Complacent

Complacent: (adj) showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements

Sometimes we forget the Earth is still evolving.

Because it doesn’t go on television, shout and scream, nor advertise itself unashamedly on the Internet, we believe that the Earth did its Darwin thing and decided to settle down somewhere near Naples, Florida, for a good, well-deserved retirement.

But the truth of the matter is, the Earth may be old in years, but it is constantly going through its “terrible twos.” It is a demanding toddler, requiring our funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cattention–otherwise it starts breaking things.

So even though the word “complacent” is normally considered to represent a negative emotion, connoting that one does not care, a bit of complacency is in order so we don’t come across thinking we are in charge.

I, for one, am complacent on the weather.

I know how to buy gear for the various threats and precipitation, so rather than studying it, cursing it or attempting to pray it away, I allow my emotions and soul to develop a needful numbness with a twinge of gratitude.

I am complacent on race.

Since it doesn’t make any difference and it’s foolish to talk about it, I will play like I’m mentally challenged when it’s brough up in front of me, because I don’t want to accidentally pop off something from my erroneous training, nor foolishly present myself as Mr. Universal.

Other areas where I’m complacent:

  • Gay rights
  • Abortion
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Chauvinism
  • And rising prices at the grocery store

Since most of these things do not affect me–and if they do affect me, they are completely beyond my control–any fretting, opinions or stomping on my part will be useless.

There is a wonderful phrase which I often remind myself of whenever I’m tempted to be engaged: “Be still and know that I am God.”

If there is a Being named God, and He has created a Universe, my stirrings are comical at best, and at worst, aggravating.

 

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Chivalry

Chivalry: (n) readiness to help the weak, associated with knights

Leave it to America to take a tradition of kindness to the poor and those less fortunate and attribute it solely to caring for and even wooing the female of the species.

The first insult comes in assuming that women are weaker. Of course, there are plenty of ladies who are more than prepared to carry a lesser
load. And some gentlemen who are duped into thinking that opening car doors is the prerequisite to opening vaginas.

So it becomes a game of cat and mouse, which, as I recall, is not really a game at all, but rather, a duel to the death, with the mouse always victimized.

It just seems to me that you cannot insist on using chivalry on women without also promoting the idea that they are desperately in need of attention.

I like the original definition. Candidly, there are times I am weak. I welcome a little chivalry–even if it comes from the opposite sex.

But our country is very cluttered by its own tangled web of misconceptions:

  • Women are not weaker–just promoted to be that way so men can feel stronger.
  • Men are not chivalrous when they condescend to women, but rather, chauvinists.

If you’re not sure if you should give a lady your assistance, then just ask. She will let you know.

And then you will actually have an experience in equality.

 

 

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Chauvinism

Chauvinism: (n) prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group, or gender.

Chauvinism is an actual condition when the insecurity of one group of people forces them to usurp their authority by using domination.

It is not a “safe word” that women can use when they’ve lost an argument and want to change the subject to make it seem that they are being
attacked by some sort of Neanderthal.

Chauvinism is an actual predicament.

It is not a return to the past, but instead, a maintaining of the worst. For after all, there are many things from the past that we’ve abandoned just to make sure we don’t die.

For instance, it used to be avant garde to smoke cigarettes, and now it’s limited to Hollywood bad guys and white trash.

We do have the common sense to reject certain things of the past, like smallpox, measles and even the flu, which used to kill off thousands.

So the contention that we want to return to the “good old days” means that we want to go back to days that were not that good and nobody was really allowed to get old.

So what is chauvinism?

It is anyone who believes he or she is exceptional for any reason whatsoever. If you happen to be exceptional in some field, just do your work and let other people proclaim your excellence.

If you find yourself tooting your own horn, be prepared for folks to find you brassy.

There’s a danger even when referring to America as an “exceptional nation”–for the things that make us exceptional have absolutely nothing to do with the populace. They are the freedoms we purposely grant to those who are not always exceptional.

I must come back to my standard mantra: no one is better than anyone else.

You don’t achieve much by trying to contradict it, and the pursuit of believing it grants you the purity of heart to actually see God in the world around you.

 

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Cad

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Cad: (n) a man who behaves dishonorably, especially toward a woman.

Consider the following three statements:

  1. “Women are too emotional to be placed in positions of authority.”
  2. “Happy wife, happy life.”
  3. “I don’t know why women want equality–they’re already better than us.”

All these statements are chauvinistic.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a word like “cad” in our present vernacular to describe such cavalier attitudes. For the truth is, women are not too emotional and they have just as much responsibility to make a happy husband–because they are not better than us, just equal.

Let me give you another three prototypes:

  1. “I always buy my wife presents because she deserves consideration.”
  2. “Women are greedy gold-diggers.”
  3. “All women need from men is respect.”

Once again, all chauvinistic–the dialogue of a cad. Because after all, it’s not exactly what you’re saying that makes you a bigot, but rather, what you’re implying.

And if you think women deserve the best just because they’re female, it’s similar thinking to the guy who considers women to be gold-diggers because they want the best. And that means that women need monetary evidence before they consider themselves respected.

Although the approaches get slicker and the dialogue has a more tender nature to it, cads still roam the earth, eyeing the ladies in the herd, trying to figure out how to woo them … just enough to screw them.

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Breach

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Breach: (n) an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct

A great book once alleged that there’s a power in “repairing the breach”–finding that break in etiquette or sensibility that can be covered with a multitude of grace.Dictionary B

It is a noble notion.

The difficulty with the mission is that people will often argue with you about whether there’s a breach in the first place. After all, a common conversation with fifty Americans will render much different responses:

  • Is there racism?
  • Is chauvinism a problem?
  • Should poverty be addressed or should we just try to motivate people to work harder?
  • Is there a God or are we on our own?
  • Are people of different lifestyles entitled to their rights?
  • Should we judge people by the color of their skin?
  • Should we question religions?
  • Is it possible that some people are just better than others?
  • Do the heavens have a “chosen people?”

If we cannot agree that there’s a breach, then the repairing will be considered foolish or intrusive.

What can we agree on about our pain before we seek a relief?

It is not so much that our problems are complicated–it’s more that they’re denied.

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Brazen

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Brazen: (adj) bold and without shame

Up to this year, I would have sworn or even argued that the word “brazen” could not be used except for referring to a “hussy.”

And a hussy, in this context, points to a woman having an extraordinary appetite for naughtiness.Dictionary B

But after I experienced the political climate that infested our country, I will tell you that “brazen” does not require a tube top and a foul mouth. It works just as well with an overly expensive suit or a pantsuit.

We were led to believe that virtue, kindness, consideration and courtesy are optional. These ideas of common ground and gentility were presented to us as signs of weakness rather than the building blocks of strength.

We talked about affairs, chauvinism, racism, lying, cheating and deceit as if they were a badge of honor to establish acclaim for a well-seasoned practitioner of politics.No one stopped to ask what such activities would breed in the hearts of the common man and woman.

So we stand back, a little astounded that people are a bit more surly and considerably more apathetic. Maybe they don’t choose to become as brazen as the front-runners of the political parties, but they have adopted some of the nastiness and made it their own.

So it falls the lot of sane men and women everywhere to kindly, but purposefully, challenge surliness and awaken the indifferent. It is a work that should have been unnecessary had we been offered wizened souls.

But since we weren’t, it is the new mission of the angels.

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 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

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Brand

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Brand: (n) a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.

I was informed that you can clean your battery terminals by pouring a little bit of Coca-Cola on them to get rid of the excess residue.Dictionary B

Yet for some reason, the Coca-Cola bottling company does not choose to advertise this. They instead insist on punctuating their brand as a beverage which is tasty and enjoyable, especially refreshing when served over ice.

I have heard that toilet paper has been applied in a comedic way to write comical or whimsical notes. Yet I have never seen Charmin market their product as stationery. They continue to persist in believing that the best angle for promoting their brand is to insinuate how comfortable it is to the bum.

Isn’t that fascinating?

Even though there may be other uses, purposes or maybe interpretations of a certain commodity, they are not brought to the forefront, simply because they are either bizarre, aberrant or silly.

I, for instance, was drawn to be a believer in the Gospel of Jesus because his brand was “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Unfortunately, I am always inundated with those who have found other uses for the Gospel, including racism, chauvinism, self-righteousness and greed.

I feel it is my job to reject this promotion, which would try to draw people to a message of hate, instead of the intended outcome of a community of mutual understanding.

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


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy