Chauvinism

Chauvinism: (n) prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group, or gender.

Chauvinism is an actual condition when the insecurity of one group of people forces them to usurp their authority by using domination.

It is not a “safe word” that women can use when they’ve lost an argument and want to change the subject to make it seem that they are being
attacked by some sort of Neanderthal.

Chauvinism is an actual predicament.

It is not a return to the past, but instead, a maintaining of the worst. For after all, there are many things from the past that we’ve abandoned just to make sure we don’t die.

For instance, it used to be avant garde to smoke cigarettes, and now it’s limited to Hollywood bad guys and white trash.

We do have the common sense to reject certain things of the past, like smallpox, measles and even the flu, which used to kill off thousands.

So the contention that we want to return to the “good old days” means that we want to go back to days that were not that good and nobody was really allowed to get old.

So what is chauvinism?

It is anyone who believes he or she is exceptional for any reason whatsoever. If you happen to be exceptional in some field, just do your work and let other people proclaim your excellence.

If you find yourself tooting your own horn, be prepared for folks to find you brassy.

There’s a danger even when referring to America as an “exceptional nation”–for the things that make us exceptional have absolutely nothing to do with the populace. They are the freedoms we purposely grant to those who are not always exceptional.

I must come back to my standard mantra: no one is better than anyone else.

You don’t achieve much by trying to contradict it, and the pursuit of believing it grants you the purity of heart to actually see God in the world around you.

 

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Apothecary

dictionary with letter A

Apothecary: (n.–archaic) a person who prepared and sold medicines.

I was just thinking about these three names–apothecary, drugstore and pharmacy. Don’t ever tell me that words don’t have significance.

For if someone told me they were “going to the apothecary,” I would conjure visions of someone sitting around mixing chemicals, trying to turn lead into gold.

Unfortunately, in my twisted mind, if you told me you were heading for the drugstore, I would see some guy with slick-backed hair, two day’s growth of beard, pulling little plastic packets out of his coat to sell on the street corner.

I think that’s why we ended up with “pharmacy,” although there are no animals, barnyards or crops involved. (Please forgive that.)

Do words get tired, or do we get tired of words? Because we’re certainly justified by what words we use, and also condemned.

For the person who says he is heading to the apothecary immediately casts himself in the role of the ancient of days.

And drugstore does reek a bit of being white trash. (Not that there’s anything wrong with white trash. As far as I’m concerned, since I’m a forward-thinking human being, you can be whatever color of trash you desire.)

But somewhere along the line, the apothecary had to become the pharmacy, and someday the pharmacy will be much too stuffy and we’ll have to come up with another name for it.

But I seriously doubt if we’ll ever go back to apothecary … unless men wearing tights and pointy shoes return to fashion. 

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

Adjunct

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adjunct (n): a thing added to something else as a supplement rather than an essential part

I think it’s misspelled. It would be so much easier to understand if the word was “addjunk.”

Really, that’s what we all do. We add a bunch of junk to our lives as we journey, convincing ourselves that it’s priceless, only to spend most of our time shuffling it around from place to place, even though it is inconvenient and infrequently used.

About ten years ago I came to the realization that the only power in getting older was in being smart enough to travel lighter. I had so much unusable, often unrecognizable material hanging around me, like unwanted relatives stopping in for a loan, that I was often baffled as to whether there was enough space for me to live and breathe.

It was stupid. I had added so much junk to my human trailer that I was beginning to resemble white trash on my way to NASCAR. (This is not to say that ALL people who go to NASCAR are white trash. I speak by permission, putting into practice comedy, and quite bluntly, the law of averages.)

So what did I do? I started giving away everything I had not used in the previous sixty days. It was astounding–because things that I did not view as worthy of a two-month connection were valuable to others around me–sometimes even a life saver. I looked generous.

Now, I wasn’t really generous. It was a practical move to make sure there was enough oxygen in the room for me and my necessaries. In no time at all, I had grown lean and mean, and at my fingertips were all the goodies that I preferred, which by the way, were much easier to locate since they weren’t hiding under the freeloaders.

The second thing I did was I decided to live. Now I’m not talking about sucking in air or planning a shaving and bathing schedule.

If I wanted to do it, if it was practical, fruitful and in the spectrum of my abilities–I just did it.

Is there anything worse than people who are aging, who both lament getting older and also constantly offer regrets about their lack of accomplishment?

Shut up. It’s addjunk.

It seems that many people over fifty have only used their time and energy to practice becoming professional complainers. Here’s the key: give and live.

Give away everything you don’t need and live out what you want to do, and in the process find out if it was worth tackling.

I realize that to some degree this essay has nothing to do with the definition, but you can take that up with my boss.

(Ha, ha. I don’t HAVE a boss. I gave him away … so I could live.)