty.

Wheels.

  • They made his life possible.
  • They made his life easier.
  • They allowed him to do his job well.

So my desire to be active, even though my knees have chosen retirement,  was made possible because of the vision of that young Mercury, zooming through the avenues of our nation’s Capital, came to my mind. Therefore I wasn’t nearly as frightened about getting some wheels of my own when I needed to get somewhere quickly.

I haven’t given up on walking. I’ve just given up on being stubborn.

If wheels will get me to where I can deliver the message that needs to be heard, then thank God for remaining active.

And by the way, thank God for the cave man who discovered the miracle.