Complacent

Complacent: (adj) showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements

Sometimes we forget the Earth is still evolving.

Because it doesn’t go on television, shout and scream, nor advertise itself unashamedly on the Internet, we believe that the Earth did its Darwin thing and decided to settle down somewhere near Naples, Florida, for a good, well-deserved retirement.

But the truth of the matter is, the Earth may be old in years, but it is constantly going through its “terrible twos.” It is a demanding toddler, requiring our funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cattention–otherwise it starts breaking things.

So even though the word “complacent” is normally considered to represent a negative emotion, connoting that one does not care, a bit of complacency is in order so we don’t come across thinking we are in charge.

I, for one, am complacent on the weather.

I know how to buy gear for the various threats and precipitation, so rather than studying it, cursing it or attempting to pray it away, I allow my emotions and soul to develop a needful numbness with a twinge of gratitude.

I am complacent on race.

Since it doesn’t make any difference and it’s foolish to talk about it, I will play like I’m mentally challenged when it’s brough up in front of me, because I don’t want to accidentally pop off something from my erroneous training, nor foolishly present myself as Mr. Universal.

Other areas where I’m complacent:

  • Gay rights
  • Abortion
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Chauvinism
  • And rising prices at the grocery store

Since most of these things do not affect me–and if they do affect me, they are completely beyond my control–any fretting, opinions or stomping on my part will be useless.

There is a wonderful phrase which I often remind myself of whenever I’m tempted to be engaged: “Be still and know that I am God.”

If there is a Being named God, and He has created a Universe, my stirrings are comical at best, and at worst, aggravating.

 

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Cheery

Cheery: (adj) happy and optimistic.

The human race works feverishly to explain why being “cheery” is impractical, while simultaneously pursuing any way possible to be happy.

Maybe we should stop and ask ourselves, is it plausible to be happy without being cheery? Therefore, might “cheery” be a step in welcoming
happiness?

But in today’s theatrical world, cheery characters are often portrayed as obnoxious assholes, and those who are darkened by doubt and plagued by pessimism are extolled as glorious anti-heroes.

Let me ask a quick question:

When have you ever sat in a room with a Gloomy Gus, walked out, and thought to yourself, “That was time well-spent.”

But in spite of your objections, you probably have been in a room with someone who has tried to look on the bright side, who infected you with a bit of their jubilance.

Humanity is plagued with the notion that the antidotes provided for our sickness and misery are just placebos. We contend that commiserating, bitching, objecting and even cheating are the only ways to grab the brass ring.

Of course, we never consider what the purpose is for the brass ring in the first place. Instead, we make the mistake of imitating our Mom and Dad … as we usher our grouchy parents into retirement.

 

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

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Checkup

Checkup: (n) a thorough examination

A writer certainly knows, when he submits his material to an editor, that he or she needs to prepare for critique. You can’t keep your job as an editor if you read stuff, smile and say, “Looks good to me.”

I’ve never taken my car to a mechanic without this technician finding something wrong with the vehicle. There’s no money, work or future for a mechanic who admires your car.

If you go to an investment banker, he or she will certainly explain to you why your present rate of consumption and your lack of a retirement plan is jeopardizing
life and limb.

Likewise, arriving at a doctor’s office is an invitation to be dissected–sometimes literally. Although you may insist to yourself that you’re merely going in for a checkup, after they have fully analyzed all your numbers, they will most assuredly recommend some sort of tune-up.

Sometimes if you don’t take them seriously, they will foretell your doom and gloom if you ignore the diagnosis.

Between you, me and the fencepost (and I’m not so sure I trust that piece of wood stickin’ out of the ground) it’s a racket. The American health system is in the business of putting us through tests that we most certainly will fail.

Because without us failing, medication cannot be prescribed, drug companies will lose their profit margins, and financial institutions–where we have invested our money–will not make much dividend.

So in a strange sense, we give $100 to the medical field so that the drug companies and Wall Street can prosper through ailments, and at the end we receive $2.20 of our original money back in dividends in our IRAs.

Is this a good deal?

Of course not.

But welcome to the glories of capitalism.

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

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Celerity

Celerity: (n) swiftness of movement.

I will risk being considered ignorant or out of touch by telling you that I had absolutely no idea what this word meant when it popped up on my screen. But fortunately for me, the definition was very straight-forward: swift movement.

I admire those who are fleet of foot, due mostly to the ever-lightness of their being. I’ve always been a heavy-set chap (which is what I will
write in this article to escape calling myself “fat,” making you think I have diminished self-esteem).

During my brief stint of playing football, the coach ordered us to do windsprints. For me, it was more “wind” than “sprint.” I was always gasping for air as my lighter brothers glided by me as if propelled by the wings of Mercury.

The advantage of being swift is being able to get a lot of things done, as they say, lickety-split.

So since I do not have celerity, it falls my duty to take my brain and teach it to be “celeritous.” (Perhaps not a word, but willing to adapt.)

I developed a swift mind.

I learned how to abandon bad ideas quickly so they wouldn’t clutter my path.

I tried to rid myself of forlorn, discouraged and upset feelings, which only slow down progress.

I developed a sense of good cheer–which is an understanding that expecting help is the doorway to making sure that nothing gets done.

I found out what I could do, how to do it, and to make it fun–and then did it with celerity.

I have never run fast in my life. I have never won a swimming race in a pool (except against my little three-year-old son, who was wearing water wings).

And now, as I am aging and my legs are seeking a condo for retirement, I realize that metering my movements with a great sense of timing and knowing when to rest, can fool the masses into thinking that I’m really, really swift.

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Antemortem

dictionary with letter A

Antemortem: (adj & adv) before death

Sometimes words can be head-scratchers.

Isn’t antemortem just another way of saying “life?”

In other words, if we’re talking about everything before death, doesn’t that just refer to today’s activities and our ongoing existence?

But after I get done scratching my head, freeing up a few dandruff flakes, I discover a much deeper concept. (Not so deep that it makes one drown, but perhaps deep enough that it promotes moving forward swimmingly.)

For I will tell you right now, almost every facet of our society has us thinking just as much about our death as it does our life.

I was trying to remember the last movie I went to that didn’t have at least one, if not many, people killed. I guess the message is, we’re all mortal, so eat, drink and be merry.

Politics focuses on retirement, social security and often even flagrantly discusses death benefits.

You add in the medical field, constantly reminding us of all the things that can terminate our journey, and religion telling us we need to get ready for heaven, and it certainly seems that we spend an incredible amount of time wasting our present life force in preparation for our inevitable death.

Since we are granted less than a century of breathing, to study too much of the past or fear too much of the future seems a bit ridiculous and obsessive.

Yet if you have a “live for today” philosophy, people shake their heads in disapproval and mouth words like “irresponsible, hippie, Bohemian and gypsy.”

What is the balance?

I don’t know.

But I do know this–I’m not going to spend the majority of my life, while I’m still young, vibrant, mentally active, socially aware and sexually viable, laying up treasure for a time when I’m not.

I am sure, at any juncture in my life span, no matter how old I may become, I will not be thrilled to leave.

So with that in mind, I find it much more intuitive to pursue the activities of this day with jubilance and a bit of “devil-may-care,” so as to guarantee that when the post-mortem arrives … that my antemortem has sufficiently kicked ass.

 

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

Amnesia

dictionary with letter A

Amnesia: (n) a partial or total loss of memory.

It is the sin of humanity.

How quickly we forget what it was like to be who we just were.

So the eight-year-old laughs at his baby brother, who needs a pacifier.

The teenager is critical of why her little punk sister plays with Barbie dolls.

The twenty-three-year-old, starting a new job, is baffled at why all the high schoolers are so worked up about the prom.

The thirty-five-year-old business man/father is perturbed at the lack of solvency and forethought in those twenty somethings.

The fifty-year-old, working on his career and retirement plan, cannot comprehend how younger generation gets by without worrying about an IRA.

And everybody over seventy completely forgets what it was like to be younger, as they convince themselves that life consists of finding good prices on meds, staying active and eating a healthy, early dinner.

Yes, the greatest gift we give to one another is remembering what it was like.

Without this we are not an asset.

Just an ass.

 

 

 

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

Affirmative

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAffirmative: (adj) agreeing with a statement or to a request.

I used to have a friend who was retired from the Air Force who continued to use military lingo even though he was no longer in uniform or toting a rifle. So if you asked him a question, instead of saying “yes” he would reply, “Affirmative.”

The first couple of times it was kind of interesting. Then, like most things which are repeated for no reason whatsoever, it was downright annoying.

First of all, I don’t know if “yes” really IS affirmative. I have said yes to many things in my life because they were needed, and had NO sense of affirming them.

For instance, even though I am not a political animal, I have always referred to whoever has held the Presidency of the United States as “President” instead of just using the person’s last name or some slang or derogatory term. In that way I was able to affirm their position without ever saying yes to the politics.

I do believe there are things we need to affirm even though we don’t necessarily agree.

This is at the heart of every fight in our system today: you can’t grant liberty and justice for all and start redefining liberty, justice and all.

There are things I would never say yes to personally but as a good American I do affirm them, because they are good for our common cause.

So affirmative, sometimes, is admitting it is none of my business. I sheath my sword and stop slashing with my opinions.

I have turned “yes” is a holy word–it’s when I add my heart and soul to my affirmations and I am willing to see these dreams through to a conclusion.

So for my dear friend who was grounded from the Air Force through retirement, I must tell you that I do not think “affirmative” is the same as “yes.”

For I do affirm your right, as an American, to pursue your happiness, but it does not mean I agree with all your choices.