Century

Century: (n) a period of one hundred years.

I have lived in two centuries.

Matter of fact, most of what we hold dear, precious, valuable and true has occurred in my lifespan.

For instance:

From my birth to the present day, we have transported our emotions from bigotry to “Oh, my God. We’re bigots.”

We have gone from cars using gasoline to cars using gasoline but us feeling kind of guilty about it.

We have traveled from medicine believing it has the answer to some things to medicine being quite certain it has the answer to everything.

We have spanned the generation gap by explaining that psychologically, such a chasm is necessary.

We have gone to the moon, but can’t really get back there so we insist “we’re not really interested in space.”

We have flown from an era when women were treated as inferiors, encouraged to stay in the home, to a time when women insist they’re not inferior because they stay in the home.

We have progressed our technology to the point of inefficiency.

We have improved our diplomacy by continuing the threat of nuclear war.

We have addressed racism by giving it an abundance of names.

We have handled the Golden Rule by simply refusing to go to church.

And we have defined tolerance by secretly alienating humans instead of publicly insisting on separated bathrooms.

Progress is made when the human heart is tapped, confirming that we have a soul. Once we feel that our soul has some eternal journey, our brain can be trained to be more generous.

Then acts of kindness seem logical instead of magnanimous.

 

 

 

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Bonfire

Bonfire: (n) a large open-air fire

As the president of my Junior Class in high school, I was constantly being challenged by the adult advisors to be “more active” or come up with creative ideas.Dictionary B

I was perplexed.

After all, I thought I had done quite a bit in succeeding to get the majority of the votes from a bunch of fickle sixteen-year-old classmates.

But the grownup dictators didn’t see it that way. They expected results. One of their favorite words was “initiative.” (To this day, I refuse to use it.)

So during football season I brainstormed and decided that before our homecoming game, we would have a bonfire out near the football field, and cheer, celebrate and do whatever one does in front of such a blaze.

My thought was, “You just burn stuff.”

Well, it became problematic. What were we gonna burn? I had a chemistry book I was willing to donate, but others thought it would be better to take some of the leaves which were freshly fallen, pine needles prevalent in the area, and branches, and pile them up together to ignite the inferno.

But it was difficult to get started.

So since I was the leader of the Junior Class, I suggested gasoline. Before it could be approved by an adult, we doused all of our flammables in the fluid and lit it.

It was three hours before the bonfire was supposed to take place, and basically we burned up all of our stuff in about twenty minutes. What we had left might be referred to as a bon-ash.

Realizing this would not have much appeal, we scurried around town to find more stuff to put on the second fire and finally accumulated enough trash that when the student body arrived, we lit it once again (this time without gasoline) and everybody gathered around.

Well, considering this was Ohio in September, it was a little chilly. People were already in coats. So when a hundred folks gathered around a blazing fire in their coats, the sweat began to flow, and what was intended to be a pleasurable or intriguing experience turned into a journey to the sauna of hell.

Everybody started to complain, backing away from the fire. Some girls were crying, and all the adults turned to me, seeking my leadership on what to do next.

I shall always remember the experience as a perfect example of over-reaching.

I can truthfully tell you, it was nothing more than the bonfire of my vanity.

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Berserk

Berserk: (adj) out of control with anger or excitement; wild or frenzied.

Dictionary B

Calm down.

I find myself saying that, thinking that and praying that incessantly in today’s environment of erratic behavior, showcased by overwrought promotion.

I like excitement.

But a world that feels the necessity to stimulate interest by standing in a dark tanker, lighting a match to read the sign that says, “Gasoline,” is opening the door to explosive results.

There are too many oddities, nervous twitches and borderline personalities on our planet to permit us to encourage bizarre behavior by over-selling.

Terrorists killed people in Brussels. It is a horrible thing–but it is what terrorists do.

What is an adequate response to such an atrocity? I’m not sure–but I don’t think berserk is honorable.

We’re trying to select a President for the United States. It is a serious decision.

Yet I think going berserk and exposing the underbelly of the American political system is unwarranted.

Somewhere along the line, we have to learn how to “measure out:”

  • If we measure out mercy, we obtain mercy.
  • If we measure out common sense, we open the door to more tender exchanges.

But if we measure out berserk and give it a microphone, platform and poster, we more than likely will reap ... a harvest of crazies.

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Aldrin, Buzz

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aldrin, Buzz: (1930- ) U.S. Astronaut who walked in space for 5 hours and 37 minutes during the 1966 Gemini 12 mission. In 1969 he took part in the first moon landing, becoming the second person, after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on the moon.

Perhaps he acquired his nickname because he was selected to play a bee in the second-grade play, Spring is Sprung, personifying the emergence of Nature for another year.

Yes, maybe that’s why they call him “Buzz.”

Or maybe it’s because he has a penchant for snoring and the sound that emotes from his nostrils is best described as a “buzz.”

Then I had a thought that he got this name, Buzz, because of the haircut he sported, which at one time or another, has been referred to as a “buzz cut.”

Maybe he was just the kind of guy who liked to drive around town waving at people, making it known that he had a car and could afford gasoline–just “buzzing about.”

I was thinking that when he was a young boy doing pranks, he might have been one of those kids who rang people’s doorbell, and then disappeared quickly–a “buzzer.”

Another idea: maybe he played basketball and was known for making the winning goal just before the clock ran out, “beating the buzzer.”

I’m not sure how he got the name Buzz.

Maybe it’s because he buzzed around the moon and stopped off to take a brief stroll before heading back home.


Adjust

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adjust (v): alter or move slightly in order to achieve the desired fit, appearance or result

“Adjust” is to “evolve” what “wisdom” is to “intelligence.”

In other words, if you’re waiting for our species to evolve to more enlightened places or to grow gills so we can swim in the ocean, it is likely you won’t be around for the experience.

So I don’t know why people even TALK about evolution. After all, the best we can do is adjust. Not evolve.

Having been a fat man all my life, I find that it’s impossible for me to evolve into a slender fellow. I work very hard to make sure that my children are not carrying the destructive tendency of obesity, but for me, everything is about adjusting.

  • Adjusting my food choices.
  • Adjusting my calorie intake.
  • Adjusting some exercise into the mix.
  • And also adjusting an awareness of my mortality so I can keep a sense of humor about my prospects.

So while the rest of the world discusses the theory of evolution (which none of us actually can see unfold within our own lifetime) what we should be fostering is the art of adjusting.

What have I adjusted to in my lifetime?

In my lifetime, blacks and whites have become equal. They weren’t before.

In my lifetime, women have been allowed to discuss their rights without ridicule.

In my lifetime, we have made adjustments in medicine, to learn how to control conditions that used to kill people in a very few short years.

In my lifetime, gas has gone from 39 cents to $3.90 cents a gallon.

You see, not ALL adjustments are pretty, nor are all of them proven to be historically necessary. But we do the best we can.

And hopefully, if we continue to believe in free will, creativity and keep a sense of good cheer about ourselves and others, our adjustments may just take us to the passage that will not only help us understand ourselves … but begin to embrace the heart of God.

Accelerant

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accelerant: 1. (n.) a substance used to aid the spread of fire.

There are really only two things you can do with fire. You can douse it or you can spread it.

Funny thing about fire is that sometimes it’s a really welcome warming, and other times it can be quite destructive.

So it’s good to have an accelerant around, like gasoline, when you’re trying to get your fire going.  For instance, anybody who’s ever barbecued knows that charcoal lighter is one of your better friends.

And then there are times when fire gets started and you would like to inhibit it from burning down your house. Then the presence of water is suddenly essential.

Here’s what I think–somewhere along the line in our country, we have gotten these two ingredients mixed up. We often pour gasoline on fires that should be put out and we douse pleasant fires with water, which would be ideal for toasting our marshmallows.

I don’t know how this happened. I think some folks just think fire is bad. They think anyone who gets excited, passionate or enthusiastic in any shape or form needs to be hosed down.

Then there are other folks who worship fire and believe the more ablaze the world becomes with controversy, anger and frustration, the better the outcome. I think we need a lesson in utilizing these two elements. Let me make a list:

1. When you see young human beings being creative, even if you don’t understand their particular rendition of talent and ability, bring gasoline, not water.

2. When you’re watching television and two people are arguing, with no intention of listening to each other, throw a bucket of water on it.

3. If you’re in church and everybody’s being quiet because they’re afraid of God, sprinkle some gas and light a match.

4. If you’re in a learning situation and some loudmouth is trying to take over the room and infuse ridiculous ideas into the surrounding hearers instead of freshening them with generosity of spirit, turn the squirt gun on him.

5. If you’re listening to a candidate talk about our country and all you hear is complaining, frustration and promotion of his political party, please apply H2O.

6. But if your four-year-old grandson is asking a bunch of questions about life and is thirsty for knowledge, light the fire.

We could sure use an accelerant in this day and age–to burn off stupidity and welcome a planting of a whole new forest of ideas.

We also might want to back up a water truck to some existing flames which are doing nothing but destroying beauty, and see if we can’t save the landscape.

Water or gasoline?

I do believe that all of us will eventually be evaluated by the next generation on how well we implemented each resource.