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

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Analyze

dictionary with letter A

Analyze: (adj) relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning.

Perhaps we should print signs.

It may be a bit cumbersome but certainly would be helpful in reminding us what exactly is the right procedure in a given situation.

One sign should read: Analyze

The other sign should warn: Please do not analyze.

Mixing these two up is what creates some of the more awkward and even tense moments in our day.

For instance, if you come home and your ten-year-old is sitting in his soccer uniform, dejected and pouting, and you use your laser insight to realize he must have lost his game, it is probably not the best time to sit down and become analytical about the game of soccer or go outside to practice kicks and moves. It is time for a bowl of popcorn, a hug and a funny video.

Likewise, if you were to return to your abode and your wife asked you to sit down and discuss a problem she was having in the household, it would be unfortunate to decide to launch into a tickle-fest.

Do we analyze or do we just allow ourselves to feel? The right answer brings understanding; the wrong one lends itself to retaliation.

For after all, trying to be flippant over things that need an analytical touch makes us appear calloused and useless to those who are hurt or abused.

  • Waranalytical
  • Kissingnot
  • Abortionanalytical
  • Parentingnot so much
  • Financea little of both

So you can see, the true definition of maturity is knowing when to be analytical and when to allow yourself to escape the prison of logic … and run free as long as you possibly can.

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Alzheimer’s Disease

dictionary with letter A

Alzheimer’s disease: (n) a progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age due to generalized degeneration of the brain.

When you read the definition, there’s nothing funny about it.

But candidly, I think everybody feels a little nervous about taking this disease seriously.

It isn’t that we don’t have empathy for those who suffer from it. It’s just that the one-liners, comedic set-up and potential sketches available on the subject of older people becoming forgetful are so ripe with scenarios that it’s difficult to pass them up in favor of more sensitive profiles.

So when are we being callous?

I remember once in a show I joked about the fact that “considering my size, you know I’m not anorexic.” A lady walked up to me afterwards and complained about my choice of humor, saying that her daughter suffered from the condition and that it was not a jocular matter.

I apologized.

The reason I offered this remorse was that I had offended her. I didn’t do anything offensive, but because the subject matter was so personal and close to her, she was offended by my making light of the gravity of the situation.

But honestly, I do not know if we can progress the human race without learning to laugh at ourselves.

Would I think jokes about Alzheimer’s Disease were funny if I had it? Since I probably wouldn’t know–yes. (See? There are people who probably would find even that turnaround crass…)

All of us are going to get old, and that looming condition is both real and frightening at the same time. To approach it without some sort of good cheer is probably the greatest danger.

So I follow a simple philosophy: I try to find humor in everything, serious or not. It is not because I don’t care. It is because the only way to care is to relieve pain, not merely point it out.

We must be careful in a time when we are touting our personal feelings more than understanding our human need–that we don’t lose sight of the escapism of comedy.

I do not condone those who are rude and crude. I am not saying that any kind of disease is pleasant. I’m just saying that as an obese man, plagued with many of the complications associated with it, I have never gained ground by digging in my heels, weeping or looking for reasons to be offended.

The only light I’ve ever seen at the end of any of my tunnels … is humor.


Addiction

Addiction: (n.) the condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity: e.g. an addiction to gamblingdictionary with letter A

Being mortal, flawed, and yet inexplicably granted intelligence, I often find myself wanting to attribute all negative vices to others while retaining virtue unto myself. It is one of those conditions in the human race that we often refer to when awkwardly explaining our inadequacy or even calloused behavior. In other words:

“You’re addicted. I’M passionate.”

“You are disemboweled and disenfranchised by your actions. I am in the pursuit of diverse choices.”

Sometimes the best way to assist others is to find similar difficulties in ourselves. For instance, I don’t understand why people want to put a stick of tobacco in their mouth and light it up, setting their lungs ablaze. They are probably just as baffled about why I continue to eat when the meal is already completed. Yet I would be willing to justify MY actions as “harmless” while condemning theirs as evil.

No one in this society will ever be able to have mercy, and therefore grant finance, to aid those who are addicted until we are willing to admit the addictions that have crept into our own activities and our willpower.

Candidly, I don’t eat because I’m hungry. So when I see an advertisement on television, explaining how some pill or exercise will curb your appetite, I just laugh.

  • I eat for kicks and pleasure.
  • I eat because it comes to my mind that there is some food in the refrigerator yet unconsumed
  • I eat for entertainment.
  • I eat for reward.

In so doing, I allow food to dictate some of the policy of my life. It is the definition for addiction–at least in my opinion:

If any activity begins to put together your personal calendar and you find yourself shifting your efforts in favor of those choices, then you’re probably dealing with some form of addiction.

There are three things necessary to take care of addiction:

1. A climate where confession is greeted by appreciation instead of judgment.

2. An understanding that willpower is never enough without the support of others.

3. Failure is inevitable, success is rare and the race will go to he who endures to the end.

Addiction CAN be beat, but it will do well when the dictionary does not tie it to drugs and gambling, but instead, points it out as human selections of all sorts … gone awry.