Decline

Decline: (v) to deny consent to

There’s a reason it’s popular.

It is the easiest word in the English language to say.

“No.”

It also fits in well. Since the universe is negatively charged, it seems natural to be prepared to match it with an attitude.

Why should I be open-minded?

Why should I agree to something, knowing that as soon as I do, it will become much more complicated than how it was originally explained to me?

“No” is powerful.

“I decline,” he said. (That even sounds kind of regal.)

But every “no” comes with a shadow—a murky, cloudy covering unleashed by a breathy “what if.”

What if I hadn’t said no?

What if I hadn’t declined?

Would it have been good?

Would I have enjoyed myself?

Would the universe seem more universal?

Would peace be more peaceful?

Would “happy” have an extra p?

I don’t know.

No—I don’t know.

For you see, “no” will never lose its appeal.

It always makes us feel like we’re in charge—and nobody can tell us what to do.

But it also makes us wonder, as we walk away:

What in the hell did I miss?

 

Aerie

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aerie: (n) the nest  of a bird of prey, esp. an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff.

Am I being too needy when I say that I take great comfort in the fact that an eagle is considered to be a rather regal creature, even though it is bald like me? (Of course, lacking feathers, an attractive beak, and not to mention, the ability to fly–at that point all similarities seem to cease.)

But there is something wonderfully intriguing and even mysterious about the eagle, soaring high into the mountain, nestling itself into a home far from the jungle and the maddening crowd.

There is something here to learn: I need an aerie–not to remove myself permanently from humanity as a grumbling objection to the insanity being proffered, but rather, a place where I can escape at times and get a little higher so I can see a little clearer and gain some perspective, instead of touting how wise I am, with the evidence of how cynical I’ve become.

  • What passes for philosophy nowadays are actually jaded observations from those who have embraced sarcasm and abandoned solution.
  • What is pushed forward as government is an exclusive club of politicians, who get together to advertise favored causes, which most importantly, contradict the views of their opponents.
  • And what is passed on as communion of spirituality is either a narrow-minded God who’s pissed off with mankind or some benevolent hippie juiced up on weed, who loves everybody, no matter how miserable they are.

Fly a little higher.

Find a place of seclusion every once in a while, where you can clear your head.

In so doing, you might be surprised, like the eagle, at how God will give you new ideas … and expand your bird brain.

Adept

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Adept: (adj.) very skilled or proficient at something: e.g. he is adept at cutting through red tape; an adept negotiator.

Beware of titles that require follow-up.

I often come across individuals who want to quantify my abilities or value by assessing names or positions to my talents. We all are tempted at times to tout our value by putting some sort of signature on it, which is supposed to communicate our qualification or aptitude.

  • Lieutenant
  • President
  • Senator
  • Manager
  • Father
  • Mother
  • Principal
  • Reverend
  • Husband
  • Wife

Well, the list goes on and on–an unending collage of words that are supposed to scream out our uniqueness, so people will give us respect in the foreground before they check too much into our background.

Matter of fact, without these accolades, we sometimes feel that we’re just human beings, God forbid. But when we insist on such bravado in front of others, we take away the element of surprise, which allows people to surmise our lack of worth based upon our appearance, only to be proven wrong by the tally at the end of our endeavors.

Sometimes I don’t even like it when people ask for a resume. I always hated it in a job interview when the question was posed, “Tell me a little about yourself.” An impossible inquiry. If you stumble or act humble, people will say you lack confidence. If you go on and on about your personal achievements, you certainly will flirt with arrogance.

Yet for some reason the human race is convinced that carrying our “blue ribbons” to the starting line is confirmation that we will win the race.

The beauty of life is also the most frightening part. For after all, what I did yesterday is worth very little if I plan on screwing up this morning–and calling me by some regal proclamation only increases the pressure or takes away any praise I might achieve by exceeding expectation.

Am I adept at things? Probably. But I will never tell you.

  • Tell someone you’re adept at writing and they’ll critique your paragraphs.
  • Adept at love-making? God help you.
  • Adept at comedy? Be prepared for the audience to stare at you, waiting for the funny.
  • Adept at parenting? Watch your neighbors scrutinize your children very carefully.

“Adept” is one of those American words we use to attempt to impress before we actually perform. Sometimes it’s just better to shut up, do the best you can and surprise everybody when you actually have … some game.