Coup de Grace

Coup de grace: (n) death blow

I keep waiting.

With my vexation of waiting comes a curious wondering.

And while I wonder I grow anxious to see sanity have a seat at the table with the family of man. (I have no problem with it being the family of woman, too. Shall we say humankind?)

But escaping that piece of political correctness, let me say I’m a bit baffled as to what coup de grace must occur to startle us from the mediocrity of hatefulness, and the deteriorating status of our conscience.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Not only has kindness become suspect in the ongoing criminal activity of our social disruption, but we’re beginning to believe that anything or anyone who expresses compassion and tenderness is weak. In doing so, we make it seem that to express the weakness of gentleness, one has to be very strong-willed to endure the sarcasm.

I don’t know what’s wrong with pausing before condemning.

I’m confused why we consider it to be ignorant to go on a quest for a deeper understanding of faith.

And I’m not so sure that any deal can be made if there is a human toll extracted to ratify the terms.

Where is the coup de grace?

When will we finally pull up just short of a death blow which tries to remove the oxygen from the breath of our generosity?

I don’t want to go any further backwards. I don’t want to see how bad things could become.

I don’t know if it’s possible for us to come up short of Armageddon, pull away just in time, breathe a sigh of relief…and go get a beer.

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Askew: (adv & adj) wrong and awrydictionary with letter A

We should probably make up our minds.

Although it is popular to extol the virtue of walking the straight and narrow, and being considered “normal” in our politically correct environment, it is always the opinion, attitude and askew appearance of the well-promoted standard that gets all the attention.

I remember recently walking into a motel room where there were three pictures hanging on the wall, but only one gained my focus.

It was askew.

The other two faithfully adhered to the wall in straight lines and were barely noticeable.

I fidgeted with the crooked picture for ten minutes, trying to get it aligned with the others, only to discover that it was bent, uneven and therefore unwilling.

We must decide:

Are we going to applaud the individuals who respect the common good and quietly live a life of needful submission to reason?

Or are we going to put the cameras of our news media on the bent and twisted individuals who disrupt society with their paranoia or mania?

Many things in our world are askew.

  • Some of them are intriguing and curious and worth a quick “look and see.”
  • Others are dangerous and tip us precariously on the verge of social, spiritual or even physical Armageddon.

How can we tell the difference? We have to decide if the picture on the wall needs to be straightened or if it can remain crooked.

Feel free to call me a little obsessive-compulsive, but the picture on the wall of my motel room which was askew–well, I removed it and set it in the corner.

It did not have the right to be part of the beauty of my world.

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


dictionary with letter A

Armageddon: (n) in the New Testament, the last battle between good and evil before the Day of Judgment.

I have this memory from Sunday School class of a verse in which God shares with Cain that the blood of his brother “cried unto God from the Earth.”

Pretty powerful image.

So every time I think about Armageddon, I’m a bit baffled.

I have never had a desire to go to the Holy Land–mainly because I do not believe that any particular parcel of dust and stone is holy–and especially when the landscape has been so stained by human blood, shed for meaningless doctrines and interpretations.

I am not certain that this position I have taken would be a popular one with those who want to go and see where Moses received the Ten Commandments, or where Jesus walked on the water.

But if I found myself in the unenviable position of being the President of the United States, I would never send any troops into a kingdom that is already crimson with blood.

I would never allow myself to be known as the conduit that initiated a battle over nothing, which destroys everything.

There isn’t much I can do about the Jews and the Muslims wanting to fight with each other. It is my belief that Jesus came to break truth off of tradition, so that we could be human beings with each other instead of tribes.

But I guess as long as we insist on honoring our cultures more than humanity, protecting our kin more than seeking reasons to call the people of the world our brothers and sisters, and debating the personality of a God which is far beyond our comprehension, we will gradually inch our way periodically towareds Armageddon.

When we do, look for me in the rear, turning around and heading the other direction.

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

Action Figure

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Action figure: (n.) a doll representing a person or fictional character known for vigorous action, such as a soldier or superhero. The figure is typically posable, with jointed limbs.

I think one of the most creative cartoons ever devised was Transformers.

These were robots that could morph into other objects, weapons, or even flying machines to fight their enemies. Not only was it represented well in animation, but they actually came up with action figure toys which were equally as entertaining for the young set–or even those a little older and graying, like me.

One Christmas, one of my sons asked for Optimus Prime. Optimus Prime was the ultimate Transformer–the good guy of all good guys. His enemy was Megatron.

Of course, that particular Christmas I could not locate Optimus Prime anywhere–but was able to easily find Megatron, who ironically, was quite marked down.

Megatron was cool, but was also the bad bot. I did not want to pass on the impression to my eight-year-old that I was purchasing the “Dark Lord of the Transformers,” perhaps inkling to him that evil had the power to triumph over good.

So I decided to order Optimus Prime and put a certificate under the tree, explaining that the present would arrive at a later date and hoping that would be sufficient to create some sort of enthusiasm.

Little did I know that a family friend, who thought he was being a magnificent unseen uncle, purchased Megatron on sale and gave it to my son. So what I feared came to be: my son had all of his little Transformers who were nice fellows, but no match for the massive and sinister Megatron.

I tried to get him enthusiastic about the upcoming arrival of Optimus Prime, but he was just TOO thrilled with his new bad boy of rock and roll.

I was worried.

I know it sounds silly–but as I listened to him playing through the door on Christmas Day, I sensed there was a battle going on in his soul–good versus evil.

Finally I decided to go in a talk to him about his present collection of action figures. I found him deeply engrossed in a skirmish. So I sat down for five minutes and explained to him that even though Megatron was big and strong, that he was not to be honored just because it SEEMED like he had more power than all the good transformers.

My son listened carefully, even though he occasionally was distracted and gazed over at his new, shiny toy. After my lecture, I asked him if he understood and “would he please explain it back to me.”

He patted me on the leg and said, “Daddy, don’t worry. You see, here’s what I’ve figured out. Megatron is strong, but when all the good transformers work together as a team, they can beat him–because then they’re stronger.”

At this point, he turned and ran away for his next in-house Armageddon. I sat for a moment and just shook my head. How did this little boy come up with such a profound statement? And why is it that we grown, intelligent, well-educated people can’t figure that one out for ourselves?

Yes, if all the good guys would just get together, evil wouldn’t have a chance … in hell.