Debonair: (adj) courteous, gracious, and having a sophisticated charm

Here’s another thing to love about the United States of America.

Depending on where you travel, being debonair could be wearing an ascot—or eating with a fork.

That is the beauty of a nation which defines itself by how relaxed it is when it chows down, and also how, in the name of God, we never allow anyone to tell us what to do.

It is also why you probably will not hear the word “debonair” very often—unless it’s being touted in a sarcastic or negative manner.

Maybe a mother, seeing her son walk out of his room on prom night in his tuxedo, she might pop off with the word debonair.

Or I suppose it’s possible that some judge in a small-town talent contest might note that one of the contestants arriving dressed in a purple jump suit was attempting debonair.

‘Debonair’ is not something most Americans appreciate, or favor.

We equate it with a posing profile from the Continent, by a bunch of prissy people who are more concerned about the crease in their pants than about how well they come off to others.

So somewhere between slob and debonair, the United States floats along, putting on, every morning, the first thing that comes to mind and insisting all day long:

“It was meant to go together.”


Caustic (adj) sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way.

Being negative to another human being when positive energy could be beneficial is a great offense.

But equally as caustic is to piously tell folks they can do things that they can’t. It is cruel, mean-spirited and to a large degree, self-righteous
–simply because we want to be known for giving flowers instead of stopping and working with people’s soil, and teaching them how to get something to grow.

Life is not about me. Rather, it’s about me learning to be honest with myself, and then gradually sharing with the world around me.

Yet I will tell you–it is sarcastic, bitter, childish and ridiculous to take humans who have chosen mediocrity and insist that they are just as valuable as those who are laying their lives down to discover greater purpose.

If the truth makes us free, then anything short of that freedom is bondage.

For after all, you can tie people up with fuzzy bows just as easily as you can with barbed wire.

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Battered: (adj) injured by repeated blows or punishment.Dictionary B

Not all blemishes are pimples–but all blemishes may end up being called pimples and must suffer the accusation.

It is the nature of the human race to try to simplify things down to smaller categories. It is actually one of our more endearing qualities, because when we complicate matters, we become a living comedy of fleshy error.

Such it is with the word “battered,”

I have always had great respect for human beings, but I have occasionally looked into the mirror of humanity and seen my blemishes next to those who have pimples.

In other words–without further twisting this little parable–I have watched and even counseled people who have battered other souls, and realized that some of the symptoms of their actions live inside of me, and have even sprouted from my tongue.

I can try to rationalize it; I can insist that I am so adorable, generally speaking, that I am exempt.

I can shout from the housetops that I respect women, but as long as there is one nasty chauvinist remark lingering in my brain, I must be aware that I have too much in common with the batterer.

I do not think we succeed by comparing ourselves favorably to others.

I think our true power is when we find the first seedlings of a crop of sin inside ourselves.

  • I have been rude.
  • I have been overbearing.
  • I have interrupted.
  • I have been sarcastic.
  • I have been dismissive.
  • And even though I have not raised my hand and struck another traveler in anger, I have used my wit and words to bruise.

Eliminating all domestic violence will not protect women until the men who would never be violent discover the ways that they still batter.

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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Air: (n) the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen.

I am a better person when I think about air.

I am more valuable to myself when I appreciate what I breathe and cease to act like a spoiled brat, contending it’s insignificant.

I remember the first time I went to a hospital and required oxygen. I didn’t know I needed oxygen–the doctor explained that the air I was breathing and how I was processing it was not producing enough restorative energy to make me feel good. It sounded stupid. That is, until they hooked the oxygen up to my nose, and within five minutes, my head cleared, I found myself breathing deeper and was completely in the midst of a rejuvenation.

Little did I know how much I needed more air … until the lack of air left me verging on a quiet desolation.

Now, I realize we can become silly or obsessed with appreciation. But candidly, I think very few of us risk that posture. We are much more likely to become jaded and sarcastic.

I don’t know how God came up with the right mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and other inert gases to place within the breath that fills our lungs fifteen to forty times a minute.

But the stuff works.

Stop and think about that. How many concoctions do we use every day that only partially fulfill their promise?

But air just keeps delivering the goods … and has eight billion satisfied customers.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acclaim: (n) praise enthusiastically and publicly.

You know what the problem is with “acclaim?” To achieve it you really need to make a claim on something and follow through to completion–and probably even excellence.

After all, when we begin to acclaim EVERYTHING as great, NOTHING is great. And if we acclaim things that are actually poor, trying to convince the public they are adequate, we end up with a very sarcastic populace.

So to a certain degree, acclaim is unnecessary, because if you’ve already made a claim and followed through, you are reaping the benefits and don’t need any other stamp of approval.

So there is a certain amount of dishonesty that goes into requiring acclaim. This is personified by the actor or actress at the Academy Awards who insists that it’s an “honor to be nominated by my peers.”

Supposedly it is a great boost to one’s ego to receive acclaim from those in the same profession or who possess similar motivations. But honestly, when you get to the end of a movie and you’ve played your part, if you have half a brain you pretty well know if you did your job, and the opinion you have of your own performance is much more accurate and important.

So in the pursuit of acclaim, we have made some people famous in this country who should never have left the print of their local, small-town Register.

And nowadays, of course, it’s very possible to achieve acclaim by being notorious instead of glorious.

I am suspicious of acclaim. I will go further. I am aggravated by what our society touts as worthy of “honorable mention.”

If you don’t mind, I just think I will make my own personal claims, follow through on them, discover the rewards included and enjoy a reward ceremony of my OWN making–with the trophy being a sense of satisfaction.