Corroding: (v) to eat or wear away gradually as if by gnawing, especially by chemical action.

At one time I adopted (or maybe adapted) three extra sons into my household.

It was a inspiring feeling—the sensation of helping these kids out, but also the pride that came from doing something out of the box, which funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
other people “oohed and ahhed” over because of its nobility. (That’s who we are–a mixture of possibility mingled with ego.)

Well, back to my story.

I wanted to make sure the young fellows were comfortable, so in a fit of generosity, I decided to buy them little candy bars which I could hand out after meals as desserts. The candy wasn’t that expensive, and I knew they would look forward to having one after enduring the latest green bean surprise.

Here was the problem: every time I went into my pantry, there were fewer and fewer candy bars. It was not due to the fact that much time had passed, and many meals had corroded my supply.

No, I was being pilfered.

There was someone in the home who was taking more than his fair share of what I bought out of tender loving care.

It created two problems. First, there were fewer candy bars than there should be, and unless I purchased more, we would run out before the end of the week. Secondly, if I didn’t get to the bottom of who was copping the treats, I would buy more and inadvertently feed the addiction to both chocolate and deceit.

So even though I felt foolish, I realized that the greatest corrosion in the situation was the breaking of trust and allowing one or more of the young men to believe that taking what was not offered is acceptable, and not stealing.

It was painful.

I think the third degree went on to the fourth and fifth degree and the inquisition took at least four hours.

Finally, one of the young men broke down, in a reaction that landed somewhere between tearful and enraged over being trapped and admitted that he was the one who snatched the sweets. It was ugly. It is always ugly when something of value begins to corrode and it becomes necessary to trace where the attack is coming from.

But because the young man admitted he was the one, I was able to continue to buy candy bars, and trust that the other two fellows would watch him like a hawk—to protect their prize.Donate Button

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Chase: (v) to pursue in order to catch or catch up with.

What am I chasing?

It’s pretty important. It not only determines the direction I’m going, but also the energy I’m expending–and to a large degree, the location of
my destination.

So what should be our profile on “the chase?”

Do we chase like cats, distracted by a simple strand of string?

Do we chase like rabbits, running hither, thither and yon, until danger frightens us back into our hole?

Do we chase like the cheetah, convinced that nothing can ever outrun us?

Life is never pleasant if, in the process of gaining what we desire, we exhaust our passion. There’s a truth. How we chase may be more important than what we chase.

I have a tendency to chase things ala turtle.

In other words, in my mind I see what I want, but because I have placed “slow down” into my mentality, I have ample opportunity to change my GPS on my way to the prize.

I’ve just never been convinced that getting there first is the best profile. Life is too fickle. People are too unpredictable. And circumstances–too changeable for me to be confident that acquiring the present shiny object is the ideal pursuit.

That’s why those who make I-phone 9 are already ready to bring out I-phone 10. They are quire sure that “the chasers” will pay more money just to prove they’ve got the new thing–and then justify it by amplifying a few subtle perks.

What am I chasing? What will make me don the boots of the quest? Not much.

I’ve never found that an up-close look at a piece of junk is any better than seeing it at a distance, and I’ve never discovered that seeking a worthless emotion feels better if you get there early.

Slow down, you move too fast.

Paul Simon said that. Paul Simon is still around. Paul Simon is still making music. Paul Simon is getting to be an old man, but he’s still pickin’–because he avoided the chase … and made “the morning last.”

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Begrudge: (v) to envy someone the possession or enjoyment of something.

Dictionary B

Civility, courtesy, trust.

These are three different profiles we take in dealing with each other.

We try at all times to keep a “civil tongue” about us. That means if we discover we don’t like somebody, we try not to turn it into a clash or all-out war.

But civility does lend itself to duplicity. In other words, we’re nice to somebody’s face but speak great harm to their back side.

And people actually want more than civility.

So to those individuals who might be worthy of our confidence, we extend courtesy.

That means that even when we think they’re lying, we pretend they’re not. If we think they’ve bit off more than they can chew, we remain silent and let them swallow or choke on it.

Most people are satisfied with being granted courtesy, even though the station does not offer the possibility of tuning themselves up better.

What we often begrudge–what we refuse to grant people, which is the prize above all gifts–is trust.

Trust is that abiding notion that I believe in you enough that I will allow you to lead me in a direction which I may not totally understand, but because it’s you, I will follow.

Even though I have to admit that trust is hard to come by, when human beings prove themselves worthy of it, it is cruel to lump them in with the mass of amateur deceivers … and begrudge them the opportunity to rise and be respected.

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



by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Absorb: (v.) 1. take in or soak up energy or a liquid or other substance by chemical or physical action, typically gradually 2. engross the attention of someone: the work absorbed him.

You do realize–there is no prize given to those like myself, who are very successful at absorbing calories. It is a prejudicial situation.

If I absorb knowledge, I am praised. If I absorb iniquity, I am rebuked. If I absorb water, I am bloated. If I absorb the right amount of fluid, I am hydrated.

How do we know exactly how much to absorb before we are saturated, which brings us right back to saturated fats, which, by the way, we are not supposed to absorb.

When we are little tykes we are forbidden from watching certain television shows because we will absorb them into our minds, which are compared to sponges. Why would we think little ones contain spungier brains than older folks? Especially since those with greater years seem to do more damage than the playground crowd?

So what should I absorb?

I read a book once which said that things which are good, pure, praiseworthy–that these are things to absorb and think on. But if you spend your entire life trying to be a “do-gooder,” there are those around you who will find that obnoxious, pious or even boring.

So how much of “bad” can I absorb for the purpose of entertainment or acceptance in my society, before I begin to sprout some of the darkness myself? Because after a while, when you absorb something, it leaks out somewhere,  right?

You do get around people who insist they can tolerate much more absorption. Like a high toleration for pain, for instance.  I have to admit, though, that I find ita bit useless to be proud of achieving high standards of long-suffering.

What should we absorb without becoming contrary to those who walk around us, who for one reason or another, need to put up with our attitudes and lifestyles?

  • How much of social change can we absorb before we totally sacrifice everything we truly believe to be of pristine value?
  • What can we absorb of spirituality without flirting with the tendency to be religious?
  • How much language from the common culture can we absorb before we are judged by our words–prior to ever having the chance to establish our talents?

Absorbing is tricky business. It’s why I would not like to come back to earth as a sponge. Even though I don’t particularly hold to any ideas of reincarnation, returning to the planet as a sponge would put me at the bidding of people who want to clean up messes–and because I’m an absorber, I can’t exactly complain about what fills me up.

I guess I’d like to maintain the right to be a little fussy about what I absorb. I don’t want to be behind the times, but I don’t want the times to get behind me and shove me into decisions that truly are not of my making. Does that make sense?

It’s not that I want to drag my feet–it’s just that I would like a little time to put on my own shoes … if we’re going to walk a new path.