Colonist

Colonist: (n) a settler in or inhabitant of a colony

I like to believe I’m tough. In other words, able to handle challenges.

Recently, when I found myself stowed away during a hurricane, I was surprised at what a dependent, selfish and fussy child I could become just through inconvenience.

It was hot, confined and the food was a post-Apocalyptic menu. I nearly cried.

So when I think about the colonists who settled the United States, I am baffled. The ignorance, self-righteousness, arrogance and short-sightedness they brought with them in settling the New World is mind-boggling.

Didn’t they realize they were starting all over again and there would be huge changes? That big black-rimmed hats and dark, heavy woolen clothes might not be
ideal for the climate.

They also brought over a religion suited for parlor talk, now being tested in the dungeons of challenge.

And then I think to myself, they were really pretty brave.

How would I have been any different?

Would I have landed on the shore, walked around for a couple of weeks and concluded that I was going to have to pursue a completely different lifestyle, or else I would die from exposure–or even a common cold. Yes, the colonists had few remedies for sickness, and the ones they had were notorious for making you sicker.

Actually, it is quite remarkable and magnificent that they were able to muster enough flexibility and common sense to push on through.

It’s not easy being a colonist.

I occasionally discover that I am marooned in a new situation, very grateful that I’m not alone–that I at least have one or two buddies with me to help me survive all the frightening surprises.

Yes, all of us are really colonists–pitching our tents here on Earth for less than a century. We will be replaced quite soon–and truthfully, it won’t be that hard.

 

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Clash

Clash: (n) a violent confrontation

Does it really need to be violent?

Have we reached a point in our society where we think if arguments and struggles remain non-violent, then they’re perfectly acceptable?
Because a clash can take a toll without ever breaking a bone or cutting the flesh.

A clash is when we go into a time of interaction with our fellow-humans, believing we are right instead of being open to the possibility of being a little wrong.

In that situation, it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is or the circumstances. People clash because they think they know there’s a fight coming–so when there’s a hint of a skirmish, they’re ready to explode.

This is why people of the black race who come out to protest the Ku Klux Klan have already envisioned a fist fight between the two parties long before any such confrontation crops up.

A husband and wife who return home in the evening grouchy, having had a bad day at work, will pick at one another until they create a clash.

A clash always occurs when ego, meanness, self-righteousness and circumstances collide at the same moment. If any one of these is removed, the clash can be avoided.

Is anyone willing to do that?

Am I prepared to consider a life where I bring ideas–minus opinions–to gain deeper understanding?

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Chairperson

Chairperson: (n) a chairman or chairwoman (used as a neutral alternative).

Words often foretell the temperament of the people around us and what they are going to demand to appease their sense of self-righteousness.

For instance, if I go to church and hear someone proclaim themselves to be a “sinner saved by grace,” I know for certain they will want me to
confess myself a sinner and to seek the magnificent grace advertised.

Likewise, when I hear someone use the term “chairperson,” I know two things to be true:

  1. They are under the misguided notion that a committee can agree to do anything but produce more red tape.
  2. And since they are using the “neutral” form of the word instead of “chairman,” I can assume they’re going to be pretty pissy.

Red tape and pissy.

That is usually my cue to suddenly remember that I left my keys in the car, find them in my pocket, climb in, start it up and go home.

 

 

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Buzz

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Buzz: (n) a humming sound.

There are two things that have a buzz: bees and things threatening to be broken.

The buzzing of the bee is common, but you can often tell when something is breaking, has a bad cord or is giving up the ghost because it will start emitting a buzz.

So when I hear people discuss the topical stories on any given day, I wonder if it’s based on being busy like the bee, or a sign that something’s “got a short.”

I think when we buzz about how to get along better, escape prejudice and cut each other some slack, we are actually trying to be bees, producing some honey.

But when I hear a constant flow of lamentation, disappointment, aggravation, brattiness and self-righteousness, I realize there’s a brokenness in our thinking which warns that if we don’t fix the connection soon, we’re going to lose our power.

 

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Buttress

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Buttress: (n) a source of defense or support.

I construct a buttress–a physical barrier to communicate that I am prepared to withstand an attack.

I suppose if it stopped there it might be fine. Certain safeguards are necessary in a violent world.

But once I physically construct a buttress, I begin to believe it’s necessary to build a mental buttress for my brain.

What is that?

Only certain information is allowed. This data must be in harmony with my present philosophy and level of understanding.

Once I’m fully protected from the possibility of errant or alien ideas attacking my mind, it becomes necessary to build a buttress for my spirit–the soul.

And how shall I construct such a protection? By developing an unwavering conviction on who God is and who the Creator is not, never allowing foreign doctrines to permeate my walls.

Even if I am granted a vision sent from the heavens, I must defend the traditions–or risk losing the certainty I have over established belief.

So now I’m protected from physical assault, mental aggression and spiritual infiltration.

I certainly must complete the isolation by erecting a buttress to guard my feelings.

The emotions need to shrink, only including certain members of my family, color, styles and predilections. I find myself getting cold but adjust to the chill by warming myself with a cloak of self-righteousness.

Now I am fully encased, each buttress in place to secure body, mind, soul and heart.

But why am I awakening in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, screaming?

What has come in?

What is troubling me?

What has breached my fortification and now disrupts my rest?

I am undefended from me.

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Breathalyzer

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Breathalyzer: (n) a device used by police for measuring the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath.

Intolerance always enters our lives when we fail to recognize our own weakness as being equally pathetic to the vices we condemn.

I have never been a drinker. Yet I don’t want to be a self-righteous tee-totaler.Dictionary B

It’s so easy to be critical of those who drink too much, drive, and are prosecuted because of the results of a breathalyzer. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous–often lethal.

Yet by the same token, I find myself somewhat bewitched by food.

They do not have a breathalyzer test for pork chops–but I have driven home from a buffet many times having eaten to the point of nausea, getting sleepy behind the wheel because my blood sugar was soaring to the stars. But no policeman would ever insinuate I was endangering the lives of others.

Please don’t misunderstand my point. Alcohol is dangerous.

Yet there are many people who can eat three-and-a half ounces of meat and be completely satisfied without becoming intoxicated by a caloric binge.

I just want to keep my tolerance available to me when I run across those who fall victim to vice and depravity.

I, too, am weak.

The fact that my consumption does not end up in a courtroom does not alter the situation.

Thank God for breathalyzers because they do keep people off the road who are primed for an accident.

But the piece of humanity we need to always keep in mind is that each one of us has peccadilloes–which if we pick at the wrong moment, can end up being anything from a sin to a crime.

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Brand

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Brand: (n) a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.

I was informed that you can clean your battery terminals by pouring a little bit of Coca-Cola on them to get rid of the excess residue.Dictionary B

Yet for some reason, the Coca-Cola bottling company does not choose to advertise this. They instead insist on punctuating their brand as a beverage which is tasty and enjoyable, especially refreshing when served over ice.

I have heard that toilet paper has been applied in a comedic way to write comical or whimsical notes. Yet I have never seen Charmin market their product as stationery. They continue to persist in believing that the best angle for promoting their brand is to insinuate how comfortable it is to the bum.

Isn’t that fascinating?

Even though there may be other uses, purposes or maybe interpretations of a certain commodity, they are not brought to the forefront, simply because they are either bizarre, aberrant or silly.

I, for instance, was drawn to be a believer in the Gospel of Jesus because his brand was “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Unfortunately, I am always inundated with those who have found other uses for the Gospel, including racism, chauvinism, self-righteousness and greed.

I feel it is my job to reject this promotion, which would try to draw people to a message of hate, instead of the intended outcome of a community of mutual understanding.

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


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy