Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan: (adj) free from provincial ideas or attachments; at home all over the world

As he sat down, he stared at me.

It was a very small waiting room in a dentist’s office, so what I was doing was noticeable. It was also quite obvious that he found my activityfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
humorous.

I was reading Cosmopolitan Magazine.

There were three choices: Popular Mechanics, Highlights for Kids, and Cosmopolitan.

I suppose if I were trying to confirm my masculinity, I should have thumbed through Popular Mechanics, though mechanical things have never been particularly popular with me.

I decided to comment since he continued to stare at my magazine. “I’m reading Cosmopolitan because it was here—and I was curious.”

He nodded his head in disdain.

I ventured one more sentence of explanation. “Don’t you ever wonder what women are thinking about us?”

He didn’t even look up for this question—just shook his head.

While I was waiting my turn to be drilled, I learned three things about women of this day and age, from perusing Cosmopolitan.

  1. Women are much more concerned about what men think and feel than men seem to be about women.
  2. For some reason, a woman thinks it is her fault in some way when she ends up with a man who is unable to communicate or seems to have “lost interest.”
  3. Women feel they can pursue a five-point plan to transform their hopeless situations to better, more romantic results.

I simultaneously was filled with admiration and sadness.

I found the pursuit placed in this magazine to be far from cosmopolitan, since “cosmopolitan” is the ability to function and be successful in any culture or environment at any time.

This magazine more or less was a handbook to explain to women why they are not crazy, insecure or extreme in their misgivings.

What the magazine was trying to impress upon its readership—mainly female—is that men are waiting for the right signals to become objective, interesting and involved.

When it came my time to head for the dentist’s chair, I closed the magazine and thought, I could probably make a million dollars by printing a magazine that encouraged women to be themselves and realize that men will eventually come in their direction since the alternatives are limited…and they do get horny and hungry.


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Anguish

dictionary with letter A

Anguish: (n) severe mental or physical pain or suffering.

One man’s severe is another woman’s menstrual cramp.

Therefore, when is it permissible to share your feelings concerning the load you carry? When are we allowed to admit that we hurt?

Because honestly, I have grown up in a world where complaining is permitted and hated at the same time.

Of course, I personally don’t complain. I merely cite examples, while others around me drone on incessantly about their often irrelevant needs.

How do you develop a sympathy for what one person considers to be severe anguish while secretly wondering if they’re just wimping out?

Is there a time to tell people that they’re wimps? Or is that just, in our modern-day society, considered to be another form of verbal bullying?

Over the years, I have learned that there are small windows–tiny little openings that are available when we can share our heart and be candid about our misgivings and pain. It is brief, it is personal and to exceed the time limit or guess wrong and ram your head into a brick wall instead of sticking it through a window is extraordinarily socially embarrassing.

So I have developed the idea that I will listen to almost anyone for about two minutes if they feel the need to flush out their anguish, and will only excuse myself when people either start to repeat themselves or insist that there’s no hope for solution.

We all have different thresholds of pain.

To ask individuals to adapt to my style is just as aggravating as if I were to demand they change the color of their skin.

But intelligent folks learn when to share, when to pray and even, to some degree … when to suffer in silence.

 

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Angst

dictionary with letter A

Angst: (n) a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically unfocused, about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

I don’t want to be one of those people who pursue so much optimistic hopefulness that I fail to recognize what is necessary in order to maintain our present integrity.

Yet I have to wonder if it’s possible for the human race, in this season, to acquire both of the necessary portions that make us worthy of continuation.

For I feel it takes progress and process.

Yes, I think technology is wonderful, and I do not want to go back to a time when we had no computers, racism was extolled as normal, and antibiotics were not available for sickness.

I am not nostalgic for backward times.

However, by the same token, making progress without honoring the process of human character which honors the feelings of others, makes the world a dangerous place and certainly volatile.

It produces angst.

We become afraid that we will lose our progress if we honor the process. Or we preach the process and become “anti-progress,” making ourselves appear Neanderthal.

Is it possible to be a human being who realizes that progress needs to be made emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically, without ignoring the values which make the process of living so much sweeter, and ripe with goodness?

We always attach the word “angst” to teenagers, but I am not convinced that a fourteen-year-old riding in a Conestoga Wagon with his parents, crossing the Great Plains in 1850, had much time to reflect on his or her misgivings.

If progress gives us too much free time to bitch and complain, robbing from the process of busying ourselves about becoming better people, then are we really moving forward?

Yet if the process of maintaining civility causes us to be suspicious of every facet of progress, then the foolishness we maintain makes our belief system appear to be shortsighted.

What would it take to mingle progress with process?

  1. I will put to use anything at all that makes life easier, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
  2. I will acknowledge that there is no replacement for personal contact, love and gentleness with my fellow-travelers.
  3. I am ready to go forward if it doesn’t push someone else backward.

I think in considering this trio of principles, we can merge progress and process, to generate a climate of mutual benefit, drenched in compassion.

 

 

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