Convoy

Convoy: (n) the protection provided by an escort.

I will offer my one and single lamentation to you at this time:

I do not know what the value is of living so long that you have numerous experiences, delightful stories, and even warnings to share that nobody in the present age wishes to hear—because anything that has happened more than seven years ago is classified with the dinosaurs.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So if you’re a writer, or boldly call yourself an author, you must take into consideration that the present batch of readers have the foresight and vision of Mr. Magoo, who, by the way, they would not be familiar with.

Yet today, when I saw the word convoy, I was reminded of a time in the 1970’s, when our country was experiencing gasoline shortages. You had to actually think about when to purchase fuel, because the next location to get some might be far away.

There were practices of taking the last numbers on your license plate, and if it was an odd digit you could get gas on a certain day, and even numbers on other days.

In the midst of this slight rationing, it was conceived by intelligent men and women in Washington, D.C. that a great way to save fuel was to create a national speed limit of 55 miles per hour. (I know some of you young’uns may be giggling, but this actually happened.)

Now, I cannot tell you how tedious a 500-mile journey was if you followed the letter of the law and drove 55 miles per hour. Yet there were highway patrolmen all over the place picking people up, and even creating road blocks, to trap those who dared to exceed the “double-nickels.”

The whole era was eventually brought down by truck drivers, who clumped together in large convoys, sometimes ten miles in length, driving 70 miles an hour, challenging the authorities to pick them up en masse.

Just as Prohibition was eventually repealed due to fondness of spirits, the 55 mile per hour speed limit was very soon embedded deeply in our history as a folly of the foolish.

But it took a convoy.

It always takes a convoy.

Your one vote does not stop an onslaught of stupidity. Get together with your friends. Line up ten miles deep—and see how quickly the government lets you speed on.


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Avoid

Avoid: (v) to keep away from or stop oneself from doing.

 One thing we all definitely share in common: the first word we heard that stuck in our early childhood memory was more than likely “don’t.”dictionary with letter A

Our parents were certainly more concerned about the things we should avoid than the things we could enjoy.

The acceptable objects they passed our way either looked like peas or had the appeal of a bowl of them.

The things they told us to avoid sparkled, plugged in, looked like candy or just screamed potential glee.

In that way we were immediately instructed from our diapers that good things are important but boring, and bad things are dangerous but deliriously enjoyable.

Most unfortunate.

I still have a list of things in my life I avoid–but my way of determining what to avoid is no longer based on being electrocuted or poisoned.

Here’s my test for what to avoid:

I avoid all things or objects which instruct me to avoid. What do I mean by that?

  • I avoid bigoted people because they want me to avoid people they are bigoted against.
  • I avoid drugs because they want me to avoid precious independence of choice and decisions that I treasure.
  • I decided a long time ago that I don’t need a glass of alcohol to be sociable.
  • I don’t need to take LSD to find God.
  • And I don’t need to hate people of color so I can appreciate my bleached-out complexion.

It may have seemed like a good idea to pass a law of Prohibition against alcoholic beverages, but every time we try to avoid, we end up spending a lot of time with avoiders.

And they are the ones who are disgruntled about being cheated out of fun and determined to spoil the joy in the lives of everyone around them.

 

 

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Anthony, Susan B.

dictionary with letter A

Anthony, Susan B. : U.S. social reformer and leader of the woman suffragette movement.

It puts a chill down my spine.

Often I just think about who I would be, what I would do and where I would place myself in the thinking of a particular era, when some miscarriage of justice was all the rage.

Would I have had the courage to sign the Declaration of Independence, or would I be a loyal Tory to King George?

Would I have treated the Native Americans with respect, honoring their lands, or just rolled over the prairie in my Conestoga wagon, assuming that God was my co-pilot?

What would have been my stance on slavery?

And certainly, as I read the name Susan B. Anthony, I am curious if I would have seen the wisdom, practicality and right for women to be participating citizens with the vote, or if my fear of rocking the boat would have caused me to surrender to the social doldrums.

I think about it a lot, because other things come up every day which are the fresh, new subject lines for the story of history–whether it’s abortion, nation building, gay rights, legalized marijuana, immigration or any number of conflicts which “boil, boil, toil and trouble” in our society.

  • Where are the parallels?
  • Where are the similarities?
  • Where are the differences?

Because even though some causes appear to have a righteous basis, like Prohibition, when they’re placed within the context of a democratic society, they end up being miserable failures.

Would I have marched with Ms. Anthony to lobby for women to have their natural authority to cast a ballot?

I like to think about this.

I don’t ever want to become comfortable in my beliefs and convictions simply because they have paid rent inside of me for a long time. I am prepared to evict all tenets which fail to prove their solvency.

Would I fight for women? The only way to be sure of that is to place myself on the battlefield today, as my sisters continue to struggle to gain equal footing in a society which is much too dominated by macho ruffians. 

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Ankh

dictionary with letter A

Ankh: (n.) an object or design resembling a cross but having a loop at the top instead of the top crossing arm; used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of life.

Insanity is tricky.

Sometimes it’s obvious. A five-year-old boy who slaughters cats and dogs probably has some problems and is on his way to being a serial killer.

Yet some insanity temporarily is considered to be current practical thinking, or even spiritual.

This creates a dilemma. Folks who are considered to be spot on do temporarily lose their minds in preference to gaining popular favor.

Several examples come to mind:

  • How about all the people who wrote astounding essays on the value of slavery for the plantation in the Southern states?
  • Those who contended that Prohibition would eliminate drinking and alcoholism in our country.
  • A contingency who had great faith in the existence of witches in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • Politicians who tried to negotiate with Adolph Hitler.
  • Good god-fearing Americans who waved flags in support of the Vietnam War.

Well, I could go on and on.

Case in point: at a certain juncture in my own personal history a friend of mine gave me an ankh. It was beautiful and I thought it was so cool that I wore it around my neck constantly, only to be attacked by friends of the Christian persuasion, who contended it was an Egyptian demonic symbol and that I was welcoming evil in my life by donning it as an accessory.

They were quite insistent. For some reason, the cross coming to an oval at the top apparently created an opening for the entrance of evil spirits.

I did not believe any of this.

But because I didn’t want to lose friends, appear too different or create some sort of Stargate for Beelzebub into my heart, I took it off and threw it away.

I’ve always regretted that. Matter of fact, I used that experience as a point in time where I decided to start thinking for myself, tapping my own spirit and common sense.

For I will tell you: it is rather doubtful that any object in and of itself perpetuates evil.

As history reveals, it takes short-sighted people to truly usher in … the essence of hell.

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