Daughter

Daughter: (n) a female child or person in relation to her parents.

 I think I spent more time studying daughters, even though I only had sons, than I might have if my children had been girls.

There is a tremendous responsibility for a man to understand a woman.

That’s why it is so sinister for the sarcastic theater and the socially stunted church to make relationships between men and women seem so unlikely and unfulfilling.

Six sons came through my house.

Three of them were my natural children and three were my godsons.

I immediately realized they were not getting adequate training on their relationships with the female gender by hanging out with friends, watching television or attending school.

For some reason, we are completely satisfied to make male and female conflict a part of our culture, holding gender equality at bay.

I don’t know what I would tell my daughters about boys. But I do know what I told my young gentlemen about women.

I explained that it’s set up perfectly.

I mean, the way a woman is constructed is ideal for interaction.

It is polite to start at the head and go to the toe.

In her head is a brain.

Get to know it. Study it. Have sympathy for the struggles. Help her ease out of her culture, where her upbringing was short-sighted, and allow her to do the same for you.

Next are the eyes.

How do they see? Is it a small world? A big world? Or a dangerous world?

The lips.

What does she speak? Do you easily discern her messages? Or are they too garbled and unclear due to her training? Help her find her voice.

How about those ears?

Women, like men, have not been instructed to listen. They envision a verbal conflict with the opposite sex, so they are prone to close off their hearing. Learn to hear each other.

A chin.

It’s easy nowadays to see that chin sink over the simplest of offenses. For some reason, depression has become synonymous with “deep thinking.” Foolishness. If a man loves a woman and a woman loves a man, they help each other keep that chin up, and eyes on the goals.

The heart.

Fortunately, it’s near the breast. I always told my boys to consider that the appreciation they have for the female breast is also expressed through a respect for her heart—her feelings.

As you can see, as you ease down from the top, love has a chance to grow. So by the time you get to the flesh and the sexuality, there’s a purpose for it.

On the other hand, if you start there, you will wade into emotions you don’t understand.

As for the legs and feet, they take her where she decides to go. She should have her own determination, based upon the joys of sex, which were enhanced by having an understanding of emotions in learning how to “face” one another.

I never had a daughter, but I probably would tell her much the same.

We are not as different from each other as advertised.

What keeps men and women apart is a calloused indifference—because we think we know everything.

Brigadier

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brigadier: (n) a rank of officer in the army, above colonel and below major general.

Sometimes foolishness gets a pass, but it has to be legitimate foolishness. Dictionary BI’m talking about that fresh kind that just slipped out of your stupid brain because of your ignorance. If you’ve done foolishness before, you can’t claim that it’s “innocent foolishness.”

I did a foolish thing.

I was so young, self-inspired and full of false confidence that life decided not to punish me for my presumption.

My younger brother decided to join the army. Considering he had never even played with army men and walked with the sensitivity of a marshmallow, the idea was ludicrous. But it was in full swing before any of us realized that he had sauntered off to be a soldier.

The first we knew of it was upon receiving a call from basic training, where he pleaded for us to “get him out of there”–or he was going to commit suicide.

Now, I can discuss with you the unfairness of him placing me in that situation, but instead, I will tell you that in an attempt to be a good big brother, I called the army base where he was doing his imitation of G.I. Joe, and talked to a Brigadier General. Now, I don’t know exactly what a Brigadier General is, but it sounds a whole lot more important than me.

For some reason, he took my call. I don’t know why. Maybe he was just a nice guy. Maybe he couldn’t believe that someone was asking for his younger brother to be released from basic training.

His first inclination was to laugh at me. After all, you can’t maintain a volunteer army while promising a money-back guarantee. If everyone who was displeased with the accommodations at “Fort Kick Your Ass” was released immediately, we wouldn’t have enough soldiers to march in a small-town parade.

So on the first call he chuckled.

On my second call, he took the fatherly approach, explaining how the military works.

On the third call he appealed to my patriotism.

On call 54, he asked me if I knew how powerful he was.

But somewhere along the line, on the 93rd call, he paused. This is what the Brigadier asked me:

“You’re going to keep calling me until we release him, aren’t you?”

I replied, “You can just stop taking my calls.”

“Then I would have a suicidal assistant to deal with,” he presented.

I really don’t know what happened.

I don’t know if what I said made any difference at all.

But this fine Brigadier General realized that I was sincere and that my brother was not even suited to the rigors of being a back-up in the chorus line.

They released him.

It was a miracle.

But actually, it was an expansive piece of grace … granted by a man who was trained to be ruthless.

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Brain

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brain: (n) intellectual capacity

A friend of mine bought a German shepherd. He did so as a means of protecting his house.

He named the dog Rugby.Dictionary B

Rugby was probably one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever encountered in my life. I was absolutely enthralled with the kindness of this creature, but certainly convinced that Rugby was incapable of guarding anything. He was even patient with the four-year-old child who lived in the house, who was enamored with the animal’s nose, and continually tried to pluck it from his face.

I laughed at my friend when he insisted that Rugby was a replacement for a burglar alarm.

Then one day we went off on a brief shopping trip. As we returned, pulling into the driveway, we heard barking and growling. It sounded very aggressive–frightening to the ears.

Stepping into the house, we discovered a terrified gentleman penned in the corner, held prisoner by a very intimidating Rugby.

Apparently the man had decided to come into the house to steal some items to sell at the pawn shop–only to discover that the house was well protected by a deceptively dutiful German shepherd.

The man begged to have the dog called off.

As soon as my friend called the police, he motioned to Rugby to come to his side, and the family pet returned–with a wagging tail and a panting tongue.

You may ask me what this story has to do with the brain. Here it is:

The brain is like Rugby.

It doesn’t have any natural inclinations of its own, but only brings forth its training when the situation arises.

  • If you think being smart makes you generous, you are sadly mistaken.
  • If you believe that a formal education causes you to be ingenious, you will be disappointed.

A brain is merely a “thing” until something breaks in, and it does what it was trained to do.

 

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Bias

Bias: (n) prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group

Dictionary B

“Choose up sides.”

It happens early in our training, especially in elementary school.

Two captains are picked, which already establishes a bias toward a pair of students who are certainly preferred.

It is up to these two students to hand select their favorite individuals in a sequence which communicates to the entire room the new social order for the second-grade cult.

It may seem harmless–and especially seems to be free of guile for those who are selected early or who happen to be the captains.

But if you’ve ever been the last one selected, you are fully aware that bias leaves a lasting mark which is difficult to erase with the pencils provided during your years of education.

In many ways, the bias toward race begins on the playground.

We start off with only one race–that being “let’s go fast.” But as we describe to our teachers and families our newfound friends, we are suddenly discouraged from playing with them because somehow or another they are “different.”

Reinforcing this training is the notion that “girls are different from boys.”

“Smart people are different from less smart people.”

And the word different has two definitions:

  • If the difference is mine, it is better.
  • If the difference is yours, it is inferior.

It is impossible to celebrate cultures without promoting bias.

Yet we continue to do so, having children don sombreros on Cinco de Mayo, thinking that we are being multi-cultural–and also limiting the scope of a whole group of people to “a funny hat.”

Insanity is when we believe we solve a problem by creating a bigger one.

And bias is always the contention that the best way to understand people … is to punctuate their differences.

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Beatific

Beatific: (adj) blissfully happy; imparting holy bliss.Dictionary B

He probably smelled like sweat, grain and farts.

I’m talking about Jesus.

Since he was always on the move in an arid climate and there were no ways to prevent body odor, he reeked.

There was also no halo around his head to let you know that he was special, divine or even beatific.

  • What you had was an encounter.
  • What you possessed was your sense of wonder.
  • And what you had to decide for yourself was whether what you heard could contradict what you were seeing and smelling.

I supposed it would be easier if angels came with a glow. But actually, angels just come with truth. And even though the truth makes us free, we are not always in a hurry to discover our freedom, but are literally captivated by our error.

What tells us that the experience in front of us has eternal possibilities?

How can we know that we’re in the presence of greatness?

And how can we allow words and ideas which may seem contradictory to our training to come and soothe us with mercy and tenderness?

I don’t know the answer.

It is the way of mankind to ignore true value in favor of cheap exchange.

But we can take hope in the notion that beauty can often be identified by the presence of genuine humility.

 

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Badminton

Badminton: (n) a game with rackets in which a shuttlecock is played back and forth across a net.Dictionary B

My parents were so conservative that they didn’t allow us to refer to it as a “shuttlecock.”

They felt that was inappropriate.

Although they certainly wanted me to play badminton (which I found out later was due to the fact that it was so cheap to buy and maintain, and that no net was really necessary–you could just hit it over a clothes line) they were not pleased with the name given to the..well, what they called the “birdie.”

Of course by the time I got into high school, the word birdie made us giggle.

Without reservation, I will tell you that I basically hated the game. There was no skill involved in it unless you weighed about thirty pounds and were willing to run great distances brought about by the erratic flying of the shuttlecock. (Now I’m just saying it to rebel against my training.)

And it was very difficult to hit the thing right on its little nose, where it would fly straight. And then, upon striking it with all your might it would barely ascend five feet into the air before crashing onto the ground to avoid further abuse.

I was a big boy, so I normally found myself taking the tiny racquet and flailing in the air, and then making contact with the birdie sideways, on its wings, therefore having it fall. useless and dead.

I once saw a badminton tournament, and people seemed to know how to hit the thing and make it soar a great distance. But I must be honest–I had no curiosity whatsoever to ask them how they achieved this feat.

Badminton, like so many other things from my youth, was soon abandoned … and even more quickly forgotten.

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Acumen

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

 

Acumen: (n.) the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain: e.g. business acumen

We have convinced ourselves that ability is best achieved through training—and by training, we usually mean some sort of educational process granting us a degree or license to pursue an activity.

Here’s the problem: I have been to many doctor’s offices, where there were all sorts of awards hanging on the wall, and the technician standing before me has the personality of a beleaguered slug climbing a eucalyptus tree on a very hot day.

I have been in the presence of clergymen who have a doctorate in Biblical studies or Christian counseling, who have an interest in books but more or less deplore the sight of human beings.

Acumen, in our society, is permission to pursue a profession because you have adequately written down the correct answers on a piece of paper in an allotted amount of time to demonstrate your present level of knowledge on a given subject.

  • It does not mean you care.
  • It does not mean you’re evolving toward greater understanding.
  • And it certainly doesn’t mean that you even comprehend the “damn” that the tinker is supposed to pursue.

To me, acumen has to be measured in a much different way. Matter of fact, if you’ll allow me a little piece of silliness, I think the word should be broken down to “act like you mean it.”

That’s how I determine if I’m going to put my trust in another human being’s abilities. Just as grace covers a multitude of sins, passion certainly can disguise some levels of lessons yet unlearned.

Would I rather have someone convinced they’ve already achieved the right to pursue their craft, or would I prefer someone who is feverishly interested in the task and wants to learn how to do it more proficiently?

To me, that’s a no brainer

I’m tired of looking into the eyes of Congressmen and even into those of our President, and seeing weariness and boredom instead of light and intensity.

I am fed up with individuals who labor behind the desk in Customer Service, who obviously would rather shoot people with a gun than address their complaints.

And I am never going to be amiable to the notion of attending a church worship service where some monotone, anemic declaration of faith in God is revered simply because it has descended to a level of adequate somberness.

We will become a much better country when we stop touting our history, pointing to the achievements of our past, and instead, build a fire under our young people to hunger and thirst for righteous conclusions.

Acumen is not a one-time arrival at acceptability. It is a driving force inside us that tells us there is more to come if we will just act like we mean it.