Chit-chat

Chit-chat: (n) inconsequential conversation.

Perhaps the greatest kindness we do to other human beings is to listen to them. But we must be aware that if we point eyes and ears in their direction, we also must be prepared to endure.

Sometimes it astounds me–what people think is important. Even more bewildering is why they think I would feel it is important.

Yet at the cost of the losing a huge wedge of my time, I will stand and listen to people rattle on about their granddaughter’s or their grandson’s innate ability to play piano, beginning with the surprising revelation that at age five they had mastered “Chopsticks.”

On top of this. visual aids suddenly appear. Yes, pictures come out of purses and wallets. (This requires that I comment on how attractive the children are, no matter how much their features may contradict my praise.)

It’s called chit-chat. And the main problem with it is, once you’ve been targeted as a victim, you lose hours of time for very little appreciation.

After all, nobody walks away and says, “That guy is a magnificent listener!” Actually, they stroll away thinking how interesting they must have been–for me to remain for so long.

Yes. I end up encouraging a verbal criminal–someone who forces himself on other humans, raping them of all sensibility.

Chit-chat is often used to avoid real conversation about pertinent issues. It’s a way of saying “I like you” without ever saying, “I love you.” It’s a way of being heard without needing to listen, especially if you develop the annoying vice of interruption.

When the world is falling apart and the meteors are streaming to the Earth and the atomic bombs are exploding in every direction, there will be some person standing on a street corner, boring a friend, talking about his daughter’s amazing second-place finish in the school spelling bee.

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Annihilate

dictionary with letter A

Annihilate: (v) to destroy utterly; obliterate.

Universally, historically, chemically, spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally and internationally, “destroy” is one of those words that is part of the three heads of evil.

Linking with “kill” and “steal,” it forms the only empire of darkness of which I am aware.

And even though we like to focus on extreme examples of destroying by citing genocide or even ecological malfeasance, we do better if we embrace the danger of sinister activity in our own breast instead of attributing it to villains.

What am I doing to annihilate anything in my life? What am I destroying which, if I would cease to do so, would enhance my possibilities and the people around me?

It’s a powerful thought.

The first thing I have to overcome is my defensiveness and fear of being exposed as a destroyer.

The second goal would be to accept the fact that even a little destruction is annihilating something of importance.

So I will busy myself today with a bit of analyzing on this issue.

  • Of course, we are all in danger of annihilating ourselves through bad habits.
  • Some form of annihilation is inevitable when we maintain prejudice, which lends itself to bigotry.
  • And even the acceptable position of being opinionated tends to annihilate fresh ideas from peppering our minds.

We must be willing to forgive ourselves.

After all, we sat in Sunday School as children hearing stories of the Children of Israel annihilating whole tribes in order to gain the Promised Land.

We read about the thousands of casualties during the Civil War, fought in our homeland, never considering the individual soldier.

And of course, none of us were present for the terror of the first two atomic bombs, which annihilated a pair of cities and hundreds of thousands of people.

To annihilate is the killing edge of not giving a damn.

To avoid it, I must be willing to consider where calloused reasoning has made me susceptible to such treachery.

 

 

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