Week 1- injustice Week 2- release Week 3- devoid Week 4- uphold
Superbowl 48 (XLVIII) was an injustice to the viewing public. It was not a fair contest. The winner’s team was built on solid defense and exploiting their opponents mistakes. Our word this week is somewhat similar in that ‘injustice’ comes at the hands of those who exploit the weakness of others. Injustice is not an act of fairness. It is profiteering on the mistakes and weakness of an opponent. The Chinese call this “The ying and yang” of life. It is somewhat like the ebb and flow of the tides. It is motion that can destroy, but it also equalizes. Sadly, it is part of our human existence. Those who are intent upon the advance of man’s knowledge will fight injustice at every step!
To correctly understand the definition for injustice, we will briefly look at the definition of justice: It is the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals. Therefore, injustice is the unfair treatment in which the rights of a person or a group of people are ignored. It is also wrong action in which laws are perverted for the benefit of those in authority. Apartheid was such a condition because it denied justice to an entire class of South African society. Use care when you deny the rights of others!
“The weak punishment issued by the court does an injustice to that criminal’s victims.” What is one sure sign of injustice? When a law specifies punishment and the punishment that is given ignores or is minimized under the law, this is a symptom of injustice. Such action weakens any system of justice. The purpose of law is to fairly judge and punish criminal actions. Injustice will occur when the rights of victims are not fairly addressed by the legal system. Evidence of a disintegrating justice system is when victims’ rights are not fairly addressed by the courts!
Corrupt justice is a sure sign of a legal system that is disintegrating. Its impact is a state of constantly recurring injustice of victims’ rights and its occurrence reveals weakness in that legal system. For this to occur, the foundation of that legal system has become perverted and fractured. Injustice will happen when the rights of a person or group of people are repeatedly neglected. Simply put, injustice is an absence of justice. Without justice, order in a society or governing body cannot be maintained!
A flagrant injustice is done when outsiders interfere in a couple’s relationship. In a relationship between a man and a woman, they should be able to make their own decisions as to how the relationship works. They can seek advice from outsiders, but that does not give the advisor permission to act. There are exceptions: when the couple is underage, when one is physically impaired and the other is disregarding safety, or there is evidence of criminal action. In most cases, the two people in the relationship should be allowed to work out problems and arrive at a mutual agreement. Walk carefully when you are interjecting yourself into a relationship if you think an injustice is occurring. It can backfire no matter how good your intentions!
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Official statements and documents when they are available for public knowledge are released by announcements and declarations. Press releases are one way that such information is made public. There are many ways to release information for public knowledge. TV’s breaking news stories is often one way to release something for public consumption. ‘Official word’ from an unknown insider is another where sensitive issues can be made public. Another source is the Congressional Record where official documents are released. Unofficial sources that make sensitive knowledge available should be used with caution. Use discretion as to when and how you release sensitive information about others!
Depending upon the source, release has six or more definitions for its use as a noun or verb. To set free from restraint is one common way to define release. Another way release is used is to relieve someone or something from what confines, burdens or oppresses movement. A formal use of release is to make available to the public as in a press release or to make available by publication, performance, sale or exhibition. Simply put, release is to remove any mechanism of control over an object or person. So let it go and just release it!
Look for some of these signs to see the proper use of release: to stop, to allow, to cause or to set free. These are indicators that give information about a person, place or thing and an action that will follow. Some usage examples are “The hostages have been released.” or “The release of the book is scheduled for next week.” The first example is that of being set free. The second example is one of some action that is allowed because it makes something available to the public. The key feature is that of motion; to free or to stop a holding action that inhibits freedom. We should all practice emotional release to help reduce stress!
“I will release a statement this afternoon regarding the incident.” This example sentence gives information that explains why restraint was necessary. To release something is to stop holding what was formerly being held about something or someone. It is to set into motion information that was previously unknown. When something is released, it will have an impact upon events or activities. The impact can and will be evidenced in a variety of ways. Official documents, announcements, removing restraint, giving freedom to; these are means in which release can be expressed. Release your pent up emotions!
Perhaps it is appropriate on this Valentine’s Day to understand how relationship and release are connected. A relationship is normally thought of as the uniting of two people in a common bond. On the other hand, release is to free someone from a duty or responsibility. That is the key to a good relationship. It should not be a burden or enslavement of either party. It should be a mutual joining together because of a common element or bond (i.e. love) that becomes the bonding agent. That bonding agent is an element of strength but will allow both parties the freedom to be unique individuals!
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“The media stories about the Olympics this year are totally devoid of originality.” Our word for this week tells us what is lacking. The Olympics lack a good positive impact. The leadership of our country lacks good sense when promoting positive morality. The country sponsoring the Olympics lacks flexibility in its security measures. Stories that are devoid of emotions become tasteless and without human interest!
Historically, devoid came into use in about the fifteenth century. Bankrupt, bereft and barren are some synonyms that can help us to better understand the definition of devoid. This simple descriptive adjective carries a negative meaning. With it, what should be usual, typical or expected is missing and devoid is the word which reveals this lack of expected attributes. For example, in this sentence ‘a landscape devoid of life’ gives us a bleak but accurate picture of what we see. So being devoid of emotion can ruin your social life!
To better understand this adjective, we can examine some words similar to it. Devoid is another way to say that something is empty or absent. What is lacking or missing carries similar thoughts when we look for attributes of the nouns this word will describe. Incomplete or fragmented also leaves a similar impression as devoid when we think of something being less than a whole. Devoid instantly tells us that what should be there is missing!
The impact of devoid is to produce a condition of ‘less than’ what was there before. For instance, amnesia is a condition where a person is devoid, i.e. has no knowledge of past events. This example tells us that condition: “After the accident, his mind was like a blank slate for he had no memories.” Also, “the winter scene was devoid of colors and was bleak with only black and white.” The impact of devoid is to our senses as loss, empty or vacant of what was there before. His single life was bleak for he was devoid of his wife and children!
“Their relationship was friendly but devoid of love.” A key element in a relationship between a man and a woman is that of ‘love’. In our example sentence, it does not tell us if the relationship was between a man and a woman, a brother and sister or just two friends. A relationship between a man and a woman will normally include ‘love’ as a bonding agent which is normally beneficial. In a brother and sister relationship or just between two friends, there may be fondness or mutual respect bonding, but not a marriage kind of love. Whatever kind of relationship it is, there must be some kind of bonding agent at work. Relationships that are devoid of mutual respect or attraction are normally incomplete and stressful!
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“As citizens of the United States, we have a responsibility to uphold the Constitution.” When a citizen is careless in his responsibility to uphold the U.S. Constitution, it is weakened. When the courts pervert the justice system and weaken the U.S. Constitution, the foundation for our rights and beliefs will crumble. History gives us a clear picture of the results of a perverted justice system. It decays, disintegrates and becomes anarchy!
The definition of uphold is somewhat simple. It is a verb that tells us two kinds of action. First is to support or defend something and secondly it is to elevate or lift up. Many times ‘uphold’ will be used in conjunction with some type of law or legal decision. There is also a noun form of this word: upholder. For example, “The President is an upholder of democracy.” Whether used as an action verb or noun, the intent is to support or defend the object of the action. Each of us has a responsibility to uphold the law!
What do we uphold? Let’s put it another way. What do you support? What you support, will tell a lot about your personality and character. We have laws that tell us what actions are acceptable and what are not. If we do not support those laws, then we are saying that laws are meaningless and that we have a right to do as we please even if it is murder, theft or intolerance. Those actions are signs of a disintegrating nation and its social decline. To uphold the law is a clear sign of one’s solid moral integrity!
What you uphold and support will determine your future. It is your choice. If you uphold the activity of lies, deceit and immorality, they will destroy others trust in you. Today’s legal system will work against you if you destroy the trust others should have in you. When trust is destroyed, you will find yourself surrounded only by those who lie, deceive and have no morals. The final impact of upholding the activity of lying, deceit, and immorality is disintegration and destruction!
Some thoughts about how we can uphold our relationships: be positive, be graceful, be ready to listen and be a trusted friend. One thing we always need to do is maintain and support our good relationships. Life can throw many things at us, including bad times and when they come, the solid relationships that we have built can help us walk through those bad times. We also need to be there when our friends experience the same thing. To be there for each other during good times and bad is what friends are for!
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