Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

All: (adj & pron.) referring to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing

As a writer, it’s a word I don’t get to use very often–because putting it to work immediately conjures an image of inclusion without exception.

In other words: “all the people suck.”

You can imagine, there would be some objection to that sentiment.

Even if you trimmed it down to “most people suck,” you might be accused of being overwrought.

Some of the people suck” is more temperate, but still appears that you think all the people suck and you’re just playing it safe.

So most writers, to protect themselves from the marauding horde of critics, will use the preferable: “a few.”

Yes. A few people suck.

This enables the reader to escape the condemnation of being a sucker, and determine, in his or her own mind, who the rejected few might be.

But there are things I hope really will continue to be believed as applicable to all:

  • How about liberty and justice for all?
  • How about God loving all the world?
  • I like this one: All our possibilities are possible as long as we don’t deem them impossible.
  • All we have to do is love one another.
  • All human beings are equal.

So to me, “all” is a word of aspiration, faith and welcoming. And even though I am careful not to use it when I get in a gruff mood–to rain my verbal fire and brimstone down from my personal heavenly perch–I do greatly enjoy including all my brothers and sisters … when I know blessing is waiting around the bend.




Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Albatross: (n) 1. a very large oceanic bird, some with wingspans of more than ten feet, found mostly in southern oceans. 2. a source of frustration: e.g. the albatross of marriage.

I have an albatross–something hanging around my neck, dragging me down, or at least, making my journey cumbersome.

I don’t like to admit it, because rationalizing the cause and effect is one of my great joys in life–of which I have become extremely proficient.

Yes, vice can quickly become our voice if we don’t silence its raging.

You see, here’s the problem–it’s not really an evil. It’s more of a condition. But what I fail to realize is that every condition is viewed by others to be a vice if they are not also plagued by it, but instead, stand on the sidelines and comment on the error in my trials.

I’m fat.

I’ve always been fat. Being born at twelve-and-a-half pounds, I got a jump-start on large diapers and husky pants.

When I was younger, it was intriguing because I could spin my obesity as “power, might and strength.” I don’t know if I was actually successful at communicating my image, but I convinced myself that I was just “big-boned and muscular.”

After all, it didn’t keep me from achieving my goals. It certainly didn’t hinder my interaction with the ladies.

But now I realize there’s a missing element in my understanding of myself, because I will never know exactly what I could have achieved had I taken the time to figure out how to “lighten the load” of my wagon.

  • How many people passed on hearing my message because they were even temporarily put off by the packaging?
  • On how many occasions did I burst into perspiration when others were standing around, cool as a cucumber, thus making it clear that I had strained myself due to my circumference?
  • And what is the mysterious number of decisions I made to avoid certain possibilities because inwardly I felt they were too strenuous for my frame?

An albatross is an awkward bird. It gives me pause today … how much higher I could have flown … as an eagle.


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Advantage: (n) a condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position.

“Tall, dark and handsome.”

I never acquired any member of that trio. I do not possess that advantage.

IS it an advantage? I think if you’re tall, dark and handsome, you do get an immediate pass to the front of the line. Unfortunately for you, if you don’t back that up with “smart, hard-working and caring,” you probably will be booted to the curb quicker than someone who is plain-looking.

Why? Because you’re disappointing. You promised SO much with your looks and delivered SO little with your personality.

Therefore what seems to be an advantage quickly can become a disadvantage if you end up thinking you are a fleshly mannequin instead of a real human being.

Yet I will tell you that we all NEED an advantage–something that truly sets us apart instead of us merely “moving our parts” and getting “set in our ways.”

So I worked on ME. Actually, it’s a work in progress, so please do not think that I’m done. Three areas, paralleling “tall, dark and handsome:”

Since I couldn’t muster “tall,” I decided to be faithful. By faithful, I mean true to my own word while sensitive to the needs of others.

I went opposite on “dark.” I decided to be a light–to bring possibilities and hope instead of merely stating the obvious and offering gloom to the room.

“Handsome” out of the question, I chose to be attractive. Now you may think those are the same, but they aren’t. What is most attractive to other human beings is a glorious blend of humor, talent and humility. When you are able to mix those three spices together, you can put them in any dish and create a delicacy.

  • There is no advantage in being good-looking if you’re dumbfounded.
  • There is no advantage in wealth if you’re selfish.
  • And there is no advantage in being popular if you’re not prepared for the day when you will be pushed away by the latest fad.

The greatest advantage any human being can have is to tap your resources … and give a damn.