De-escalate: (v) to decrease in intensity, magnitude, etc.

It is something I’ve always done.

I never gave it much thought.

To me it just made sense.

For you see, taking the first reaction of a human being who has been startled or hurt is not only unfair—it is not representative of who they are.

I do believe there is a childish portion in each one of us that wants to be offended so we can receive sympathy from those around us about being slighted.

But if you have just run into someone’s car and you’re informing them of that fact, and you expect them to give you a calm, measured response, you just might be evil.

Human beings should be given a chance to de-escalate from their initial response.

I don’t care what it is.

I don’t care if you think they should be more mature.

None of us are.

If we have a moment and realize how poorly we have handled our initial reaction, we often will mellow, apologize and gather our notions in a more thoughtful way.

But we need that time.

We need that mercy.

We need to understand that the first words that come out of somebody’s mouth when he or she feels offended are not conciliatory nor particularly kind.

They are bitter.

They are scolding words looking to heap damage.

It won’t hurt us to give our fellow human beings a chance to get over that initial pain—de-escalate and find a better reaction.

It does require that we have the maturity to know:

First reactions don’t count.

Each one of us deserves an opportunity to reflect and do better.



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alibi: (n) a claim or a piece of evidence that someone was elsewhere when a criminal act is alleged to have taken place.

I think I have only talked to a policeman about four or five different times in my life. Isn’t that weird?

I have avoided these encounters because quite bluntly, I don’t like them. It’s not personal, or a disrespect for the profession. It’s more the realization that putting oneself in jeopardy of being questioned or challenged is a great way to eventually fall off the cliff, onto the rocks of stupidity.

On those few occasions when I have been stopped by a policeman for a traffic violation, or to ask me if I’ve seen something on the road as I’ve traveled, my profile is always simple: don’t talk too much. Limit answers to less than eight words and make the policeman draw out the information instead of fumbling around, trying to come up with an alibi to display how it would be impossible for me to have been a participant in anything gone awry.

Here’s the truth: the more we speak, the guiltier we become.

You see this watching any cop show or movie. If a suspect is glib, full of unrequired information, you pretty well assume he’s the culprit.

So even though I have never hurt or killed anyone, if I was questioned on the subject, I would not be in any hurry to establish my alibi or explain my whereabouts, nor seem surprised that the inquiry was being made in the frist place.

I remember the first time I heard the spiritual sung, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”

After the musical question was posed for the first time, I simply stopped singing and said … “No.”


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Absolution: (n.) formal release from guilt, obligation or punishment.

I’m sorry.

About what?

About that thing.

What thing?

That thing I did wrong.

What was wrong about it?

It hurt somebody.

How did it hurt them?

I’m really not sure.

Are you saying they shouldn’t have been hurt?

No, I’m saying it probably wouldn’t have affected ME that way.

So are you sorry that you hurt them or that they’re so weak they got hurt?

Now you’re just confusing me.

So should I be sorry?

For what?

Hurting you by confusing you.

Now you’re just playing games.

So is it a game?

Is what a game?


I don’t see what you mean.

What I mean is, if you’re really not convinced that your actions were errant and misguided, how can you assure yourself that absolution would bring a change in your behavior?

Even if I don’t change, I still need absolution.

So you’re counting on me giving you absolution every time you come and ask forgiveness, even if you’re not convinced of your responsibility?

Hell, yeah.

Makes sense.

I don’t know whether it makes sense or not, but it’s me.

So how are you supposed to grow?

I guess if you keep asking me these questions, eventually I might try to understand better why I do what I do.


See you next time.