Charming

Charming: (adj) pleasant or attractive.

Mr. Webster, please make up your mind.

Is it pleasant, or attractive? Truthfully, the two rarely run races together.

Those who are attractive don’t necessarily feel the need to be pleasant. The absence of pimples and the presence of dimples grants them
license to be just as snooty as they deem necessary.

And those who are not attractive often don the apparel of “pleasant,” to clothe themselves in a righteousness that should be suitable for the runway of life.

So which is it?

I suppose there might be a tiny handful of humans who are attractive and pleasant–which enables them to go into a bar and get a date without buying her a drink.

So I disagree that charming has anything to do with pleasant or attractive. Charming is just damn smart. It’s the realization that not everyone will find you attractive, no matter how much you primp, and being pleasant may be suspicious rather than advantageous.

My definition for charming is finding a way to be sensitive to the moment.

Weep with those who are weeping, rejoice with those who are rejoicing. And stop thinking that God has voted you to be in charge of all moods.

If you are able to sensitize yourself to the situations around you, granting a bit of grace to the emotions that crop up, you will bear fruit in the human family.

 

 

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Arguable

dictionary with letter A

Arguable: (adj) able to be argued or asserted; open to disagreement

“I like to argue,” he said with a smile.

It was obvious that he found himself extraordinarily engaging. He believed that disagreement, even to the point of dissension, was often necessary in the human family, in order to bring about the compromise that pushes ideas forward.

It’s a very popular notion–matter of fact, we think we need Democrat and Republican Parties to create the tension that fosters our tenuous democracy.

Would we have television if we didn’t have arguments?

Many of these impasses are considered to be natural and healthy. For instance, the notion that men and women can understand one another and come to any mutual tendency seems absurd to the masses.

We have relented to a discourse which favors disagreeability.

  • I am uncomfortable with it.
  • I have lost the passion for my own opinion.
  • I am no longer enamored with the mere sound of my voice.
  • I do not feel strong by making others weak simply by overcoming them with my sentiments.

I think somewhere along the line those who argue need to understand that there are truths that exist, which must play out and be honored. Otherwise, merely winning the day in debate is a victory with little meaning.

Simply because someone can form the words to disprove my assertion does not make them right. It’s also not honorable when I over-think some issue and develop a presentation which counters good reason just for the sake of proving my prowess.

I think some folks would be happy with disaster as long as it was their idea.

Not me.

Sometimes I just like to shut up and see if there’s a still, small voice in the universe … that’s whispering wisdom.

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Anytown, U. S. A.

dictionary with letter A

Anytown, U.S.A.: (n) any real or fantasy place regarded as being typical of American small-town appearance or values.

As a verified vagabond who has done my share of stopping at the local convenience store to inquire about the best diner in town, I will tell you that the similarities which exist among these little burgs are few and far between.

I know we would like, for the sake of political or spiritual agendas, to categorize certain locales as possessing the true crust of the American apple pie, but just as in the case of that delicacy, the fruits that fill them are varied.

I grow weary of listening to pundits portraying America as a conservative nestling of Puritanical, family oriented souls huddling over a common fire, exchanging “favorite scriptures.”

Likewise, America is not a bustling metropolis of cosmopolitan, creative beings on their way to the next cocktail party to discuss the brush-strokes of a new, controversial artist.

People are magnificent as long as you understand them. And here are three things I have learned which reflect the only commonality in the human family. They bring me both comfort and a bit of comic relief:

1. We are obliviously self-centered.

Even though we would be offended by the notion that we are highly focused on our own thoughts and lifestyle, it is just the way we survive. Without it, we probably would spend too much time correcting mistakes or being hit by buses.

2. Our values change as our problems mount.

It amazes me that someone who insists they are against some particular vice will suddenly become more forgiving when one of their children commits it. You can call that hypocrisy if you want to, but to a certain extent it is a necessary blending of survival, mercy and inconsistency.

3. If given the chance, we really don’t want to hurt anyone.

The trouble is, there is so much animosity in the air that we are continually tempted to be assholes. But if you can separate people from the media, politics and religious arrogance, they generally have enough heart that they want to make sure to give the other guy a chance.

If you comprehend these three things, you will find them anywhere you go, with anyone you meet, at any time.

If you have a mission to separate the “good people” from the “bad people,” to create a superior chosen race which is more “American,” then you will be a contributor to the insanity that divides us … instead of the understanding that unites us.

 

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Alcoholic

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Alcoholic: (n) 1. containing an alcoholic liquor 2. a person suffering from alcoholism.

The most difficult thing in life, in my opinion, is to balance freedom and common sense. Honestly, we do it very poorly.

When we err on the side of freedom, we indiscriminately promote ideas which are detrimental to the human family.

Likewise, when we take the other extreme of common sense, we create burdens and rules which inhibit the liberty necessary for our race to move forward.

How is it possible to allow for freedom and common sense to co-exist in the same room without both of them resorting to fisticuffs?

This is my feeling about alcohol: I have grown weary of the notion that we establish our adult sensibilities by allowing ourselves permission to drink fermented fluids which have proven themselves to be devastating to members of our earthly clan. But by the same token, prohibiting the imbibing of these refreshments is unsuccessful and unrealistic, considering that they have been around for thousands of years, and even Jesus Christ took boring water and made it wine.

I think we need extraordinarily anointed and intelligent leadership, which knows how to promote freedom while establishing common sense. Here are several questions about alcohol I have never heard adequately answered:

  1. Is it truly healthy? Are we better off having some alcohol in our lives, or not?
  2. Are there people who are just cursed to be alcoholics by their genetic configuration, or is it an acquired vice which can happen to anyone at any time, simply based upon the level of consumption?
  3. Is there an adequate alternative to alcohol which would provide stimulus without promoting drunkenness?
  4. Is it possible to be a social drinker without finding yourself in the company of those who exaggerate their need and exacerbate situations by becoming either dangerous on the highway or confrontational?
  5. And finally, how can we promote the consumption of alcohol so that our movies and our society do not present it as a rite of passage, causing younger folks to feel mature by sneaking it?

I am unwilling to concede that freedom and common sense cannot be brothers in the cause of the betterment of humanity.

I personally don’t drink and never have. It’s because the questions I listed have not been answered to my satisfaction, so therefore, rather than pursuing the ridiculous … I select the sublime.

 

Alacrity

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alacrity: (n) brisk and cheerful readiness: e.g. she accepted the invitation with alacrity.

I think the greatest debate in the human family is this: to understand that there is a difference between what we think should be and what we are actually stuck with.

Lots of folks spend a lot of their quality time complaining about the injustice, unfairness and inequity of what has been perpetrated against their circumstances, only to discover that “raging against the machine” does not seem to turn off the engine.

It’s really a simple principle.

If you decide to manufacture good cheer as a reaction to everything that happens in your life, at least you buy time to receive the opportunity to rectify the violation.

Sometimes it seems like Mother Nature and humanity have joined together to piss us off just enough to have us impudently stomp our feet and run from the room without ever contributing our talent or faithfulness. Yes, it is possible to be rendered ineffective, not because we lack ability, but because we cannot maintain stability.

Alacrity–it’s a decision:

  • I would rather be at peace with myself than right.
  • I would rather produce a sense of humor and cheer than be acknowledged.
  • I would rather reflect on better ideas than park my soul in the middle of a busy freeway, inviting others to bang into me.

Is it easy to do? I guarantee you–it is no more difficult than finding yourself fighting with others for the rights to your life, which they have already decided not to grant you.

It’s a great word–because it is the belief that as long as we’re pursuing a sense that is common and a joy that is needful, to fake it is truly to make it.

The play-acting is well worth the effort.

 

Affront

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Affront: (n) an action or remark that causes outrage or offense

Sixty years.

If you think about it, it’s not really that long. But in sixty years of life, I have been offered many ideas, which, as time has passed, have gone from being the common sense of my day to being opinions that AFFRONT.

Let me give you some examples:

When I was eight years old, I was told that black people were inferior. They weren’t “bad,” just more or less one step up from monkeys, but a step down from my Midwest, white friends and family. Yet you can see, if I held any part of that conviction today, I would affront many–or maybe even most–people.

When I was fourteen years old I was told that rock and roll was “of the devil.” Matter of fact, I read a book about how the beat came from Africa and had the potential to turn us into animals instead of enlightened creatures of Eden. Alas, if I promoted this idea today, there would be great possibility of affrontation.

May I proceed?

All through my teenage years, I was told by my church and even my school that a woman’s place was “in the home.” Interestingly, most of the girls in my senior class were encouraged to take Home Economics, and any boy who might decide to join the class would be ridiculed right out of the school. Move ahead. Stating such a premise in public nowadays would put you in danger of being shunned, if not stoned.

I go on.

When my wife became pregnant with our first child and we were not ready, we considered abortion. But because our upbringing and the world around us told us it was murder, we passed. Now, if you were to state that abortion is murder in a public arena, you would be labeled an ultra-conservative right-wing nut.

Can I give you another one?

“Marijuana is a dangerous drug.” I grew up with that conviction. But just the other day I discovered that fifty-eight percent of the country now contend that it should be legalized. How “backwoods-bumpkin” would you look to disagree?

And finally, throughout my childhood and even my young adult years, it was common knowledge that homosexuality was abnormal. Move ahead a couple of decades. Such an assertion would be met with violent opposition and you certainly should be prepared to be ostracized.

It reminds me of the question that a governor once asked a convicted felon right before his execution. His name was Pilate and he said, “What is truth?”

Is truth what is best for human beings, or what is easiest to sell to the masses? It may take a generation that decides to discuss and learn what is functional instead of getting up in arms over their cause to finally arrive at what works for the human family.

Who knows? Maybe sixty years from now.

Accursed

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.