Continent

Continent: (n) one of the main landmasses of the globe, usually reckoned as seven in number

It is 25,000 miles around the Earth.

I suppose if you are accustomed to driving four blocks to the grocery store that number seems outrageously large. But when you’re thinking about a home space for nearly eight billion people, that 25,000-mile number suddenly appears limited, if not confining.

Living space within that circumference is seven continents, if you’re willing to let Antarctica slip-slide its way in. Since even polar bears and funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
penguins are reluctant to occupy that particular Southern apartment, we’re down to six living areas.

It’s not that much.

It becomes almost comical, and then, if pursued too far, dangerous to eyeball one another as foreigners when we are such closely knit next-door-neighbors.

For instance, Africa can be considered a continent, a home for black people, or one of the six pieces of turf available. Perhaps this is why we’ve become so turfy.

There’s Europe and Asia, which have little evidence of a boundary, but continue as one whopping, huge space, peppered with cultures, when really, we’re all intended to just be the salt of the Earth.

South America is also filled with Americans, even though North America, and especially the United States, insists on claiming the title.

Australia, a country, boasts being a continent, and because they are so willing to share their “shrimp on the barbie,” we see no reason to argue with the congenial folk.

We are all within 25,000 miles of one another—when it’s 238,900 miles to the moon and ninety million to the sun.

And that is all within our solar system—when we exist in a universe that scoffs at being considered a mere billion galaxies.

Perspective.

Since the water is winning the war for Earth, as land becomes a little less every year, maybe it’s time for us to work on “neighborly” instead of weapons.


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Common Ground

Common ground: (n) a basis of mutual interest or agreement.

I do believe the quote is attributed to Sting, lead singer of “The Police.”

When explaining his tour into the Soviet Union, in one of his lyrics he offered the conclusion that “Russians love their children, too.”

It is so easy to sit on the precipice of destruction and discuss, like naughty brats, how much more our destructive weapons could kill your people than yours could destroy ours.

But in the long run, or in the short time it takes for a bomb to explode, people are dead–and most all of them look somewhat like us.

Anything that comes along to encourage the destruction of the planet, the deception of racism, the alienation of the genders or the false pride of a culture is the feeding frenzy for us pursuing the insanity of gobbling one another up in our social cannibalism.

Every single day, in every single way, in every single building where decisions are made about human life, three things have to be honored:

  1. Flesh may have color, but it is all basically the same.
  2. If people were created, they have one Father.
  3. We have not perfected a way to snatch life from death.

Slow down.

This is called common ground.

Everything else is just a silly argument among children about who can jump the highest, and who owns the shiniest bike.

 

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Circa

Circa: (prep) approximately (often preceding a date)

Circa the time that humans discovered fire, they started cooking their meat.

Circa the arrival of iron, swords and plowshares were made. (Unfortunately, our species preferred the weapon.)

Circa the revelation that knowledge could be transferred into manuscripts and eventually books, libraries were built to confirm the power of
our more docile wisdom.

Circa the season when souls from Africa were considered slaves and only two-fifths of a person, the “Abraham of America” came and made us all a great nation.

Circa the arrival of instruments came music.

Circa the introduction of music came soul-washing.

Circa the introduction of a madman, the atom was split.

Circa the dropping of a bomb, we discovered the power we have to destroy ourselves.

Circa one war after another, young men and women have learned to protest the insanity of blood-letting.

Circa the arrival of the Internet with the ability for international communication, there is a scream for moderation and a prayer for personal contact.

Circa this moment, we are in search of our heart.

Here’s hoping we find it.

 

 

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Cave

Cave: (n) a large underground chamber in a hillside or cliff.

Cave men.

We just accept that these individuals existed. Basically, they’re described as a step up from a gorilla, and a few steps down from a sophomore in high school.

Here’s the problem–at least, the situation for me. The fact that the human race lived in caves seems intelligent. The enclosure would be
completely safe from the outside elements and would not require to be rebuilt every time a storm came along to blow it down.

And also, inside these caves are drawings. Therefore these cave men, which are supposedly not much more intelligent than apes, found pieces of charcoal and were able, from their brains, to replicate things they had seen and sketch them on a rock wall.

I feel very confident that I am more intelligent than a monkey–but if you put me in a cave, I don’t know if I could find the charcoal to draw with, or come up with a picture that anyone would recognize.

So what were cave men?

Were they people without the resources to build huts, produce weapons and tools, who just chose to climb into caves to protect themselves?

Or was this just a phase in a mental evolution the human race went through, to get to where we are now?

For after all, how much progress have we made away from the man cave?

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Armaments

dictionary with letter A

Armament: (n) Military weapons and equipment. 

Do you realize that there are people in the world who get up every morning and go to work to try to come up with new ideas for weapons that are bigger and meaner than the ones we’ve already manufactured?

I don’t want to be self-righteous, but it’s certainly not a job I would want to pursue.

After all, once you’ve discovered an implement that’s capable of killing someone, doing it more effectively or with double power seems to be…well, over-kill.

There was a point in the 1960’s when both the U.S. and the Soviet Union touted that each was able to destroy the world ten times over through nuclear weapons.

Did they really intend on procuring nine other planets?

Or was this just little boys on the playground boasting on how far they could spit?

As long as we have a military budget which is built on discovering more creative ways to be destructive rather than maintaining an existing prowess that encourages peace, I think we may be guilty of some misappropriation of funds.

Armaments scare me. It’s not because I’m afraid to die.

It’s just because I don’t like to discuss modes of death… before I get there.

 

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Apex

dictionary with letter A

Apex: (n.) the top or highest point.

“Getting high.”

It’s too bad that phrase has been sullied by the drug culture, because it is so rich in truth and promise.

Everything in life has an apex, even though we often settle for the valley.

  • The apex of politics is a decision to be responsive to the needs of the people instead of chasing their whims.
  • The apex of the military is to convey a strength which discourages our enemies instead of using new weapons to experiment with their lethal carnage.
  • The apex of friendship is really honesty–having someone in your life who will tell you when your breath is bad.
  • The apex of spirituality is “love your neighbor as yourself” instead of debating “who is my neighbor?”
  • The apex of education is infusing knowledge which is workable to the student who wants to go out and pursue a craft.
  • The apex of sexuality is mutual pleasure.
  • The apex of finance is having enough for your needs, a little for your desire, and the balance to help others.
  • The apex of athleticism is the payoff of being in shape, whether you win the trophy or not.
  • The apex of commerce is to make a decent profit while feeling soul-satisfaction because you’ve delivered a quality product.
  • The apex of parenting is seeing the good parts of yourself in your children and allowing them to rebel against the bad.
  • And the apex of faith is working towards having the will of God done on Earth instead continually speculating on heaven.

I am in favor of getting high–just not chemically induced.

For finding the apex in life may be the true definition of “the high road.”

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AK-47

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

AK-47: (n) a type of assault rifle, originally manufactured in the Soviet Union.

It’s a big gun. That’s what I know.

I’ve never fired one of those. I have used a shotgun. That was pretty impressive.

Impressive… What do I mean by that?

I think guns are fascinating. Otherwise we wouldn’t want to play with them as children. After all, nobody wants a squirt-monkey or a squirt-hose. No, it’s a squirt-gun.

Being able to point something at somebody and dispel ammunition–even if it’s just water–is pretty thrilling. But you see, that’s the problem.

Somewhere along the line–at about the age of eleven or twelve–the bullets change from H2O to a helluva lot more deadly.

When would I want a gun?

  • If I were in the wilderness and a bear was getting ready to attack me, I think I would rather have a gun than a bow and arrow.
  • I guess if I was trapped on a desert island and was trying to track down game, using a bullet might be more effective than setting traps or throwing rocks.
  • I think if we’re going to insist on having wars, we should give our soldiers weapons to match the enemy’s, or be prepared to be enslaved by being “out-gunned.”

But I just don’t believe that guns are the answer to everything. It’s like so many other things in our society–the solutions we come up with seem to create their own dilemmas instead of alleviating conflict.

Putting a gun into the hands of a common man who, at this moment, is rational, does not mean that this person will be logical under the influence of alcohol, anger, frustration, or just dumb stupidity.

I guess what bothers me is the idea that law-abiding citizens require guns to protect themselves from non-law-abiding citizens. It begs the questions:

  1. When should I pull a trigger and release a missile of death to terminate the life of another human being?
  2. Should I do it because they have entered my home to steal from me?
  3. Should I shoot them because they are walking on my sidewalk, speaking threats in the direction of my domicile?
  4. In my frivolous and often unpredictable nature, should I be trusted to decide who lives or dies simply because I have a weapon to determine the outcome?
  5. Or are all these questions moot–because we have a Constitution that allows us to be “gun-toting,” so that’s all the justification we need?

There’s no doubt–guns are cool. I would be greatly fascinated to look at someone’s gun collection. I just wonder how we can determine how these weapons are used, or … how we can trust one another to make that decision.