Century

Century: (n) a period of one hundred years.

I have lived in two centuries.

Matter of fact, most of what we hold dear, precious, valuable and true has occurred in my lifespan.

For instance:

From my birth to the present day, we have transported our emotions from bigotry to “Oh, my God. We’re bigots.”

We have gone from cars using gasoline to cars using gasoline but us feeling kind of guilty about it.

We have traveled from medicine believing it has the answer to some things to medicine being quite certain it has the answer to everything.

We have spanned the generation gap by explaining that psychologically, such a chasm is necessary.

We have gone to the moon, but can’t really get back there so we insist “we’re not really interested in space.”

We have flown from an era when women were treated as inferiors, encouraged to stay in the home, to a time when women insist they’re not inferior because they stay in the home.

We have progressed our technology to the point of inefficiency.

We have improved our diplomacy by continuing the threat of nuclear war.

We have addressed racism by giving it an abundance of names.

We have handled the Golden Rule by simply refusing to go to church.

And we have defined tolerance by secretly alienating humans instead of publicly insisting on separated bathrooms.

Progress is made when the human heart is tapped, confirming that we have a soul. Once we feel that our soul has some eternal journey, our brain can be trained to be more generous.

Then acts of kindness seem logical instead of magnanimous.

 

 

 

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Centurion

Centurion: (n) the commander of a hundred men in the ancient Roman army.

I’m not sure what causes a person to be open-minded.

Certainly rejecting fear would help.

Relieving yourself of the conviction that you and all your co-horts possess the only answers would also be beneficial.

But in the Good Book, there is the story of a centurion. He has a servant. Now, we know the centurion is in charge of a hundred men, which
means he’s been given some rank and confirmation of the authenticity of his ability. So why would such a fellow be concerned about a servant? How would that relationship have sprouted?

We know that the gentleman was not only a commander, but was also open to the idea that opportunities can come from unlikely places. So rather than having a servant who hates you, why not have one who loves you?

But when that servant becomes sick and you realize that all those possessing medical knowledge who surround you are inept in advancing a cure, then it becomes necessary to use your open mind to consider a more unorthodox option.

How about an itinerant preacher from Nazareth, who is disrupting his religious community, but supposedly has healing in his hands?

The centurion did not allow his sense of Roman superiority to overwhelm him, leaving him without a remedy. He sent a messenger to ask Jesus to heal his servant. When Jesus started to head his way, the centurion was sensitive enough to realize that if this Nazarene came into his home, the young man would be considered unclean because he was at the hearth of a heathen.

So the centurion told Jesus just to say the word, and the servant would be made well. After all, as a centurion, he did that all the time with his soldiers. “You go do this. You go do that.”

Jesus was impressed. He said, “Never have I seen so great a faith.”

So maybe the definition of faith is when we realize we don’t have anything to lose, so being open-minded about other choices just might be life-saving.

 

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Centrist

Centrist: (n) a person who holds moderate political views.

I see your point.

I see his point.

I see her point.

Ain’t I neat?

Not necessarily. A certain amount of diplomacy is demanded to make for good politics. But often, life requires a definitive choice. Otherwise, heinous results will
be endured.

Henry Clay is the most famous centrist of all time. Matter of fact, he was given the name, “The Great Compromiser.”

All during his time of being the senator from Kentucky, he fought to keep the Union together by being a centrist on the issue of slavery. He proudly took the Quakers and abolitionists on one side, and the plantation and slave owners from Dixie on the other side, and sat them down to come up with a way to continue slavery while also guaranteeing that certain states in the Union would be slave free.

In doing so, he ended up stealing the freedom of more black men, women and children than any other person in the United States.

A Civil War that should have been fought twenty years earlier was further enraged by years and years of unrelenting and unfulfilling compromise.

Sometimes there is no centrist position.

There is no arena for the propagation of the idea that “all men are kind of created equal.”

There’s no room for “freedom of most speech.”

And there is no possibility that rights are only given to those who presently have enough lawyers to wrangle them.

Henry Clay was a centrist. Because he kept us from dealing with a national tragedy, he will always be known as the person who managed to delay the inevitable Civil War that killed hundreds of thousands.

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Central

Central: (adj) at the center, of the greatest importance

Is there a center to a box? I always consider a center to be associated with a circle. I suppose you could find the center of a square. Of course you can.

But still, “central” normally is equated with something that’s a circle–like the Earth. There’s a central point on the Earth. I’ve heard about it.
I could have looked it up for you but I didn’t.

There’s a central theme to almost every occupation.

But trying to discover what is central to the human race is difficult because people keep trying to “mash down” the circle.

Some human beings believe it’s their mission to disrupt everything, and therefore provide a climate of chaos wherein allegedly, sense and reason will emerge triumphantly.

I was halfway through writing that sentence and it sounded stupid.

To find deeper truth, some truth has to be honored–otherwise there is no path.

When we begin to question what is central, we start doubting the circle of the Earth and the wholeness of us as a people. That seems dangerous.

We might accidentally start threatening one another with nuclear weapons, or shooting down innocent people in the street–simply because we’ve forgotten what’s central.

Central to our race is a very simple idea: I have to leave you alone and let you be who you are while simultaneously letting you know I care.

It’s a little tricky.

Because if I let you know I care by interfering with who you want to be, then I’ve broken the central theme.

If I leave you to yourself to pursue your avenues but you know I do so because I have no interest in you, then I’ve also failed.

It is that amazing place we land–where we are tolerant, but vigilant.

I love you enough to let you be who you want to be while simultaneously standing guard to make sure you don’t hurt yourself or fail to miss an opportunity.

 

 

 

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Centipede

Centipede: (n) a small, predatory, long, thin animal with many legs.

Ignorance can be very appealing and humorous–as long as it’s presented as the stupidity it truly is. Matter of fact, humor is often the
exposure of ignorance.

There are times I pull up a word for this daily essay and decide to study a little further, so that the information I impart to you is tinged with accuracy. (God knows I wouldn’t want to give you fake or faulty facts.)

But on this particular day, I chose NOT to look up anything on the centipede because my ignorant understanding of it is so darling.

Over the years I did not know the difference between a centipede and a millipede, except that one creature touts a hundred legs and the other brags a thousand.

What always tickled my funny-bone was the knowledge that the animal with the hundred legs is quite large and dangerous, while the “slitherer” with a thousand legs is small and fairly harmless.

So much like our world.

When in doubt, when feeling insecure, when confronted with competition–over-advertise. Exaggerate.

The millipede was certainly intimidated by the prowess of the centipede, so it picked a name that immediately had legs to it. A thousand, to be exact.

So over the years, whenever I thought about these beings, I always reminded myself that the one who bragged about the most appendages was actually the weaker.

Huh.

Maybe there’s a lesson there.

 

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Centerpiece

Centerpiece: (n) a display placed in the middle

The centerpiece of education: experience that promotes retention.

The centerpiece of human romance: a woman who really wants to have sex.

The centerpiece of faith: adventure.

The centerpiece of love: faithfulness.

The centerpiece of hope: introspection.

The centerpiece of America: a toss-up between “all men are created equal” and “liberty and justice for all.”

The centerpiece of music: a memorable melody.

The centerpiece of business: repetitive quality.

The centerpiece of humanity: good cheer.

The centerpiece of the Universe: controlled chaos.

The centerpiece of God: free will.

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Centerfold

Centerfold: (n) the two middle pages of a magazine, typically taken up by a single illustration or feature.

Warily, I share. Why? Because I don’t think anyone will believe me.

I have only looked at one Playboy centerfold in my entire life.

I don’t know if this makes me under-sexed or virtuous. Hopefully, it makes me who I am. I just never had an interest in pictures of good
things.

For instance, I’ve also never looked at photographs of the Grand Canyon or gazed at a glossy of the Eiffel Tower.

Although people insist a picture is worth a thousand words, it usually barely gives me a sentence.

I like to experience.

So the one time I did peruse a totally naked woman in a centerfold of Playboy, I had two sensations:

  1. I was intruding.

Even though this lovely young woman signed on the dotted line to have her image splashed throughout the world, I felt it was not my business.

  1. I knew I would never get that image out of my mind for the rest of my life.

I can still bring it up on the old brain screen today.

So when I’m told that pornography does not affect how people think, feel or react, I must gently scoff. Of course it does. It’s why folks look at it–to be affected. To be stimulated. To be seduced by their own thoughts.

So the notion that this “romantic LSD trip” in the mind will not return when we least expect it is ludicrous.

There is a power in purity–not because it is more righteous. It’s just that purity grants us a clear head to have our own “trips”–instead of those which are photoshopped for us.

 

 

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