Clinic

Clinic: (n) a hospital department where outpatients are given medical treatment

Old Marion Webster always tends to leave out a detail or two in presenting definitions.

Clinics are not only places where people go to get medical assistance, but often find themselves frequenting due to poverty.

I’ve been to a clinic. It wasn’t because I doing research for one of my essays. No–I was busted.

Broke. Without bucks. Dollarless.

I found the experience to be humiliating–not because I thought I was better than all the other clientele. It was humiliating by design.

All the furniture was old, scarred, some pieces broken. The magazines were dated at least four years earlier, and had articles which had already proven to be incorrect. The candy machine was empty except for peanuts and Cheese-it crackers. The Coke machine was out of order and the coffee maker had a crack in it, so they could only make one cup at a time.

The nurses were volunteers who attempted to be cheery, but still conveyed a sense of yearning to get over their stint quickly and return to their normal lives.

The people around me were sick–some very sick. It made them look and act dreary.

I sat there and thought to myself, how easy it would be for people of substance and finance to just donate new magazines.

How about that church down the road which recently bought new furniture for their parlor–giving that old plush couch and chairs to this clinic so people would feel just a bit more comfortable as they sat for hours, waiting for a three-minute visit?

Would it kill the vendors to make sure that the candy machine was adequately stocked, and price it just a bit more reasonably for those who have to search longer for quarters?

How about giving them a new coffee pot, or taking up a donation to make the Cokes reappear?

I wasn’t angry over the indifference–just perplexed by the ignorance.

Now that prosperity has crept my way, I have a little extra money every once in a while that might seem like a gold mine for a clinic.

Maybe just buying flowers for the attendants to wear every day. Or if you worry that the patients might be allergic, purchase more colorful scrubs.

For some reason or another, rich people do not feel it’s enough to insult the less fortunate with mere poverty. They want to make sure the experience leaves a bitter taste in their mouths.

 

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Chink

Chink: (n) a Chinese person.

I am prejudiced against skinny people–mainly because I’m fat.

I am intimidated by handsome men, truthfully because I’m quite plain.

I get nervous around other writers because deep in my heart, I need to be the best.

And the only reason I would ever call a Chinese person a “Chink” is because deep in my heart I know he or she is superior to me in attitude and talent, and I need
a way to degrade the prowess.

Certainly white people would never have brought black slaves from Africa unless the natives were superior to them working in the fields. Even after Emancipation, the white community was intimidated that the black work ethic would overtake them and lead to their poverty. So it’s easier to call them “niggers” and send out the signal that they are to be relegated to a lesser position.

We’ve done it for years with gender. All the terms used for women have eventually exposed a disguised prejudice.

  • “Ladies”
  • “Weaker sex”
  • “Little miss”
  • And of course, “bitch”

I’m not quite sure why the word “Chink” is in the dictionary. Perhaps it’s to remind us that there will always be people who are better at what they do than we are, and simply humiliating them with a condescending name does not take away their power.

We live in an America where there is still prejudice against the black race, even though we mimic their actions, customs, worship style and sports efforts in almost every way.

If bigots actually did think they were better than the people they prey upon, it would still be disgusting, but at least comprehensible.

But knowing that bigots are mean-spirited because they are secretly jealous and wish they possessed the abilities of those they attack may be the Earthly definition of satanic.

 

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Abide

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abide: 1. v.  accept or act in accordance with a rule, decision or recommendation 2. unable to tolerate: “I cannot abide…” 3. of a feeling or memory–continue without fading or being lost

As is often the situation when I hear the definitions for these words, I realize that I have created my own mental dictionary of what things mean, frequently having absolutely no basis.

I always thought “abide” meant to hang around, like three guys on a Saturday afternoon sprawled across the room, telling stories about what they wish they could do, will probably never do, but will insist someday when they’re old that they did.

I thought abiding was what faith, hope and love did because they were built into the woodwork and history of the framework.

Abiding is NOT hanging around. Abiding is hanging in there.

I realize that’s what’s missing from my life, and maybe the lives of many Americans. As long as you want us to just “hang around,” we’re fine. But the minute you define the cause, point out a specific direction or demand a commitment, we put into practice our well-rehearsed list of excuses and go “splitsville.”

Hanging in there is a tough thing.

I remember once playing a football game, and at the end of the first quarter our team was down 32-0. The prospects of victory were slim. We were unable to stop the other team from scoring and only felt satisfaction that we were bolstering their egos and padding their stats. But you see, it was the end of the first quarter. There were three more of them to come. The danger in football is that if you play the game halfway, you’re much more likely to get injured. So it was definite that even though we were going to get smeared, we would have to see the game through to the end.

So we set some small goals. For instance, hiking the ball and handing it off without fumbling. Another one was tackling the opponent before he gained twenty yards. And certainly the most important aspiration that kept us “hanging in there” was to make sure the final score was not 128-0.

We lost the game 64-0, having held them to 32 points in the final three quarters.

Although humiliating, we left the field uninjured and just a little bit tickled that we survived such an absolute cataclysmic event without committing suicide.

Abiding is hanging in there–which only gives us one major goal: find something worthy of our hanging.