Circulate

Circulate: (v) to pass or cause to pass from place to place or person to person.

I have recently been accused of being anti-social.

The diagnosis was offered because I failed to attend a party. It was assumed that anyone who didn’t want to come to this social adventure
had to be out of his or her mind.

I was supposed to come and circulate among people whom I have known for years, and read about ever-too-frequently on my Facebook page. As a matter of fact, I know so much about these folks that I could probably write personal bios for them.

But they were convinced that I had sunk into some sort of despair because I wasn’t going to come and hear the same old stories while partaking of a dip with only subtle new inclusions.

I do need to circulate–but I need to do it among people who are not necessarily related to me or benefit from me personally or financially.

A great man once said that if you only love those who love you, what in the hell is so special about that?

For instance, I just came back from the grocery store. I encountered at least twenty-five people I have never met before.

I circulated.

I conversed.

I opened up my heart to the possibility that these were good folks and I would benefit from the exchanges. I suspect about half of them thought I was crazy for being so talkative. But the other half took a risk, jumped in and, well…circulated.

We do not circulate when we only hang around those who resemble us or are friends because we buy presents for them on birthdays or Christmas.

We circulate when we allow the blood of human relationship to mingle among castes, races, genders and ideologies.

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Benediction

Benediction: (n) bestowing a blessing at the end

Dictionary B

Granting rights does not remove the wrongs.

We have become a society which is obsessed with the notion of “human rights,” failing to understand that being granted a voice doesn’t guarantee that you’re being heard.

Because of this error in judgment, we often feel satisfied and pronounce a benediction of completion over projects that are still quite incomplete.

So suddenly we are confronted with some nasty occurrences of racism, prejudice, misogyny, ill-founded anger and wickedness.

  • We feign surprise.
  • We’re really not.

It is important to give rights to other races, other religions and other lifestyles. But it isn’t a blanket pardon for all their inconsistencies and anti-human aspects–which still need to be addressed–nor for the lingering prejudices which we regard to be “respecting their culture.”

We pronounce benedictions much too soon.

The service is not over.

There is still much we need to do, with a servant’s heart, to correct many a wrong … even though the rights are intact.

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Apprentice

dictionary with letter A

Apprentice (n): a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.

Perhaps it is too late.

Yes, maybe Donald Trump has ruined the word “apprentice” for all time by misusing it as the title of his NBC show.

But I will take a risk. Yes, I will step out and say that if we could return the word “apprentice” to our lives, and especially to our business practices, we would be much better off than we are today in our commerce.

For the truth is, we send people to college, hopefully to gain general knowledge and for them to finish wild-oat-sowing, only to place them in an occupation where they start all over again as an apprentice. Because after all, every company has policies and practices which are different from the competitor next door.

To think that we can teach art, business or education in a college atmosphere and transfuse the blood of the business world into a student is absolutely ludicrous.

What we are hoping is that a twenty-three-year-old is going to be more prepared to apprentice than an eighteen-year-old.

We are assuming that the four or five years of maturity garnered by attending college, being forced to interact with other cultures and races, will make our potential employee a more well-rounded individual. Truthfully, it is dishonest to convey that a college education prepares someone for success in the market place.

It does not.

It does keep them learning until they can finally arrive in a place where they truly do learn.

It keeps the edge and acuity of thinking in practice while we prepare a place for them in line, to see how they measure up against the other applicants.

Are there occupations that demand higher learning instead of apprenticing? I will probably frighten you by saying that even a doctor could apprentice a student. Certain things would have to be done slowly and patiently, but eventually terminology and certainly, more importantly, operations, could be transferred from physician to intern.

So am I saying that a university degree is meaningless? Absolutely not. For some people in our culture just aren’t ready at eighteen years of age to listen to anything but their ear buds.

During the time of Dickens and Mark Twain, young men were allready mollified by the age of fourteen. It is not so with our rendition of humanity.

So college gives young men and women the chance to be kicked in the face enough to learn how to handle a punch. At least, that’s what we hope.

But we will do better in this country when we finally admit that no one walks from academia into the board room.

Everyone spends some time sorting mail before they get the privilege of receiving it.

 

 

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Ad

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

Ad: (n) an advertisement

dictionary with letter A

Sometimes it’s the way people choose to insult you.

If you’re promoting an idea, a product, or some particular outgrowth of your own efforts, they will accuse you of “advertising.”

Matter of fact, even though we are all basically slaves to the system, we simultaneously insist that we HATE ads. We’ll even try to edit them out of our television programs, and therefore insist upon our independence from such interference. But if we were really all that turned off by ads, Madison Avenue would certainly pick up on our distaste and stop making them.

Are there things that are worth advertising? Because quite honestly, I will put an ad out to the world if I believe in something. I’m not tight-lipped about it at all.

I only require three contingencies to stimulate my passion:

1. It needs to work. I would never want to promote something that was intermittent or just flat-out fails to deliver its promises. That’s the danger of both religion and politics–their adherents have secretly become unbelievers. So the followers are like an old rocker, traveling around from one concert to another in an old beat-up van, peddling t-shirts, who no longer believes in his own slogans.

2. It should make things easier, not harder. Even though I do not think laziness is a virtue, I think over-working is a much worse vice. If you want to improve the world, make a better mouse that doesn’t need to be trapped.

3. It needs to include everybody. I know there are products, ideas and even philosophies which seem to focus on a particular age group. Maybe this is necessary. But I find the greatest value of an idea is how well it can be applied across the board–to all races, genders, ages, creeds, and orientations.

There you go. What is worthy of writing an ad? Anything that fits the criteria listed above.

In other words, an ad should … add.

Everything else is just an imitation and derivation of the hula-hoop.

Accent

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accent: (n.) a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, especially one associated with a particular nation, locality or social class

Anyone who spends any time whatsoever in theater realizes that it is often a bigoted representation of society’s perception of all races and nationalities.

What I mean by that statement is that if you’re playing a part in a production and your director wants you to convey a certain immediate energy to the audience, he will often ask you to consider using an accent to trigger an image or attitude in the mind of the hearer.

Could anything be more prejudiced? Yet it is standard practice–and an admission that we human beings often draw conclusions based on what we hear and therefore perceive.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say you’re playing the part of a snobby, high-falutin’; upper-class woman. The suggestion may be made to give her a British accent–therefore concluding that all Brits are really pricks.

Are you gonna play a boxer in the movie? Then you probably should have a New Jersey accent–“Joisey.”

Let me run a few more:

  • Mafia? Italian, of course.
  • A slick gigolo lover? French.
  • A bigoted ignoramus? A Southern Dixie accent.
  • How about a surfer? A California Valley-girl accent.
  • What if the part demands you be a spy? I would suggest a Russian accent.
  • A karate champion? Japanese.
  • How about a dictator? Gotta be German.

Since it is so obvious that we equate certain attributes to accents, it might be a good idea to be careful how you round your r’s and punch your syllables.

Because as much as we may discount the value of prejudice, it was here when we arrived–and it will stand over our graves.

Aberration

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Aberration: n.  a departure from what is normal, usual or expected, typically one that is unwelcome.

A black man reading a book

A woman voting

A glass bulb which produces light

Removing leeches from the body to assist in healing

The knowledge that tiny bacteria cause disease

The earth is round

People of different races marrying each other

An evolving universe

All men are created equal

For God so loved the world

Jews are not rats

Rock and roll is really great music

Long hair, as it turns out, is not going to destroy human sexuality

God loves everybody

All of these were once aberrations–unwelcome departures from the a “normal thinking.”

If you will excuse me, I must leave now, to discover the next aberration–and do my best to keep from fighting it.