Chronic: (adj) (of a problem) long-lasting and difficult to eradicate.

There are several maturity banners that are displayed on our human journey. These are truths which are not always comfortable, but if denied, can put us in a chronic state of misery.

For instance:

  1. Nobody is going to do what you want them to do.

People imitate, they steal, they deny that they got what they have from you–but no one wants to admit that they are not autonomous and require assistance..

  1. The fewer categories you put people in, the better off you are.

When you start delineating by culture, color, sexual orientation and even gender, you get yourself in a horrible, tangled mess of misconceptions.

  1. And a third one is the realization that sometimes the solution is more painful than the problem.

Although we extol the value of solving dilemmas, we can often end up in more red tape, difficulty, struggle and misunderstanding than if we just learn to adjust our temperament and approach to the problem.

For instance, it is rather doubtful that poverty will go away. The more we complain about it and compare our levels of indifference, the less people get fed.

Go someplace where they offer two sandwiches for a decent price. Buy two. Eat one yourself and give one to a hungry person on the street.

You didn’t solve the problem–but you also didn’t trap yourself in a chronic search for an unattainable solution.


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dictionary with letter A

Apathetic: (adj) showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm or concern.

Even though the aspiration of many organizations is to gain the status of “institution,” we must realize that when this is achieved, those who participate begin to feel like inmates instead of followers.

I feel this when I go to church.

Yesterday I sat in the back of one of these “cathedral-esque” arenas and allowed myself to be the proverbial fly on the wall, watching, listening and taking in the ambience of what the American religious community calls worship.

Several things came to my mind immediately:

1. Everything was too familiar.

Once we gain familiarity, we have a certain sense of serenity–but also a deep and overwhelming realization of boredom.

2. Everyone had their own reason for being there.

In an atmosphere in which unity of spirit is meant to be the goal, there were so many ghosts haunting the room that we did not connect unless we were required to shake a hand or “pass the peace.”

3. Conversations were going on while discourse was being offered.

If the hearers were not convinced that something was important, they felt free to ignore the prattle coming from the pulpit and indulge in their own activities.

4. A certain level of misery was being passed off as devotion.

Human beings are not good at suffering and don’t become better by practicing it. The best we can do is pray that in the hour of our greatest need, courage will arise. Simulating our unworthiness through religious dependency only makes us bitter.

When I looked at these four actions, I realized I had arrived at the climate–and therefore definition–of apathetic.

For I will tell you that an apathetic lifestyle infests anyone who believes that they become better than others because of the level of their sacrifice.


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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


dictionary with letter A

AMA: (abbr.) American Medical Association

Much to the chagrin of a physician or two who have crossed my path, I look on the medical field with the same level of respect–and caution–that I do with politics and religion.

I know that doctors want me to have faith in them and to accept their diagnosis and treatment without question. But like politics and religion, medicine has things it does well and other things yet to be achieved.

For instance, politics affords us a rudimentary form of democracy which is certainly better than any other style of government presently available. But it also thrusts upon us politicians, gridlock and a ridiculous amount of debate, which stall needful expansion.

In the same fashion, religion stands as a symbol of goodness and kindness in a world gone mad, while simultaneously translating the mercy of God into the misery of restrictions.

The American Medical Association is much the same. Although they offer many advances, it is undoubtedly true that much of what they do will be viewed in the future as the equivalent of placing leeches on the body of the ailing George Washington.

It’s just important to understand:

  • What medicine knows and what medicine doesn’t know
  • What religion does well and what religion does poorly
  • And how politics advances the cause of humanity, and also how it can deter

So here’s a clue: don’t do anything until you understand. And that doesn’t mean that you should comprehend, or why don’t you “get it?”

Move out on the basis of your own understanding.

Several years ago I told my personal physician that a certain medication made me feel sick, and rather than lowering my blood pressure, was actually raising it. She doubted my assertion. So the next time I went in I brought a report, explaining that the pill was under scrutiny and needed to be carefully administered. She was still not convinced, but I insisted that she take me off the medication. When she did I started feeling better.

Two months later the drug was removed from the market.

This is not my doctor’s fault; she was following the precepts of her particular religious practice. It was my responsibility to avoid something I didn’t understand.

There are many things I don’t understand about politics and religion–and also medicine.

But rather than assuming I’m ignorant, I just choose to delay joining the party … until I’m sure of what’s in the punch.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Ache: 1.(n.) a continuous or prolonged dull pain in a part of one’s body 2. (v.) to feel an intense desire for: e.g. she ached for his touch.

What IS a dull pain?

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

I guess they call it “dull” to differentiate it from the concept of a sharp pain. But see, a sharp pain is something that comes quickly and then disappears for a while. A dull pain, by its very nature, hangs around, convincing you with each passing moment that it isn’t quite as uneducated and without influence as one might first believe.

You know what I’ve learned about pain? The closer it is to headquarters, the more it hurts. The headquarters, in this case, is the brain.

Since the brain REGISTERS all this crap, telling us exactly how miserable we are, if you only have to travel a few inches to get there, the level of misery is more intense. After all, isn’t a headache or toothache much more intolerable than a big toe ache?” Any message from the big toe almost has to be telegraphed to the brain. After all, no big toe would have the Internet… By the time the telegraph gets all the way up to the brain, it kind of responds, “What’s the big deal? It’s a big TOE.” But when it’s a tooth or the head itself, special interest is given. The brain views it as a home invasion.

So even though we refer to “aching” as a dull pain, the intensity of the affliction is actually determined by how close it is to the gray matter. I guess the exception to that would be a heart attack. I suppose that’s because the heart and brain have a special friendship that we are not completely privy to.

So I think anybody who refers to an “ache” as a dull pain is someone who is presently not so afflicted. Aching, whether it be from love-sickness, a toothache or an irritated little toe on the left foot, is a fussy matter which does not want to go away, and only intensifies … the more we think about it.