Civil War

Civil war: (n) a war between citizens of the same country.

If you know something is right, the best way to live is to go ahead and do it. Putting things off that we know are inevitable just makes us look stupid in the long run.

When the politicians involved in the American Revolution got together to form a Constitution, all of them, in their own ways, knew that slavery was wrong.

Some didn’t care.

Some believed it was more right than wrong.

But the main authors of the Constitution, from Madison on down, were fully cognizant that it was absolutely ridiculous to think that one man could own another
man. Matter of fact, they constantly lamented to one another that they “wished there was more they could do.”

It was their habit to free all of their slaves upon their death. So from 1776 until 1860–a span of eighty-four years–there was an ongoing debate about whether anything of significance could be done to curtail slave trading in the United States of America.

Laws were passed and ridiculous compromises achieved, but in the final fifteen years leading up to the American Civil War, it was obvious to most deeper-thinking Americans that this issue was going to lead to a battlefield where blood was shed.

It doesn’t make any difference if you’re talking about conflicts between a man and a woman, arguments within a family, or in the case of the United States, an open, seething contradiction, stinking right under our noses.

The longer you put something off, the more intense the division and painful the solution.

The Civil War could have been stopped when we started the nation.

It’s just too bad that the forefathers were more concerned about the right to bear arms than about the eternal need to free the slaves.


Donate Button




Chariot: (n) a two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle used in ancient warfare and racing.

“Negro spiritual. “

It’s not exactly an oxymoron, but within the two words there seems to be a contradiction of purpose.

After all, if you were a Negro, you might find it difficult to be spiritual to those who decided to know you only by that term.

Yet a race of people who were beaten, subjugated, raped and sometimes nearly starved managed to get around a fire late at night when their persecutors had retired to the Big House, and come up with songs which we now display in our religious catalogues today.

  • “Let My People Go”
  • “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”
  • And of course, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

Even though the songs are melodic, harmonic and perhaps even rhythmic, they all carry a central theme: “Dear God, I hope they stop beating me and if they won’t, I hope you kill me soon.”

You can be sympathetic to their plight.

“Swing low, sweet chariot,

Comin’ for to carry me home…”

A pretty simple passage: “Since there’s no solution here on Earth, since the Massa has the whip and since my family can be sold at a moment’s notice, maybe it would be wise to begin Eternity really soon.”

Negro spiritual–a music that tells us where people find solace when other humans abandon and mistreat them.

It is soulful, it is seeking and it is sad.

I can’t listen to the song about the chariot without realizing that my ancestors made the singer want to die.




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


Center: (v) to place in the middle

It’s an old joke, but since there are so many young folks around, I will venture to share it, with the aspiration that it might fall on fresh ears.

The story is that a gentleman from Kentucky found himself in a quandary when the Civil War broke out. He did not want to choose sides. He
discovered that the Union Army was clad in blue and those from Dixie had selected gray. Thinking himself a genius and desiring to place himself in the center, free of conflict, he put on blue pants for the Union, and a gray jacket as a tribute to the South.

When the two armies converged at his doorstep to determine his allegiance, the Union Army shot him in the shoulder and the Confederates shot him in the leg.

There is a belief that a center–a compromise or moderation–can be found in everything. It is an interesting theory which over the years has proven to be flawed.

There are some issues that cannot be mollified. They’re just too important.

  • There can be no “Great Compromise” when it comes to slavery.
  • There cannot be a “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military for the gay servicemen and women.

Sometimes we have to come down on one side or another.

Because sometimes a center is not a solution, but rather, an attempt to avoid one.


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





Boon: (n) a thing that is helpful or beneficial.

In the pursuit of progress, it is paramount that we learn what is so important to the human race that we dare not surrender it.Dictionary B

I completely agree that putting leeches on human skin to suck out the bad blood of disease was a horrible idea.

Turning Africans into slaves to work plantations without wages or a retirement plan was sinister.

But we must understand, there are certain attributes of virtue which cannot be compromised simply because they seem tedious.

In the past thirty years, love has been translated from an action into a sentiment.

This has been very subtle.

We have allowed our entertainers, our politicians and even our religionists to convince us that love is a high-sounding ideal, but most of the time beyond our grasp. Therefore, we are encouraged to settle for lesser representations, like friendliness, giving to the poor, or even lust.

There is only one boon to the human race.

There is only one condition that creates the oil of gladness that lubricates us for bumping up against one another.

It is love.

We cannot give up on it.

Matter of fact, our mission is to define it in such realistic ways that we just naturally pursue it.

Without this, we begin to believe that individuality is holy–instead of the communion of souls in gentle compromise.


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

Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon




Backlash (n) a strong and adverse reaction by a large number of people, especially to a social or political development.

“Racism is back.”Dictionary B

That’s what I heard somebody say in a news report yesterday.

You see, racism never goes away because of two simple problems:

  1. Human beings are marred by the need to be better than someone else.
  2. Since this is true, no one will let you be better than them.

Thus racism.

So racism is a backlash against failing to deal with your own insecurities. If you are able to admit where you are uncertain about your own abilities and start a vigil of effort to improve your situation, you are much too busy to worry about the color of skin, the curve of a nose or the slant of an eye.

But if you feel that the definition of fairness is, “I should be fine the way I am,” then you will look for ways to diminish your competition in order to adequately uplift your mediocrity.

Here’s the truth: the white plantation owners couldn’t get their family, children and friends to bear the heat of the day to pick a cotton crop. Call it laziness or poor genetic engineering.

So they created a whole philosophy around the inferiority of the black man because of the inability to take care of their own business.

Then they punished the black man because he did the work they were unable to achieve and survived the punishment without striking back and killing them.

So what am I saying?

Racism is jealousy hidden behind superiority. “We just can’t get it done.”

It is the backlash we levy against an innocent party.

Donate Button

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




A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button



Avid: (adj) having or showing a keen interest in or enthusiasm for something.

Confusing times increase the sales of antacids. (Forgive me–I was looking for an up-side.)dictionary with letter A

So after you run out and invest in Tums, International, please consider this: it will be necessary for you and I to become avid about certain causes and issues.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Without having some sort of conviction, we come across very dull, therefore decreasing our sexuality and monetary possibilities.
  2. Important causes will survive persecution and have a victory party, which we probably would like to attend.

How can you determine, in this crazy era of over-promotion, what purposes deserve your passion? Here’s a four-step process

A. Is it going to benefit me?

I understand it’s considered noble to appear selfless, but perhaps in doing so, we commit the most selfish act. None of us are selfless, so considering our own feelings will certainly occur. Therefore budgeting that in as a factor is only realistic

B. Will it come back to haunt me because of those I’ve mistreated?

Most of the time I don’t judge other people simply because I don’t want them looking into my business. It’s annoying to have people take inventory of your faults just because they’re trying to get even over a critical slip of your tongue

C. What is the history on the issue?

  • For instance, has slavery been successful throughout the ages?
  • How about forbidding rights to people?
  • Have individuals who hold “witch trials” ended up being considered innovative and generous?

Be smart. After all, history is just today with two weeks of vacation.

D. Will my involvement help?

There is a power in using what you have to do good. No doubt about that. There’s also a power in knowing when your personal contribution is worthless.

So there you go.

I know I have to be avid. Otherwise I will lull myself into an emotional sleep from which I will only be stirred with the warning signs of my heart attack. 

Donate Button

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




A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button



Auburn: (adj) (chiefly of a person’s hair) of a reddish-brown color.dictionary with letter A

My granddaughter thinks I’m over-sensitive.

Whenever she giggles about being isolated and having jokes told about her red hair, being referred to as a “ginger,” she thinks it’s cool.

I don’t.

When I read today’s word, auburn, I thought about the fact that people who have that unique coloration in their hair, would now be lumped in with those considered red-heads, and therefore dubbed “gingers.”

Prejudice is sneaky.

In the “olden days,” when black people picked cotton, no respectable white person would walk up to people with brown skin and call them “dumb niggers.”

They probably just joked about their “nappy hair.” All good-natured, you know–which opened the door to mentioning that their “black friend” also had large nostrils.

All the observations were accompanied with chuckles and maybe even a slap on the back.

The individual with black skin was disarmed by the jocular nature of the interaction. And so, what started off as seemingly harmless bantering moved into segregation and eventually with one person being the slave of another.

I’m sure Adolph Hitler did not walk into his first meeting with the Gestapo and say, “We need to kill the Jews.”

He probably joked around and said, “Don’t they have funny hair, and a hooked nose?”

For I am of a mindset that once we begin to focus on one another’s physical differences, in no time at all we are expressing our superiority.

I don’t like the “ginger” movement.

It’s where all the bigots against blacks, Mexicans and Asians have run to hide–since those forms of prejudice are now unacceptable.

Why can’t we say she just has beautiful auburn hair instead of finding a derogatory way of expressing it … insisting it’s all in fun?


Donate Button

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




A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button