Copy

Copy: (v) to make a copy of; transcribe; reproduce:

My mother was totally convinced of it.

You could not change her mind.

She believed if I hung around with bad kids, I would copy their behavior.

It made me mad. I didn’t understand why she didn’t think they could hang around with me and copy my behavior.  Of course, the problem was, I always turned funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
up lame and proved her point.

Why is it so much easier to copy stupidity than intelligence?

Why are we able to Xerox a bad attitude instead of making copies of good ones?

It is because all of us are basically frightened that we’re missing out on something. If we do too many good things, then we’ll never know how much fun the bad ones could have been. So we continue to pursue errant behavior, hoping it will bring a thrill, and then suddenly, without warning, we face the consequences of our actions, and are shocked when we either find ourselves defiled or dead.

Why can’t we have people who pursue joy, goodness, praiseworthy activities and creativity, who are secure enough that they could sway the sinner instead of slipping from sainthood to mediocrity?

I don’t know.

But my mother always felt self-righteous about being accurate concerning me hanging out with questionable characters.

I probably should have told her that self-righteousness is also a sin.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Collate

Collate: (v) to collect and combine in proper order

I do not judge my life by my successes, but rather, by the ease involved in achieving them.

I will tell you quite bluntly that success loses much of its excitement and is greatly diminished by finding yourself bogged down in chores. 

I had an idea.

I was in my early twenties and had written a book. I was so damned impressed with myself. I struggled to let people know that I had written a book, so they could grant me adequate praise.

I was impatient. I didn’t want to just write a book, I wanted to print a book and put it in people’s hands, observing them gasp with amazement.

This was before desktop publishing was a common practice. At my disposal were printed sheets which had been typed–and a Xerox machine.

I decided to ask one of my friends to retype the document so it would be as clean and crisp-looking as possible (though I don’t know what clean and crisp
means.)

This was my first mistake.

This lovely lady was obviously going through some sort of mental disruption, and ended up misspelling hundreds of words, which I did not catch because I decided it would be petty to proofread it.

So not only did I have a faulty original, I used a Xerox printer which probably belonged in a college dorm room, and demanded it do the job of an industrial one.

Not only did it refuse, it was rather snotty about it.

Mistake two: after the first fifty pages, the ink cartridge started to fade.

And finally, making sure that I had three mistakes to “uncharm” me, I collated by myself.

So when it came time to have the book fastened together (with staples) and I handed it off to a friend, within three seconds she was giggling.

On page five alone, the word “the” had been misspelled four times in five different ways. (I don’t know how that’s even possible.)

It was also humorous to her that the pages were so faded that she needed a magnifying glass to read them.

And to add insult to depravity, I collated incorrectly, so page 7 followed 5, then 10, then 17…

So I decided that the only way I would be able to offer this book was to put a disclaimer sheet with each and every sale:

  • See how many mistakes you can find!
  • Did you need a magnifying glass to read this, or are your eyes really good?
  • Even though it was an experiment, did you like jumping all over the book to find out what the next page was going to be?

It was one of the saddest days in my life when I had to take all the project–all the paper–all the effort–and toss it in a trashcan.

There is a reason that we leave it to the experts to collate.

After all, it isn’t just some Random House…

 

Donate Button

 

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Blot

Blot: (n) a dark mark or stain

Dictionary B

It was a typical piece of white typing paper.

I didn’t even look at it.

I stuck it into the tray of my printer and Xeroxed a copy of some document that seemed pertinent in the moment.

I pulled it out, looked at it, and suddenly saw this tiny black dot in the corner.

I didn’t give it a second thought. Who cares about a blot? Nobody will notice. It doesn’t make any difference.

If I pass it off as a clean sheet of paper, I can probably fool people into believing it’s just fine and there was really no blot there in the first place.

But after ten minutes, I took the paper, wadded it up and threw it away.

Why? Because someone will always see the blot and wonder if I was so stupid I missed it, or so careless that I thought it didn’t matter

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Admirable

Words from Dic(tionary)

Admirable (adj.): arousing or deserving respect or approval: e.g. he has one admirable quality.

B.T.P.Y.A.

It’s an acronym I came up with in the 1980s. I put together a little traveling show, along with my oldest son, who was sixteen at the time and flirting with insanity. I thought it would be a great way for us to connect and maybe enrich the lives of some other folks along the way.

It stood for: Be the Person You Admire.

It’s a rather simple principle, asking a very powerful question: what is the purpose of admiring–granting admiration to someone or some cause–if you’re not prepared to mimic the virtue which you acclaim?

For instance, many people have great admiration for Abraham Lincoln but still find themselves enslaving certain portions of humanity in the prison of their own minds.

There are billions of folks who adhere, with great reverence, to the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, who nevertheless do not agree that the most important thing in life is to treat those who are considered “the least” as valuable.

There are so many things we admire, but we do it from afar. Matter of fact, we even have a phrase to handle that: “I admired her from afar.”

Now, I personally have had an unrequited crush on a woman in my life AND I have had a requited sensation which led to romantic bliss. I can truthfully tell you–the second one is better.

I do not think we can continue to express admiration without emulating that which we proclaim to be beautiful, significant or holy.

Case in point: I am not a Christian because I like church. I tolerate church because I’m a Christian. Church, to me, is one of those institutions which has become weak and sometimes pointless and needs my mercy, generosity and support. I do not abandon the church because she sometimes embarrasses me.

But in the style of Jesus, who I admire, I continue to love the unlovely, lift up the downtrodden and energize the grave.

B.T.P.Y.A.–if we would just follow through on the things that generate admiration in our spirits, and give ourselves a chance to “Xerox goodness,” doing our best to replicate some of the value, we would improve our lives by leaps and bounds.

Admiration is often a way to escape the responsibility of doing something ourselves.

OR … it is a roadmap which will take us to a destination where we can create our own admirable deeds.