Cluster

Cluster: (n) a group

To anyone under the age of thirty, the word “cluster” is mentally followed by “fuck.”

To anyone over the age of thirty, that particular interpretation may be bumped by the consideration of peanut or almond candy.

Because I’m writing and interacting with people of all ages, I must be careful not to use words like “cluster.”

A “cluster of ideas,” which might be included in one of my essays, would cause the millennials to giggle, and those older folks to salivate for chocolate.

Some words have worn out their usefulness, or have been so tainted or tinted that they cannot be slid into normal conversation.

Such is the word cluster.

So even though I may be tempted to refer to a “cluster of activities” or a “cluster of problems” or a “cluster of opportunities,” I must catch myself–because cluster has already established its mission and is not allowed to take on any new significance.

 

Donate Button

Advertisements

Answer

dictionary with letter A

Answer: (n) 1. a response to a question. 2. a solution to a problem or dilemma.

“I want answers.”

I’ve said it. And I have certainly heard it fall from the lips of friends and human beings passing before me.

It sounds noble, doesn’t it?

I’ve even made the mistake of trying to provide some insight or guidance to those who have proclaimed they require wisdom.

Yet I’m careful not to speak on things I haven’t experienced myself. As tempted as we are to pass on stories we have read on the Internet, they could be fostered by fools like me.

But now, since I have a bit of dust on my chaps from the journey, I pause when people ask for answers, and wait to see what follows.

It usually comes in one of three forms:

  1. “We want answers because we sure don’t think this is going to work.”
  2. “We want answers because the ones that have been provided for us are not very pleasant.”
  3. “We want answers because we want to be the first ones to come up with the answer.”

As you can see:

  • #1 is already discouraged.
  • #2 is pissed off.
  • And #3 is driving a huge Cadillac of ego.

So what am I listening for? What would I like to hear in my own inner voice?

“I want answers and I’m willing to be wrong and even learn something new to get them.”

Because let’s be candid with one another–if what we’re doing isn’t working, it probably won’t work any better if we polish it up. Something has to change.

Politics won’t improve until it ceases to be a party contest. Religion must find a balance between the depravity of man and the all-blessed goodness of humans. And entertainment must consider the responsibility to inspire and not just alarm.

So I ask myself, do I want answers?

On some things.

On others … I need time to shed my stupidity.

Donate Button

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

Ancillary

dictionary with letter A

Ancillary: (adj) providing necessary support to primary activities or operation of an organization, institution or system.

It’s a two-step process. At least, I think so.

This thing we call life–or the pursuit of it–affords a dual purpose:

  1. Find out what’s really important.
  2. Get behind the importance.

I’m tempted, like the next guy or lady, to be distracted by temporary terrors and fleeting fads. Matter of fact, I suppose to some degree there’s a certain amount of excitement in chasing your own tail.

But in the long run, or even in the short run, the most fulfilling way to live a human life is to be supportive of important things.

They are few. Isn’t that good? If there were too many important things, we could quickly become overwhelmed.

I remember when my mother-in-law died, her attorney explained that it would be our responsibility to make sure that final expenses and bills were paid. So feeling the need to come across as officious, I asked him to send us these expenditures quickly.

He laughed and said, “There’s really no hurry. After all, your mother-in-law’s not worried about her credit rating.”

Absolutely.

So even though money, status, clothing, food, family, houses, cars and possessions are always jockeying for our full focus, they really are not important.

They are needed–just not the kind of ideas and goals that should encompass our thinking.

So it really boils down to two things. Well, actually three:

  • God
  • Me
  • People.

And I am warned in the Good Book that I should take care of “me” first. Otherwise, I will be constantly nervous about covering my own behind.

And then, miraculously, God and people sort of merge into one project. Because truthfully, whatever I feel about people and how I treat them is the same thing I feel about God.

The Golden Rule is the most sensible concept ever devised. It tells me to find out what I want, then to assume that others also have wants and needs–and to be equally as sensitive to theirs as I am to mine.

It is the only way to be ancillary to the needs of our planet. After all, whether global warming or climate change is exaggerated or not, it certainly won’t hurt me to address kindness in the direction of God’s creation.

Whether there is crime in the world and immorality is insignificant to me finding my peace of mind and spreading that as a gift to others.

I will tell you as a friend, if you continue to chase the whim of our society, you will end up ignoring what is truly important, and therefore pass your time with trivial details, never being supportive of greatness.

Find out what’s important, and then suddenly everything you do … gains importance.

Donate Button

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