Atavistic

Atavistic: (adj) relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral.dictionary with letter A

So there’s a word for it.

I have described this condition many times, but never realized that the word “atavistic” existed. How blessed I am to have stumbled onto this idea of pontificating on dictionary words!

Because I certainly know that our society suffers from atavistic attitudes.

As I have tried to discern my ways and negotiate my path in this journey of life, I have found that every time I draw a line in the sand and say that everything behind it is holy, and everything in front of it is acceptable or up for discussion, I have repeatedly found myself redrawing the line in the sand–back a bit further each time.

  • It’s made me grumpy.
  • It’s made me wonder if I’m a sellout.
  • It’s made me curious if anything sacred actually exists.

But then one day I realized that my problem in life was that my own experience was not matching up with my proclaimed convictions. In other words, I was pursuing an atavistic lifestyle, which was often honoring the traditions of my parents or forefathers instead of what I discovered for myself.

I will go so far as to say that I don’t care what the Apostle Paul had to say about God. I am happy that he had an experience he decided to write down, but unless I have a fresh encounter of my own, I will have a tendency to defend his opinions instead of uncovering the truth for myself.

So when I realized that I was hearkening to former eras (which I discovered today was “atavistic”), I cleared my head and came up with three things I know to be true:

  1. I can’t share a vision, but need to have one of my own.

Even if my goals do not agree with everyone else, they must be borne out in my own soul, and believed in my own heart–without doubt.

  1. I don’t have the right to tell anybody else what to do.

That would include expressing disapproval. If I am a mature person, I will understand that it all plays out. Foolishness never ends up wearing the king’s cap. In the long run, it is deemed foolish.

  1. Being merciful is the only way I can obtain mercy.

Since I require mercy from time to time, I should probably be making deposits in case there would be a need for a sudden withdrawal.

Now, I will tell you–these three ideas were not common sense to my family and ancestors.

They are my experience.

They keep me from being out of step with my own conscience.

They keep me from being a hypocrite.

 

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

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