Anachronism

dictionary with letter A

Anachronism: (n) a thing that belongs in another period than the present, usually referring to old-fashioned.

One of the more rib-tickling moments in my recent life was when I overheard two seven-year-old kids discussing how Kraft macaroni and cheese dinners used to have better cheese–when they were younger.

It was both endearing and enlightening.

It made me realize that it is possible at any age to reflect back on a previous time, which you have convinced yourself contained more promise, power or purpose.

It got me thinking.

What are anachronisms? What makes something old-fashioned? Just because some individual promoting an agenda wants to claim that a particular attribute is old-fashioned doesn’t make it so, Joe.

Because the things I find to be anachronistic are the causes put forth in our society which have historically proven to be errant or stupid:

1. Drug addiction.

We may want to debate whether drugs should be a crime or a freedom, but it doesn’t change the fact that any time you suck in smoke, swallow a pill or ingest a fluid to change your mood, you’re admitting that you, personally, do not have the ability to be happy without props.

2. Cultural appreciation.

I know some people think it’s important for black children to learn black culture, Chinese children their particular rendition and Hispanic offspring to pay their respects to Cinco de Mayo, but candidly, it’s just another subtle form of racism. It’s a way of distinguishing differences in the human race which only pull us apart instead of joining us together.

3. An aversion to manners.

Yes, there are folks who insist that being a lady or a gentleman–courteous–is too up-tight or phony. What is phony is thinking that you can treat people like crap and not end up being considered a turd yourself.

4. And finally (at least for this list), there is an ongoing belief that there is a battle between God and science.

Matter of fact, we’re choosing up sides again.

If we really believe there’s a God, then His creation certainly instituted scientific fact and Earth’s physics. If there is no God, then we’d better cuddle up to science, because it’s our only chance.

So since I believe in both, I consider it intelligent to keep them friendly.

  • An anachronism is something from the past that we cling to.
  • Tradition is a practice that we continue because of reputation.

But wisdom is an anachronism that needs to become a tradition because it offers human beings a chance to overcome our jungle … and plant a new garden.

 

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

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Allegory

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allegory: (n) a story, poem or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one: e.g. Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey.

I am not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, the word “reality” became synonymous with “truth.”

Reality is not truth. Rather, it is our present fallen position.

Often we have to escape reality to climb a little higher to see over the mounds of our own stupidity. Yet in the past thirty or forty years, entertainment, education and even our politics have boasted their “open-mindedness” and intellectual pursuits by taking a snapshot of ongoing human behavior, insisting that it is a tableau of our destiny.

Isn’t that ridiculous?

So when I think about the allegory, I realize that it is almost a lost art–because allegory does exactly the opposite of reality movies and TV. The allegory says there are principles, feelings and ideas which are eternal and lasting–which only need to be passed through the prism of our present understanding in order to enlighten us.

Just because people are going through a season when they think God is mean, or doesn’t exist at all, does not mean that’s what they will feel in five years.

What is the consensus of human need on the issue? Find that–then draw an allegory, using the language of our times to present everlasting truth.

  • I don’t want society deciding what is valuable.
  • I don’t want to have a conversation with someone about television shows which extol violence, crime, graft, greed and incest and have him look at me with pity because I don’t understand that it’s “a true story.”
  • I don’t want to watch vampires suck the blood out of werewolves as witches place curses on hobbits who are out to pursue rings by killing dragons and believe that I am out of step because it is just necessary escapist fantasy. Maybe Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are attempts at allegory, but they are so cluttered with the inclusion of destiny that they lose the passion of free will.

I admire allegory.

I appreciate the way Jesus used allegory in parables, explaining the kingdom of God to people by referencing fish, coins, bread yeast and mustard seeds instead of merely bitching about the Romans and complaining about the boring Pharisees.

Reality is not truth.

Truth is finding a way to share what has blessed our species for thousands of years … in a contemporary fashion.