Cloister

Cloister: (v) to seclude or shut up in

It is the universal discovery–or perhaps better stated, pursuit–of every human being: will we discover the better use of our brain before we
uncover the more pleasant use of our genitals?

It has caused parents to hide, protect, imprison, box up and threaten their children for generations.

We are so afraid that our offspring will do things just as stupid as we did–so we figure the best path is to place them on an emotional or even physical desert island, “far from the madding crowd.”

Unfortunately, other parents have the same idea, so one way or another, our children find one another, and learn to clump and hump.

What is it we’re so afraid of?

  • Unwanted pregnancy.
  • Our children marrying before they get their driver’s license.
  • Little Billy or Sally spending their whole lives on welfare, wondering whether six children is too few or too many.
  • Or perhaps having so many lovers that they eventually just dry up and blow away in a whirlwind of fornication.

Even though guiding children–and ourselves–is a very good idea, cloistering has never worked. The human animal always escapes the care of the human spirit, to roam the jungle, panting for danger.

So what should we do?

No one knows.

Good parenting has nothing to do with pursuing a path, but instead, looking down the available paths … and avoiding the dead-end streets.

 

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Birth Control

Birth Control: (n) various methods for counteracting pregnancy

This amazing idea came to my mind, which probably, upon future inspection, will not seem quite as gleaming. But while it is still glistening in my gray matter, I shall write about it.Dictionary B

Let us be blunt: a man has a penis and a woman has a vagina.

Nature created these physical parts for the purpose of allowing our species to make smaller versions of ourselves, who eventually grow up, forget our telephone numbers and no longer contact us.

Simultaneously, gun manufacturers make weapons which often–even by design–resemble the human penis.

Now, we do have sense enough to find a way to take the procreative weapon of the penis and make it less dangerous to the vagina by generating all sorts of prophylactics to prevent pregnancy.

Only a few cults and religions object to such an intrusion–the Catholic Church, for instance.

So the Catholic Church is kind of the NRA of human reproduction. They believe that every penis should have the right to shoot wherever it wants, without interference.

But other religions, cultures and philosophies allow for the penis-gun to be more limited in its effectiveness. In other words, they allow various approaches to preventing pregnancy.

Without this, we would have indiscriminate births based on the cycle of the female of our species. Then we would begin to do strange things, like pushing euthanasia, turning our heads away from genocide or even trying to engineer processes by which we can control the type of child being born.

No–birth control is a good thing.

It keeps us from hurting ourselves, while still giving us the freedom to enjoy the right to pleasure our parts.

Hmmmm–now if we can just find a way to put a rubber on a gun …

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Antiabortion

dictionary with letter A

Antiabortion (adj): opposing or legislating against medically induced abortion.

Of course, this word really has been set to the side. When all parties involved scrambled to get the high ground, they changed the terminology to favor their particular cause.

So now it’s “pro-life” and “pro-choice.”

But I actually prefer the term “antiabortion.”

It’s something we can actually agree upon in this bewildering struggle. Because anyone who would be excited, exhilarated or even supportive of the idea of aborting a child would be considered out of the mainstream.

When we change the term to “pro-life,” self-righteousness sets in. We contend that we know how to define living, and that our opponents are killers.

When it’s referred to as “pro-choice,” we cloud the issue by presenting the argument that a woman’s right to choose continues all the way to the elimination of a growing fetus.

Both positions are misleading.

Really, it’s a question of whether you’re anti-abortion or not. Once we agree that we’re against the idea of eliminating human tissue at any stage of development, we can begin to have a more aggressively intelligent discussion on how to avoid this situation in the first place.

Being able to promote contraception, masturbation, adoption and teaching greater sexual awareness are much better choices than the other preaching points on either side of the conflagration.

I’m against abortion.

That does not mean I’m against a woman’s right to choose. I just think they should be offered education on choosing contraception and other ways to avoid the drastic action of stilling a life.

But I also have great empathy for those who understand that merely birthing a child is not making a human being. The money, energy, faith and determination involved in such an endeavor is a lifelong committment.

So what is the answer?

  • First, let us agree that we’re against abortion.
  • Secondly, let us do everything possible to offer choices that sidestep the need for it.
  • And finally, let us keep it legal for those who either have been careless or victimized and left devastated by their pregnant pause.

  

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Antepartum

dictionary with letter A

Antepartum (adj.): occurring before childbirth.

Pregnancy.

No male of the species should probably ever postulate on this issue, even if stimulated by curiosity to offer insights or opinions on the process by which a female conceives, carries and eventually “unshells” a human being. It is beyond the scope of the average man.

Yet it is a source of fascination.

Having been around numerous pregnant women in my life, I first of all realize that many of them do not like to be referred to as “pregnant.” So the first thing a male should acquire is a Thesaurus, to discover different terms for a woman impregnated. (Once again, another dubious word.)

Truthfully, during that nine-month period of gestation, words and wording become very important. To some degree, true candor must be abandoned in favor of cautionary terminology.

For instance, one should never have an opinion on whether a woman with child looks good. It is a foregone conclusion that they are “blooming, glowing, transcendant” and nearly “immortal.”

So at my own peril, I will be honest about my take on this situation of what is referred to as “antepartum.”

1. It’s too bad that the baby can’t be passed from parent to parent like a basketball.

When one got tired the other could take over for a while. I suppose this might create its own set of discussions, but at least one would not be suffering while the other desperately scrambles to alleviate it.

2. Telling a person that is normally attractive and small that they are still extremely desirable, when they realize by looking in the mirror that they are suddenly humongous, is not very comforting.

I don’t know what the right decision would be in this situation, but it is a fruitless task to try to tell a balloon that it is not blown up.

3. It is ironic that the romance, chemistry and lust that produced the condition suddenly runs away in terror at the conclusion.

“Chicken!” That’s what I yell at the retreating emotions as they scurry away in horror, leaving the pair to wonder if any attraction remains.

4. And finally, because this is going to be a journey, pack a bag and make sure you include lots of money, a first-aid kit, games, trinkets and a list of the reasons why you love her.

it’s not that women are silly. I imagine if men were carrying a child, they would be even more prone to bursts of temporary insanity.

It’s just that the idea of growing something in your body that weighs nearly ten pounds is normally treated with radiation and surgery. In other words, a cancer.

So I think trying to find the balance between honesty and tenderness is the best profile.

But of course, in doing so, wear a helmet and a cup. 

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Anathema

dictionary with letter A

Anathema: (n) something or someone which one vehemently dislikes.

I wonder if that’s what’s necessary? I mean, I’m curious if there is a requirement for a certain amount of vehemence, anger, intensity and frustration to well up in the human soul before we actually decide to change anything.

Let’s take the old-fashioned word repentance.

It’s not old-fashioned because it’s out-dated. but like many valuable words, it’s lost some of the frequency of use because it’s not quite as pleasant to current thinking.

But I’m not sure repentance is possible until we become totally disgusted with where we are. In other words:

  • Will racism ever leave our world until it becomes anathema to our lives and even our breathing?
  • Can I lose weight without, in some way, shape or form, despising my way, shape and form?
  • Do we ever become free of our addictions until we nearly literally vomit them from our existence?

Are there really only two gears in the human vehicle–drive and reverse?

I don’t know.

But without anger and protests, most wars tend to go on indefinitely. Without some teaching of abstinence, promiscuity, disease and unwanted pregnancy begin to creep into society.

And without constantly reminding ourselves of our ancestors owning people as slaves, we just might forget to think about how we’re enslaving people today.

What is an anathema?

It is whatever we decide to do that takes away the power of other folks to do what they decide.

Yes, I guess that’s worth a few minutes … of uncomfortable reflection.

 

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Accredited

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accredited: (adj.) of a person, organization or course of study officially recognized or authorized: e.g. an accredited chiropractic school.

I often chuckle when people ask for a resume. Have you ever thought about it?

A resume is a statement of what you’ve already done–which reeks of “has-been.” Or it insists on what you desire to do, which sniffs of being  a “wannabe.” But it certainly proclaims that you’re not doing much right now. Otherwise why would you be looking for a job?

A resume is humbling–but it is where people expect us to pull out all the information that is accredited:  all the schools we attended which have the seal of approval; all the companies we’ve worked for which have some sort of visual recognition to the reader, and all the skills that fall within the spectrum of society’s present favorites and understanding.

I don’t have a college education. Due to a mixture of ignorance on birth control and persistence to honor the pregnancy of my girlfriend, I found myself launched into adulthood right out of high school, trying to acquire my pedigree in the dog-eat-dog world. Once I decided I was not going to cannibalize by eating my fellow-dogs, I lengthened my journey toward success.

Yes, sometimes there are short-cuts, but they take you through the woods where you generally run into the Big Bad Wolf.

So I tried to work on ME. I gave myself two great gifts. Here they are:

1. Don’t assume you’re good enough. There are always new ways to try new things to tap new talents to create new possibilities.

2. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Such comparisons always lead to judgment, criticism and self-delusion.

Once I started working on myself and stopped critiquing others, I got better. In the process of getting better I also got older.

It’s amazing. Some people don’t even CARE if you’ve been to college once you cross your thirtieth birthday. By the time you’re forty, they don’t even ask, unless they’re nerds.

What they want is what every human being wants: “Excuse me. Do you have anything in your knapsack that will make my journey easier?”

So I try to always bring along a provision to cover my needs and a little extra for those who forgot to pack for a rough hike. It gives me a sensation of being “accredited.” My fellow travelers look at me and say, “Thank you for taking on the burden of caring for yourself–and for giving enough of a damn to bring an extra portion for us.”

I have nothing against formal education. But the thing about “formal” is that eventually the prom is over. You need to slip on work clothes instead of long dresses and tuxedos.Pomp and Circumstance stops and the new song is Whistle While You Work.”

It’s what really makes us accredited. It’s what makes a resume leap off the paper and appear to be filmed in 3-D.

So get your education–and with all your “getting” of knowledge, acquire some wisdom. And with that wisdom, have the generosity to pull your load.

And bring along an extra sandwich for a stranger.