Chinese

Chinese: (adj) relating to China or its language, culture, or people.

My daughter-in-law is from China.

She is the wife of my godson. They have two beautiful children. I don’t see them much because they live in China.

My first encounters with this dear lady were enlightening. We struck up an immediate friendship, and I was deeply impressed by her work
ethic, her respect and her honoring of those who have more age then herself.

But she is Chinese. She was raised under an absolute totalitarian form of government, which discourages people from being inventive. Now, the Chinese diplomats would probably take issue with that, but the danger of trying to make everyone the same is that they take you up on it. And once sameness has been achieved, the desire to excel, be different or discover an original path seems pointless.

In our capitalistic system, discouragement comes from a different arena. We are constantly pumped full of the helium of hope–that anyone can be wealthy and successful, while simultaneously closing doors of finance and opportunity on ideas coming from ingenious folks who weren’t born with any spoon in their mouth.

I suppose the controversy rages over which system hampers the human spirit the most. Is it more vindictive to quell creativity, or much more punishing to be creative and unable to find the means to your end?

I suppose my daughter-in-law and I could talk about this for hours. But the real issue is free will. Although many religionists and politicians would persist in trying to steal it from the human condition, God is intensely committed to free will.

So where the Spirit of God exists, there is liberty.

I have the choice to be lazy, productive, genuine, fake, kind or mean. Then I also have the responsibility to rise and fall on my choice.

It would be amazing if the Chinese people, with their great traditions and immense passion for excellence, could be unleashed with creativity and complete freedom, to choose their own path. Would they maintain the quality of their passion, or become complainers like many capitalists?

I don’t know.

True spirituality is feeling responsible without being confined, and being creative without insisting you’re entitled.

 

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Bred

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Bred: (adj) of a person or animal reared in a specified environment

No one will actually allow you to be an individual.Dictionary B

What you are permitted to do is clump in a well-recognized region of the country or the world which has already established a persona and system of mores.

For instance, you can’t live in Birmingham, Alabama, and be too unique without finding yourself ostracized by a “crimson tide.”

If you live in China, you may consider yourself to be a free thinker–as long as the government is allowed to define the term “free” and “think.”

Even the various boroughs of New York City, although close in proximity, establish turf and technique for the residents so they can be deemed “well bred.”

There is an immense hypocrisy when each one of us is told that we can “be ourselves,” as we are ushered into a social gulag … to be trained to be regionally normal.

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Blown

Blown: (adj) past participle of blow

Dictionary BYou can’t make a duck bark. It’s a simple statement.

Therefore, it’s virtually impossible to get your dog to quack.

Patterns of behavior are established through choice and genetics, and maintained by stubborn tradition.

So as I listen to people complain about leaders who are causing turmoil and steering the American public into bad decisions, I look on, perplexed.

  • Nobody can make me prejudiced.
  • Nobody can turn me into a bigot.
  • Nobody can suddenly convince me that black people are evil or that people from China are out to get me.

I am the one who is ready to hear the nonsense.

So therefore, it is the responsibility of our citizens to own up to the fact that the transitions which have occurred in our lifetime, which have promoted truth or at least tolerance, have been avoided by many, who have sat by, pretending to be part of the parade, only to whisper complaints to each other as the floats go by.

There is a disgruntled spirit in our country which is blown by every ill wind.

It is unconfronted.

It is denied–as we pretend that everything is alright.

It isn’t.

We are still one of the most bigoted countries in the world, intolerant of the behavior of each other, and willing to become violent if someone takes our parking space.

I don’t think we will change these attitudes by hatching meanness to address the meanness.

But as long as people are blown by every wind of doctrine and every carnival barker, we will suffer under a cloud of uncertainty.

 

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Bittersweet

Bittersweet: (adj) sweet with a bitter aftertaste.

Dictionary B

There is a reality that follows every miracle.

A “morning after” to each and every excitement.

An epilogue to a happy ending.

There is an unwelcome balance in life which often tries to cloud the beauty of a single giddy moment with an overall coloration of gray.

It’s why the human race–through blessed by sunshine–still curses the rain. It just doesn’t seem to be even.

So we naturally begin to focus on problems. We worry. We conjure additional sadness, awaiting the next conflict.

This is why, whether you are in China, England, Japan, or the United States, you will meet human beings who are tinged with a little despair, waiting for the present flickering flame of joy to be blown out by a new foul wind of difficulty.

So is it mature to be cautious, since at any moment our sense of satisfaction can be dampened? Or is there a certain charm in ignoring the tribulation and instead, mustering a determined good cheer?

It is bittersweet

People will argue this until the day they die.

It is at that juncture that most of us hope we are wrong … that there really is a happy ending.

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Biopsy

Biopsy: (n) an examination of tissue removed from a living body

Dictionary B

I got sick.

I mean, really sick.

There are so many times that we are convinced that we are ill or have contracted some mysterious disease, or contend that we are presently “under the weather” that we fail to recognize what it means to be in trouble.

The body is a great megaphone of its own condition.

In other words, when you’re ailing, every single part of your anatomy sends a memo, an email, and even tweets, “Danger.”

There’s little doubt.

I found myself in the hospital under the care of a lovely female doctor from China. She was beautiful in all ways. We immediately struck a chord of friendship, even though by cultural standards we had little in common. For some reason, she liked me, and I certainly appreciated and loved her for her soul and gifts.

She scheduled a series of tests. I could tell by her demeanor that she was worried that I had cancer and that we had caught it too late.

I will never forget lying on my hospital bed the night before my colonoscopy, alone in the dim lights with a few machines whirring and tweaking in the background.

It was just me…and me.

I thought about my own death.

I thought about dying soon.

I realized that to a barbarian fighting in Gaul in 32 B. C. that my death was insignificant, whether it happened next week or forty years from now. After all, what’s forty years to a Gaelic barbarian who’s been dead for over 2,000?

Of a certainty I was going to die. The question was, which ailment, disease, condition or speeding bus was going to perform the task?

Gradually, peace settled into my soul. It was a peace accompanied by an unexpected comedic, jovial sense of well-being.

For certainly, unless an angel of God was going to enter my bowels and produce a miracle overnight, what was in me was soon going to be made evident–and all I had left was the class and style that I could muster, to deal with the biopsy.

As it turned out, there was no problem and my young doctor came bouncing into the room with tears in her eyes, speaking half English and half Chinese, which I translated as “all is well.”

Yes, my friend, all is well until all isn’t well.

Between those two stations lies the possibility for some beautiful living.

 

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Amerasian

dictionary with letter A

Amerasian: (n) a person having one American and one Asian parent

It’s time for a moratorium. At least, I’m declaring one.

I refuse to indulge anymore in the constant creation of new names to segregate people off into smaller and smaller clumps based upon minute cultural differences, separating us from a greater understanding of one another.

I am especially averse to this word, “Amerasian.”

I have a beautiful grandson named Wyeth, whose mother is from China and whose father is from Louisiana. I suppose that would make him Amerasian if I was so dumbfounded by the culture that I participated in such nonsense.

  • There are no African-Americans because none of them could actually live in Africa.
  • I am not a German-American because seven generations ago my family came over on a ship to get away from that country.
  • There are no gay-Americans.
  • There are no female-Americans.

We’re just human beings, and the more we try to promote our culture, maintaining the traditions passed down from a lineage we don’t even understand anymore, the more we will confound our own personal journey with the clutter of clatter.

I even laugh at my own children, who worry that little Wyeth won’t get enough of China–or Louisiana–to enrich the mix of his life.

Let me give you a clue: Wyeth is a person, so as long as he has purpose, food, clothing and love, he’s not going to give a crap about whether it comes from China or Louisiana.

Can we get over the childishness of “cultural integrity?”

I want to possess a philosophy that would allow me to live anywhere with anyone at any time. If I don’t have that in my possession, I will fine-tune my thinking until I acquire it.

Wyeth is not Amerasian. He is my grandson. And by the grace of God, if he continues to grow and use his talents, someday he’ll be a blessing to the whole earth.

 

Alabama

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alabama: (n) a state in the southeastern U.S. on the Gulf of Mexico, capital Montgomery, statehood, Dec. 14, 1819.

A state of mind.

Even though I must tell you, having traveled all over this country, that there are nests of belief, custom, culture and theology that persist or flourish in their particular homeland, the hatchet job that has been done to our fifty states to promote causes, newspaper articles and political agendas is abominable.

Nowhere is this more evident to me than in the perception of Alabama.

I would be amiss if I merely portrayed the “sweet home” aspects of this particular state. Like every other principality which has ever existed on earth, it is riddled with mishaps, bad judgments and incoherent ideas being fostered as “normal.”

But to personify Alabama–or any part of the south–as the hotbed for bigotry, ignorance and inequality is not only short-sighted, but comes from a place of arrogance and a desire to limit the qualities that these dear folks can offer to our country in faith and hospitality.

Some of the worst memories I have of my journeys have been in the south–especially Alabama–and also some of the golden treasures of people and discovery have also been found within its borders.

Here’s the truth: people live where they were hatched, take the best parts of their surroundings and mingle them with tolerance and love to form a workable way of being. No matter where they abide, if they accept the portions of their culture which alienate them from the rest of the world, they have gone down a foolish path. But if they set aside childishness, they gain eternal perspective.

Prejudice was not born in the south. Long before slaves were brought to this country, there were slaves in Rome, Greece, Egypt, China and every corner of our globe. Those who were intelligent, historical and also spiritual learn to recognize the limitations of their upbringing in deference to the mercy that the God of our creation requires of His children.

I love Alabama. I love Massachusetts. I love California–not because of the history book or the spouting of their individual Chambers of Commerce. No, it’s because I have met people in each of these locations–and many others–who have overcome their ancestors to be born again … to newness of life.