Dark Continent

Dark continent: (n) reference to Africa

Although it’s never really organized, there is a definite attempt to rally for the victim—or make numerous excuses for the bully.

Both positions suffer from a weakness.

The bully and all his advocates appear defensive.

And the victim, trying to come across sympathetic, is often anemic—maybe even a little suspect.

Maintaining the insanity of racism requires a verbose bully and a wounded victim.

And may I say, as long as this profile is bolstered, the roles continue—bully and victim.

For perhaps two hundred years, Africa was referred to as the “Dark Continent.”

It was a conversational way of allowing the ignorance of our society, permitting them a tenuous explanation for egregious actions.

After all, the word “Dark” is simply a more clinical phrasing of “black.”

And adding “Continent” clarified that it was not part of Western expansion by the European explorers.

Merely consider how the slave traders were comforted, easing their conscience concerning stealing human beings by gently reminding one and all that these pieces of property had been poached from a Dark Continent.

Hell, they might even have done them a favor—escaping the treachery of their own surroundings.

We must remember that racism never really goes away.

It just changes its lingo and softens its rationalization.

 

Commiserate

Commiserate: (v) to express or feel sympathy or pity; sympathize.

It’s almost like the human being runs on two gas tanks. (Perhaps it’s foolish to try to compare our species to a combustible engine, but if you will forgive my simplicity, I will make the analogy.)

We have one gas tank that fuels us to achieve, and we have another tank that helps us putter along in self-pity.

Obviously, following this comparison through to a conclusion, the tank we fill up more often determines much of our happiness, success and value.

The problem comes when deciding where to place our feelings and attitudes when assisting others. Should we challenge, or should we commiserate?

And if we decide to encourage, which tank are we filling? Are we being sympathetic, which makes our friends believe they are victims? Or are we attempting to be uplifting, stirring them out of their doldrums?

It may sound tender-hearted to commiserate, but honestly, very little is achieved by filling up the self-pity tank of someone you love.

That engine has no power to do anything but sustain idle–not rocket them into the stars.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Combative

Combative: (adj) ready or eager to fight; pugnacious.

No one who has been to war is anxious to get back.

No soldier who’s seen his buddy explode next to him is convinced that the flag is worth such a horrible sacrifice.

No general yearns to put his plans to the test in the field of blood and gore unless he is completely out of his mind.

But in the same theme, none of us should ever walk into a room knowing we haven’t had enough sleep, haven’t worked out a conflict in our lives or are reluctantly participating in an event–and subject those around us to our combative nature.

In a gathering of a hundred people who are circling around and fellowshipping, it only takes three individuals slipped into the mix, who have shown up in bad moods and ready to argue, to turn the remaining ninety-seven into either frightened victims or triggered their angry monsters.

The human race is combative.

Somehow or another we have convinced ourselves that war changes boundaries or establishes authority.

All war does is steal away a generation of fertile, creative and productive minds.

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Chit-chat

Chit-chat: (n) inconsequential conversation.

Perhaps the greatest kindness we do to other human beings is to listen to them. But we must be aware that if we point eyes and ears in their direction, we also must be prepared to endure.

Sometimes it astounds me–what people think is important. Even more bewildering is why they think I would feel it is important.

Yet at the cost of the losing a huge wedge of my time, I will stand and listen to people rattle on about their granddaughter’s or their grandson’s innate ability to play piano, beginning with the surprising revelation that at age five they had mastered “Chopsticks.”

On top of this. visual aids suddenly appear. Yes, pictures come out of purses and wallets. (This requires that I comment on how attractive the children are, no matter how much their features may contradict my praise.)

It’s called chit-chat. And the main problem with it is, once you’ve been targeted as a victim, you lose hours of time for very little appreciation.

After all, nobody walks away and says, “That guy is a magnificent listener!” Actually, they stroll away thinking how interesting they must have been–for me to remain for so long.

Yes. I end up encouraging a verbal criminal–someone who forces himself on other humans, raping them of all sensibility.

Chit-chat is often used to avoid real conversation about pertinent issues. It’s a way of saying “I like you” without ever saying, “I love you.” It’s a way of being heard without needing to listen, especially if you develop the annoying vice of interruption.

When the world is falling apart and the meteors are streaming to the Earth and the atomic bombs are exploding in every direction, there will be some person standing on a street corner, boring a friend, talking about his daughter’s amazing second-place finish in the school spelling bee.

Donate Button

Bouquet

Bouquet: (n) an attractively arranged bunch of flowers

When you live in a small town, there is usually only one of everything:Dictionary B

  • One drugstore
  • One grocery outlet
  • And one florist

When I was a young boy beginning to dabble in the witchery of romance, I decided, on the arrival of my third date with a young lady, to purchase some flowers. My parents, in an attempt to be supportive, told me I could charge them down at the Bellgrade Floral Shop.

So I walked in, a complete novice, intimidated, and fell victim to a helpful clerk.

She pitied me. She thought it was cute that I was going to buy flowers for my girlfriend. She immediately began to make suggestions. Not wanting to discourage her or come across as a rube, I nodded and agreed to each one of her many considerations.

When she was done, adding in all the baby’s breath (which she explained to me) I had a huge bouquet of flowers. It was impressive.

She asked the question. “How would you like to pay for this?”

Obedient son that I was, I told her that it was to go on my parents’ account. I was thrilled, and my girlfriend was over the moon about her array of garden beauties.

Two weeks later I was called in to my mother and father’s presence because they had received the bill from the Bellgrade Floral Shop.

Fifty-three dollars.

And keep in mind, this was in an era when my dad made seventy-five dollars a week. So he was red with rage and my mother could barely breathe. They asked me, “Why did you spend so much money on those flowers?”

I had no real answer.

I did not know how to explain how the combination of the fragrant greenhouse, the happiness of my girlfriend and the salesmanship of the lady … had swept me away.

 

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

 

 

Bombshell

Bombshell: (n) a very attractive woman.

Sometimes it’s just not enough to attract.Dictionary B

Even though we spend a lot of money and too many hours trying to become more attractive, we also expend equivalent energy insisting that we are loved for something other than our outward appearance.

I guess there’s a great advantage to being ugly–because you know if you attract anyone in your direction, it’s legitimate.

From time to time I think about the life of Marilyn Monroe.

Whatever she truly wanted to achieve, she failed to accomplish, causing her to misuse drugs and end up the victim of an overdose.

What did she want?

She wasn’t totally innocent–in the sense that she certainly did use her sexuality to gain prominence. But once that was acquired, she was stuck with the perception that she was nothing more than a blithe, flighty, unaware female with a good body, tempting every man to prove that he could be her supreme lover.

The smirks, the snickers and the lascivious smiles that trailed her probably exhausted her already-burdened spirit, and made her wish for anonymity.

Or maybe she was just a spoiled brat, who wouldn’t have been happy with anything.

I don’t know.

Does anybody know?

But since human sexuality encompasses such a small amount of space in our lives, to give much effort to blow it out of proportion is tiresomely vain.

Yes, I imagine the true problem of being a bombshell is that you just never know when it’s going to blow up in your face. 

 

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

 

 

Bib

Bib: (n) a piece of cloth or plastic fastened around a person’s neck to keep their clothes clean while eating.

Dictionary B

It is impossible to escape ridiculous.

Stop trying.

The only factor even in consideration is whether you’re going to be ridiculous by choice or ridiculous by accident.

Some people prefer being ridiculous by accident. Then they can pull up lame and be the victim of circumstance.

I would always rather be ridiculous by choice. Let me give you an example.

Many years ago, I was invited to be the guest speaker at a banquet. I had just purchased a lovely white suit. Well, actually, at the time I thought it was lovely, but now it would be overstated and draw too much attention.

Yet on this occasion I wore this new suit.

When I arrived for the meal, I discovered that the menu was spaghetti and meatballs.

I am not embarrassed to tell you that it is difficult for me, for some reason or another, to take a sip of water without spilling a drop or two on my front.

It is not an issue of dexterity, but rather, the distance that must be covered and possibly, some of my nervous energy due to memories of previous spillage.

So even though as the guest speaker, I was sitting at the front table, I found a huge dish towel from the kitchen and wrapped it around my neck, hanging down the front of my white suit, to counteract what I was sure would be an avalanche of drippings from my spoon and fork.

I made me a bib.

The towel was ugly. It apparently had been owned by a child and had the picture of a bear eating a bowl of porridge.

I looked ridiculous.

But I smiled through the whole dinner, knowing I had made a good choice.

Especially when I looked down and saw my new little bear friend … completely covered in spaghetti sauce.

Donate Button

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