Clarify: (v) to make things less confused

In our attempts to discover right and wrong, good timing and bad timing, and safe or unsound, we have become excellent liars.

Not willing to take a chance on sharing what we feel–out of a deep fear that we might be incorrect–we have developed a series of “wedge
statements” which seem to fit into any given clumsy moment, offering absolutely no insight or means of clarifying.

Things like:

“We have that under advisement”

“That’s something we were just talking about the other day”

“We have a committee checking into that”

“We are collecting data”

“Of course we want to do what’s right for the American people”

“This is no time to make rash decisions”

All of these squeaky-clean, insipid excuses may avoid committment, but have more and more of our citizens ending up committed (mainly to mental hospitals).

Somewhere along the line, you have to clarify your position, even if you happen to be completely out-of-whack.

After all, holding a cough in does not get rid of the foul mucus. Likewise, holding in an opinion does not dispel ignorance. It just allows it to grow like mushrooms in a dark cave.

“Let me clarify my position” is not an attempt to prove your point. It lets those around you have an awareness and sensitivity of the emotional air you are presently breathing–so they will know how to offer you oxygen.


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At: (prep) expressing location or time of an eventdictionary with letter A

It is the most important step of maturing–and I don’t mean that as an overwrought assessment.

I have spent my entire life trying to learn where to be at. (And that includes overcoming my fear of ending in a preposition.)

At is everything.

90% of our wasted energy is ending up in the wrong place with the passion to do the right thing.

We get confused by at:

We try to follow the beckoning of a society which has learned how to scream without using reason.

We try to follow the trends of fashion, only to end up with a closet of quickly outdated threads.

Finding out where to be at is allowing yourself the silence of consideration and the patience of timing.

I am of a great conviction that I am exactly at where I should be. Many of my friends would disagree. Their inclination would be that I should increase my intensity or give in to aging.

  • At is more than a location.
  • At is more than timing.
  • At is much more than a state of being.

At is the gift provided for the observant soul who is willing to adjust locales and cross time zones … in order to achieve better results.

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


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbattuta: (adv.) a musical term meaning to return to strict tempo.

Sometimes I think life should be more musical–not in the sense of bursting into song while you’re waiting for your meatball sandwich at Subway, but musical in the sense of flourishes in timing, with exciting melodies and enhancing harmonies. Music grants you the ability to suddenly play very fast. And then … you can abattuta! Return back to your strict timeframe.

Life is not that way. It takes sixty seconds to make a minute, an equal number of minutes to make an hour, and twenty-four of them eventually make a day. Wouldn’t it be great if you had some sort of control–like a conductor’s baton–to make certain portions of your daily composition go quicker?

In other words, when you go to the dentist and he’s drilling on your teeth, you could increase the tempo–get out of the chair with a flourish. And then, as you were allowing the Novocaine to wear off and you stop at that Steak and Shake to reward yourself with a delicious chocolate-marshmallow milkshake, you could slow the tempo w-a-a-y down, allowing the ooey-gooey to eek its way down your throat.

You could speed up church services and slow down romance.

You could accelerate the interchanges you have with your children to confirm that you’re a good parent, and slow down the ending of the game, which finally, for a change, is actually close and interesting.

Maybe that’s the whole problem–life is too abattuta. Because when we try to relish moments, the clock frowns at us and continues its steady pursuit of strict formality.

Yes, clocks are like that. Still, I will search for a way to freeze moments so I can enjoy them even more as they thaw out. And I will hum songs and think happy thoughts to speed through those activities that are truly grueling and boring. Yet I know there will always be the abattuta to taunt me back to the mature notion of remaining in strict time.

I guess I never saw God as the conductor of an orchestra. To me, He’s more like the guy who plays the triangle. He lets the symphony ensue, but every once in a while, inserts his two-note passage that seems to make all the difference in the world.