Dap

Dap: (v) to dip lightly or suddenly into water

Excuse me, America.

How would you classify your philosophy of life?

Pardon me, but I seem to have bewildered you with the question. Maybe I should clarify both the term “philosophy of life” and the word “classify.”

“Classify”—as in determine a common ingredient.

And “philosophy of life?”

The motivator that motivates you–to keep you motivated.

Does that help?

I see. You don’t misunderstand the question, you just resent it. After all, why should any one person be trapped into making a distinction on what is important?

But just for little ole’ me—how would you classify your philosophy of life? Just for conversation’s sake.

If you’re still unwilling to answer the question, may I offer an observation or two:

It seems to me that many of my fellow-Americans are very interested in the dap—or dapping—which might place them in the category of being dappers.

  • A little religion.
  • A splash of science.

A post or two on social media, with a tiny splat of generosity and a splurt of opinionated tweets, which some might deem prejudice.

Just a little, if you don’t mind.

“A little off the top. A little off the sides.”

A little off the norm so we can proclaim ourselves “inventive.”

Just a dap.

Because it is ridiculous to become sold out on a show that no one may attend.

What is going to be popular?

Where can I put my toe in the water without making a foothold?

Where can I taste it on my tongue without having to swallow?

Just a little.

Then, if it doesn’t work out, I can always say I was just curious—or deep in my heart, I always knew differently, and certainly, no one ever got me to definitively sign on the dotted line.

I smile when any politician believes he or she has gained the support of America.

Do you ever reach the heart of a dapper?

One who daps? One who just grazes opportunity?

If we’re not too involved, we can always have plausible deniability. That’s why gradually, America has gone from a 93% belief in God, down into the mid-to-high 70’s. And we will continue to drop our belief in the Divine One as we discover how unpopular it is to be registered among the faithful.

It’s much easier to say, “We are spiritual. We have a sense of wonder.”

Much better than proclaiming, “I believe.”

Because the pronouncement of “I believe” is always followed by someone staring you in the eye and challenging, “Prove it.”

 

Biopsy

Biopsy: (n) an examination of tissue removed from a living body

Dictionary B

I got sick.

I mean, really sick.

There are so many times that we are convinced that we are ill or have contracted some mysterious disease, or contend that we are presently “under the weather” that we fail to recognize what it means to be in trouble.

The body is a great megaphone of its own condition.

In other words, when you’re ailing, every single part of your anatomy sends a memo, an email, and even tweets, “Danger.”

There’s little doubt.

I found myself in the hospital under the care of a lovely female doctor from China. She was beautiful in all ways. We immediately struck a chord of friendship, even though by cultural standards we had little in common. For some reason, she liked me, and I certainly appreciated and loved her for her soul and gifts.

She scheduled a series of tests. I could tell by her demeanor that she was worried that I had cancer and that we had caught it too late.

I will never forget lying on my hospital bed the night before my colonoscopy, alone in the dim lights with a few machines whirring and tweaking in the background.

It was just me…and me.

I thought about my own death.

I thought about dying soon.

I realized that to a barbarian fighting in Gaul in 32 B. C. that my death was insignificant, whether it happened next week or forty years from now. After all, what’s forty years to a Gaelic barbarian who’s been dead for over 2,000?

Of a certainty I was going to die. The question was, which ailment, disease, condition or speeding bus was going to perform the task?

Gradually, peace settled into my soul. It was a peace accompanied by an unexpected comedic, jovial sense of well-being.

For certainly, unless an angel of God was going to enter my bowels and produce a miracle overnight, what was in me was soon going to be made evident–and all I had left was the class and style that I could muster, to deal with the biopsy.

As it turned out, there was no problem and my young doctor came bouncing into the room with tears in her eyes, speaking half English and half Chinese, which I translated as “all is well.”

Yes, my friend, all is well until all isn’t well.

Between those two stations lies the possibility for some beautiful living.

 

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Appoint

dictionary with letter A

Ap·point (v): to assign a job or role to someone.

Everyone has stood emotionally naked in a gymnasium and endured the indignity, nervous energy and frantic, sweaty sensation of choosing up sides. It is such a ridiculous practice, pursued by adults so that they are not forced to appoint people to teams, perhaps in doing so, creating greater balance.

And it does generate a natural inclination for those who are selected early on in the process as being preferable, to cheat and lie in order to maintain the status of their prowess.

We just love to vote in this country.

  • We can’t sit and enjoy music. We have to pit singers against each other.
  • We can’t even allow a chef to make a meal on television without having a food fight.
  • And we certainly manufacture awards for our children, to extol their macaroni and glue picture.

Although we insist that “all men are created equal,” we privately want to be supreme.

This is why I sometimes believe it would be better to appoint a President. Maybe we would consider things like qualifications, intelligence, resolve and willingness to work with others in the process instead of just how well he fills out a suit or can devise a cute tweet.

I often wonder if I would be further along if I campaigned instead of just created.

What if I promoted myself more than projecting my ideas?

What if I insisted on being given place instead of taking the place I’ve been given, and become insistent on great notions?

I don’t trust the vote. It is debilitated by human preference, the presence of ego and the chicanery of tricksters.

The very best jobs I have seen accomplished happened when people with a mature outlook on life admitted their weaknesses and appointed the right person to the right job.

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Alight

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alight: (v) descend from the air and settle: e.g. a lovely blue swallow alighted on the branch

It’s really outdated. Matter of fact, if you used the term today it would have to be a comical retro reference to a former time.

“Heavy.”

I don’t know why we considered that word cool. I guess we thought it communicated that some concept was deep, containing a weight of wisdom.

It certainly would not go over in this day and age, where we think profundities are achieved by explaining on Facebook or in a Tweet how we plan to go to the grocery store to pick up a can of pimentos. (LOL)

And honestly, even in the era when “heavy” was considered to be contemporary, many of the ideas being passed along were purposely obtuse, in order to appear to be intellectual.

Here’s what I know: really great ideas and powerful words of encouragement and joyful exhortation … alight.

  • They land on the soul effortlessly, with a bit of jubilation and simplicity.
  • They encourage us to exhale as we appear to be holding our breath in anxiety.
  • They suggest the possibility of a solution in what seems to be a terminally dismal cave.
  • They cause us to giggle instead of sitting around envisioning scenarios of doom

Wisdom is brief, it is easy, it is non-burdensome and it is evidence that we are not alone.

Some people feel extraordinarily astute by complicating living situations, offering a climate of ferocious debate which establishes them as brilliant and insightful, but I have found that true spirituality, divine emotion, ordained intelligence and great movement is best when it alights in our being, weightless but worthy.

Heavy just makes us sag at the shoulders under the oppression.

We need a generation of intelligent people who can have the wisdom of the serpent … but alight as harmless as doves.

 

Accolade

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accolade: (n) an award or privilege granted as a special honor or as an acknowledgment of merit

Famous accolades or prizes you wish could be awarded to you:

1. Your wife does not chase you out of the kitchen because she’s afraid you’ll blow up the blender.

2. Your husband comes home early from a night of being out with the guys to be with you, because he’s bored with their conversation.

3. Your boss asks your opinion and actually makes eye contact while you offer a suggestion.

4. The lovely young girl in the men’s section of the department store guesses your size, and it’s too small.

5. Your teenage son or daughter is not embarrassed to introduce you to his or her friends.

6. Your teenage son or daughter has a teacher who doesn’t giggle when he or she meets you.

7.  Your minister actually preaches less the Sunday following your comment on a lengthy sermon.

8.  Your banker smiles at you when you walk in the door instead of turning and darting into his office.

9. The guy in the meat department at the grocery store saves some “good steaks” for you because you’re such a good customer, while simultaneously frightening you with stories of what they’ve done to the “other meat.”

10.  You look in the mirror and it’s not as bad as you thought.

11.  It is as bad as you thought but the steam from the shower keeps you from looking in the mirror.

12.  Your dog leaps in the air when you walk in the room, and even pees himself at the notion of being in your presence.

13.  Your cat, who refuses to recognize that you exist, disappears one night without a trace. (Investigation still in progress . . .)

14. You finished your first tweet … and someone tweeted back.

15. You took your car to the dealership and found out that there was really nothing wrong with it, and even though they spent twenty minutes looking at it, they didn’t charge you because you are such a good customer.

16.  You arrive at Kentucky Fried Chicken just as they’re about to close, and they ask you if you’d like all the leftover pieces they were going to throw away–free of charge.

17.  The person you love thinks you’re loveable and sexy.

18. It’s a beautiful, sunshiny day, and you’ve found a radio station that plays music instead of just hits.

19. You die and arrive at the pearly gates and discover that Cloud 9 is available.

20. You have found new accolades that start your motor and keep you going, even though to some people, they appear to be insignificant.

Remember–an accolade is not something that the world considers to be worthy of consideration. An accolade is what YOU consider worthy of joyful appreciation … while you’re living in this world.

Abridge

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abridge: (v.): 1. to shorten (a book, movie, text or speech) without losing the sense. 2. curtail: Even the right to free speech can be abridged.

This happened to me several months ago.

I realized that my essays, speeches, and even books were getting too long. They needed to be abridged. But you see, the only problem with making something shorter is that the evidence of truth is often hidden in the longer discourse.

But our entire world is abridged, via texting, tweeting and even an instinct to summarize deep concepts into brief sound bytes. So I was thinking about famous thoughts or virtues that were once spoken in some length that now would be abridged in our society for the sake of convenience and ease of comprehension:

The Sermon on the Mount — It probably would be summarized via a tweet, to four words: Be good to people. Much would be lost in the translation,k but the tweeter would certainly insist that the summary was sufficient and specifics, unnecessary.

The Gettysburg Address: “Lots of dead people. Let’s honor them.” Even though Abraham Lincoln thought he WAS being brief, his words would still not fit into a tweet.

The Declaration of Independence: “We’re all the same, so chill out.” Thomas Jefferson’s eloquence might be lost in this rendition, but you cannot really tweet multi-syllabic words without abbreviating them anyway.

And of course, there’s The Bible, which would basically be tweeted out: “There is a God. Act accordingly.”

Even though I see the value of an occasional Reader’s Digest abridging of certain aspects of human communication, there are thoughts that require the beauty of language and the interlacing of the fabric of phrases.

So brevity is the soul of wit–but sometimes being witty is not nearly as pretty.