Darn: (adj) a more proper version of the word “damn.”

Anything that’s worth a “darn” should be worth a “damn.”

Anything that requires a “shoot” might be better stated with a “shit.”

The problem is not whether the words are profane.

It’s about whether the words are appropriate.

Being unable to find your keys in the morning isn’t worth a “damn, fucking shit-to-hell.”

But seeing an evil done to another human being requires more incrimination than “darn you, jerk.”

We just don’t seem to understand that evil isn’t spoken or enacted, but rather, reveals the intention of our heart.

That means you could be complimenting someone but you’re so insincere that you might as well have criticized them.

The words should match.

You don’t become a better person by saying “darn.”

But you do become a better person by having fewer and fewer people that you want to damn.



Cheat: (v) to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage

Some people compare the human brain to a computer.

There may be truth to that–though the brain is capable of much more reasoning and processing.

But one of the similarities that would hold true is that the brain does maintain a browser. It has a listing of most recent files, frequently viewed files, and even files we think we’ve deleted.

Every once in a while, they’ll just pop up and remind us that the mind doesn’t always find ways to be kind.

It’s a little piece of nastiness.

So it runs a tally.

How many murders have we watched in television and movies over the past six months?

How many shows on the beauty of Antarctica and gorgeous flower displays from India?

How many scenes of pornography and the abuse of the female body have crossed our eyes in comparision to the downloads we have perused of mothers loving their children and women conquering prejudice, to be successful in business?

Because our browser is filled with corruption, we cheat.

  • We cheat on our taxes.
  • We cheat on our lovers.
  • We cheat ourselves out of blessing because cursing is so easily available.
  • We cheat our children out of intimacy in favor of a quick trip to the amusement park.
  • We cheat our talent out of the privilege of being used in a creative way while constantly bitching about the limitations of our job.

We cheat.

And then, fearing that we will be revealed as cheaters, we develop a honeycomb of intertwined lies, which now buzz from our lips with far too much glib precision.

Where will our cheating take us?

Well, we certainly don’t think anybody is going to be better than us, so it turns us into suspicious, angry and vindictive neighbors.

We cheat.

Mostly, we cheat ourselves.

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dictionary with letter A

Arduous: (adj) involving or requiring strenuous effort.

Are you ready?

I’m gonna pitch you a movie idea.

Fade in:

Man wakes up in the morning, discovers he doesn’t have a razor to shave his beard. Rather than complain to his wife or go out into the world unshorn, he gingerly reaches into the shower, removing his wife’s Lady Bic, peering around the room cautiously to make sure he’s not observed.

He slathers his face with shaving cream and carefully runs the precious object across his face, freeing himself of jungle fuzz. He rinses the borrowed object with great intensity, placing it back into the shower, smiling into the mirror as he splashes his face with his favorite cologne, turning and heading out the door with a smile.

What do you think? Are you ready to invest?

Of course not.

No one would make this movie, because it is a tale of a human being finding a way to work things out without becoming exasperated, frenzied or completely debilitated by circumstance.

Somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves that if our lives are not filled with arduous tasks, then we’re really not grown-up and we haven’t proven our mettle. With that desire to appear mature, we’ve taken things that should be simple and made them as painful as possible, whether politics, business, family life or religion. The more hot coals we can walk over, the more we are convinced of achievement.

If there is a line being formed by those who are looking for less arduous ways to approach life, I would like to get into it.

I’m never proud of myself when I become exasperated. I don’t feel manly swearing at traffic or frustrated because my hammer decided to hit my thumb instead of the nail. Cursing doesn’t strike me as a sign of strength, but rather, evidence of the little child that failed to die sometime after puberty.

There may be arduous tasks. Most of them are not what we perceive them to be.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself, or anyone else, is having a mechanism in your soul which sucks up problems that seem insurmountable … and spits out simplicity.



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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accursed: (adj.) 1. under a curse 2. used to express strong dislike or anger towards

I guess that’s why they call it cursing–when you decide that people have made you so angry that you must quickly pronounce judgment on them by only using four-letter words.

I suppose I would have to ask myself if there really IS anything that’s “accursed.”  Is there really some idea or practice in the human family which is not only unmannerly, but worthy of total condemnation?

To be honest, I am tired to listening to curses being placed on human beings for the sins of the flesh. Oh, I know there are things that are gross, mean, deadly and despicable. But sins of the flesh tend to plague the human carcass. Are we better if we avoid them? Sure. Can we completely escape the hold they have on our beings? Not so sure.

So every time we isolate some human being and freeze him or her in their moment of stupidity, trying to draw a conclusion about their entire personage based on a single act or even a series of repetitive functions, we really are placing a curse, which might have a rubber band effect, and fly back in our face the next time WE are equally as foolish.

So I’m not so sure I want to curse people because they have selected personal choices that I do not necessarily adhere to in my own life. No, I think if a curse comes upon any human spirit, it is due to the ridiculous notion that we gain superiority simply because we are something that someone else isn’t, were raised in a place where they weren’t, or retain a color that we deem preferable.

I guess you would call those sins of the heart–those fallacious notions that crop into our minds, which we DO have control over, but rather than chasing them out the back door, we entertain them in the parlor of our brain.

The only “cursed” thing about human beings is when any one of us tries to promote or express superiority. Not only is it absolutely hilarious because we will quickly disprove our premise of being superior, but also, the nastiness of making someone else appear to be small just to increase our own circumference of influence, is probably the definition of evil.

For after all, in order to murder someone you have to convince yourself that they must go and you must stay.

There’s the entire personification of the problem.

So what do I curse?

  • Self-righteousness.
  • Racism.
  • Bigotry.
  • Over-zealous nationalism.
  • Prejudice.
  • Arrogance.
  • Non-repentant values.
  • Anything that makes us believe that somehow or another, we arrived here in the perfect package and everyone else is damaged goods.

Hopefully I will never curse you because you do something different with your body parts than I do.

But I will confront you every time you think that you’re better than anyone else.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abrogate: (v.) to do away with or repeal a law, right or formal agreement

He came into my room.

“He” was my fourteen-year-old son, who had just been confronted by me for breaking one of the family rules. This was not unusual. Being a teenager, he was more than willing to fulfill his quorum of weekly indiscretions, to face the equivalent provided punishments.

Yet this time was different.

Instead of coming into my room in tears or firing fiery darts of anger from his eyes, he had selected a profile of reasonableness. He gave me the respect I deserved as his father, but at the same time, came prepared with a case to make on his behalf–how the rule he had just broken lacked clarity and necessity.

He was calm. He was asking me in an uncharacteristically gentle way, to abrogate my decision by offering me pointed examples of why this particular precept held dear in the family was not necessarily applicable anymore.

For a fourteen-year-old, he was quite eloquent.

It made me realize that we live in a world where lots of folks think that the power of their principles are best expressed by screaming at the top of their lungs. They contend that their displeasure over some particular practice or law should be enough to change the situation on the spot. They take no consideration for the common good. They are not concerned with equity, and justice takes a back burner to convenience.

But here I was–listening to my fourteen-year-old son expound with both fervency and practicality, a case concerning his innocence–if this qualification for purity were lifted and abandoned.

He was asking me to trust him. He was asking me to believe in him. He was asking me to reconsider my position without trying to make me feel as if I were a dictator, a socialist and a murderer of all teenage rights.

At the end of his discourse, I asked him a couple of questions, and although his responses were not as astute as his original presentation, I still believed he had taken the time to consider his position instead of merely building up a head of steam.

I was impressed. I was so taken by his metamorphosis that I changed the rule. I abrogated it.

There are many things that may need to be abrogated in our society today–arbitrary findings and guidelines that require another “look-see.” But nothing will happen until people of common sense calm their attitudes and present a logical case instead of constantly hammering away with stubbornness and self-righteousness.

It can be done. Outdated concepts can be abrogated in favor of more mature and realistic options.  But yelling and cursing only create a soil for growing the weeds of stupidity.

We need intelligence. It’s the only way to abrogate ignorance.