by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Account: (n.) 1. a report or description of an event or experience. 2. a record or statement of financial expenditure or receipts. 3. an arrangement by which a body holds funds on behalf of a client. 4. importance of: money was of no account to her.

It’s that last definition that I’m most familiar with.

As a kid, my mother and father often referred to local folks as being “of no account.” I suppose they might have had some insight on the issue because they owned a loan company and received payments from many of these citizens each and every month, or on other occasions, DIDN’T receive such remuneration.

As a youngster, I didn’t think much about the statement–it seemed logical enough. It communicated to me that there were certain people who were valuable and self-sufficient, and then there were those who hung on for dear life by their fingernails, waiting for others to solve all their problems so they could slip into the back door to the celebration party, sheepishly bringing some chip dip and pretending they were part of the miracle.

Here’s the problem: if we could actually extend compassion to another person without feeling supremacy, then such an action would have divine conclusions. But the minute we open our wallets, our hearts or the door to our finance to other creatures who are less fortunate, we tend to place a status on them which renders them incapable of solvency.

How can you help somebody while at the same time empowering them?

For about two decades, we have attempted this by using the verbiage of “self-esteem,” pumping people full of hot air like balloons. When we arrive the next day and they’re flat, we pump them up again. No one knows for sure whether it’s on the eighth pumping or the twelfth that we stop being gentle to these deflated souls. But as long as we’re using air to try to make people look plumper instead of the opportunity¬† to be viable, then a part of our society will remain of “no account” and another portion will be nasty and snide.

Are there people who are just destined to be dependent? I don’t know. But the minute I believe that’s true, I cease to be of any value to the world around me.

I think we should approach life as if it’s an elementary school cafeteria. We all stand in line, get the same plate of food, walk to similar tables, with identical eating utensils and we either devour our portion with joy, producing energy, or we get too damn picky and end up hungry fifteen minutes later, looking for a snack.

The message? Encourage people to eat. Sometimes the food is a little less satisfying than other times, but eat it up. Sometimes it’s your favorite meal and you arrive at the next dining opportunity disappointed because it’s not repeated. Eat it up anyway.

Why? Because today has just enough in it for you if you slurp it up joyfully, granting you the opportunity to be successful.

I do believe that NoOne is better than anyone else. I just think some people finish their plate instead of scraping it into the trash. Those who do make it through the day understand why it happened. Those who don’t gave up somewhere along the way and lift their hands to the heavens, wondering why in God’s name it happened.

My mom and dad were wrong. There are NO people descended from Adam and Eve who are of “no account.” There are those children of Eden, however, who decline the provision given to them, dreaming and yearning for the magical apple.