Not Long Tales … November 12th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4226)

14.

The Big Morning

It seems that contemplation is often the worst treatment for concern. Maybe it’s because if an answer is so readily available through simply thinking, it should have popped up by now, offering itself as a possibility. Concern requires a certain amount of relaxation—usually impossible to attain because of the energy and frustration involved in lacking an answer.

All in all, he got up from his time of rest feeling pretty good. Actually, he was surprised at how relaxed he was, considering the day laid out before him.

He had made the request just a while back to have a private meeting with the boss, to discuss his future with the organization. What a bizarre phrasing.

Future with the organization.”

Didn’t it hold to reason that if your past was excellent and your present was fruitful, that your future should be budding? Yet there was some sort of nagging fear in him, that transitions were in the making, and he might be left out.

Silly as it sounded, he always found it reassuring to get a good shave to calm the nerves. One might think that shaving was a dangerous thing to do during a fit of anxiety, but actually, because it required such precision, it slowed things down and welcomed perspective.

It also immediately offered a much less complicated choice: “To cologne or not to cologne? That is the question.”

Considering the time of day and the purpose of his business, he decided that extra fragrance was unnecessary. Then, picking the appropriate clothing.

There was nothing quite as impressive as being well dressed. After all, it was the first thing people saw. And amazingly, upon leaving the room, the last image they had of you.

Coming and going.

Navy blue. A great color—not quite as somber as black, but exuding gravitas. Yet—on this day, he chose his smoke grey suit, with just a slight hint of pinstripe. A robin-egg blue dress shirt. And then the tie.

What tie? Stripes were too gaudy for the occasion. Matter of fact, designs of any kind might draw attention away from the maturity of the conversation. He decided on a royal blue. It looked beautiful with the suit. Just looking at it hanging there delighted his eyes and generated confidence.

He was dressed.

But he was not ready. Normally, “dressed and ready” go together, but sometimes it was a good idea to get dressed—to be in your uniform of choice, so that your thinking was freed up, to garner valuable inspiration while expelling nonsense.

What was the goal of this morning? What did he want to see happen?

He decided to follow the past, present and future format—that being, when he finally stood in front of his boss, he would present the quality of his past performance, which had already been proven out; the nature of the present work ethic, which was fluid and without interruption or regret; which would immediately open the door to the future.

And what did he want to clarify with his boss about the future?

Well, certainly he wanted to know if he was in the plan. He was curious about what his role and position might be. And he was notably worried about being ignored and abandoned from the planning, forbidden the opportunity to make the endeavors more fruitful.

He took a deep breath and thought to himself, “I’ve done well. I don’t want to be arrogant. I don’t want to have to tout my accomplishments. But I have done well. Does my boss know this? Does he care? Does he take it for granted?”

Sorting through the situation was good.

Past success.

Present flow.

Future placement.

Yes—that would be his format. He would go in with a mingling of gratitude, lifting up his productivity, while quietly and intuitively offering some suggestions on change. This was the chemistry of a good meeting—to be grateful for productivity while energized by the obvious need for change.

But what would his slogan be?

While he contemplated, he walked himself into the room, looking for something to eat. Nourishment was such a trickster. It was always comforting to snack, but too much food dulled the brain, preparing it for a nap instead of a conversation.

After much consideration, he realized the meeting would not take very long, and if it went as well as he expected, he could go out, pick up a late meal and celebrate the victory—no, no. Not the victory. The harvest of the big morning.

He needed a repeating phrase—yes, something to come back to as he talked about the past becoming the present and the present evolving to a more glorious future.

With this, he considered the nature of his boss. He had watched him fervently. After all, the boss was the one who held the keys to his future. He had found this individual to be generous but unrelenting. In other words, “All is well as long as all is done well.”

Yes—that certainly capsulized him. What would he want to hear? What should be the theme of this dialogue between the two of them, to determine the horizons of their relationship?

And then, like a light bulb, it went off inside his mind. Inspiration is often like a crack of thunder followed by a flash of light.

Yes. As he explained the past, the present and the future, he would punctuate each portion by returning to a simple phrase: “Sharing burden, sharing credit.”

Indeed. This was certainly something that would go along with the company plan.

He took a moment, since there was no need to chomp on a bagel or sip any coffee, to do a trial run on his little spiel, careful to keep it under five minutes. Anything that took more than five minutes became an ordeal to the ears instead of a pleasure to the soul.

The past, then the slogan. The present, the slogan again. The future, culminating with “sharing burden, sharing credit.”

Suddenly his spirit was buoyed by memories filling his head with accomplishments and successes. He had become one of the favorites in the company. Matter of fact, last year, when it was suggested that some music was in order for a celebration, the boss had asked him to step in and organize the whole event. He was astounded at how much talent there was and how absolutely terrific the musical program turned out to be. He had never viewed himself as a person familiar with notes, beat and harmony. That was why it was essential that he do good.

You see, when you do good at things you should do good in, there’s little reward. But when it turns out that you do well when no one knows of your talent, then you began to impress—perhaps even startle.

By the time he got done putting on the musical production, he had used so many staff members that it seemed like nearly half of them were on stage, performing for the other half. It was a beautiful corporate extravaganza.

All he wanted was more of that.

More responsibility, lending itself to excellent effort. And more respect, leading to even more involvement—to where finally, he could once and for all feel what he really wanted to sense from his boss.

Confidence. And out of that confidence could come more status.

He took a deep breath.

One more practice of the speech. Thankfulness, status, and simply asking the boss to back him up without hesitation, knowing that he could be counted on for good work at every turn.

Straightening his tie, deciding at the last moment to dribble a little cologne on to sweeten his fragrance, he headed off to the meeting.

He was expected. The boss was in and waiting. This was a good sign.

He felt something really strong stirring inside him. He stepped in and looked at his boss, sitting there with a little smile on his face. It was odd. A disconcerting smirk. It did not exude pleasure or approval, but rather, appeared to be a snarl of authority—a sneer establishing superiority.

All at once, all the preparation fell to the side. Worthless.

Why did it have to be this way? Why couldn’t quality be recognized? Why was there a need to diminish staff to maintain order? He was so angry.

Everything he had plotted, everything he had reasoned and everything he had wished evaporated.

Instead of feeling grateful and ready to discuss the future, he felt small and meaningless. In a fit of rage, he stepped forward, not more than four paces from the boss.

He stuck his finger out, nearly touching his nose, and screamed, “You think you are god! YOU THINK YOU’RE GOD. Well, listen. Move over. Make room. Because Lucifer is here to stay.”

 

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1 Thing You Can Do to Define Your Nature and Expose Your Heart

Start your day with a truthful evaluation.

Often in the pursuit of appearing to be even-keeled or well-balanced, we respond to a question with a contrived answer.

We all know the question.

It’s not like it’s going away.

But if you want to make a difference in life, you need to learn to answer it with twenty words or less, while still maintaining a truthfulness you can live out.

The question:

How are you today?

You’ve heard that one before, right? Here are the top five normal answers to that inquiry:

  1. Fair to middlin’.
  2. Just fine once I get my coffee.
  3. Great!
  4. Gettin’ started.
  5. Couldn’t be better.

There are variations on these themes, but the overall message is, “I don’t know why you’re asking me this question. It seems to be just polite, and I don’t think you really want to know how I am today.”

But if you misrepresent yourself in your answer, then later on it’s hard to explain why you’re getting such a bad attitude or why you become depressed because the toast was too dark.

If you want people to understand you, you must live more of a transparent life, at least as much as possible. So answer the first question of the day with an accurate report.

How are you today?

“Didn’t sleep great. Looking forward to maybe having a nap but going to cuddle up to my coffee right now.”

Now, when somebody hears this, they have a much better idea of where you’re coming from. And “where you’re coming from” is a gift you give to the people around you—so they don’t press all the wrong buttons.

How are you today?

“I slept pretty well but I’m scarin’ off some grouchiness so I’m going to be quiet and soak up the cheer in the room.”

Just that burst of plainness communicates how trustworthy you can truly be.

How are you today?

“Great. And I’m a bit surprised I’m great, because I woke up thinking I might be sleepy.”

Any answer you give that speaks to your real situation in twenty words or less will leave the room startled and delighted.

Because I guarantee you—whatever details you bring up, two or three other people will add their “amen.”

It may seem trivial but there’s something pure of heart about refusing to deceive anyone—even on such a simple morning question.

Remember the keys:

  • Answer quickly.
  • Less than twenty words.
  • Don’t elaborate.

 

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The B. S. M. G. Report


Jonathots Daily Blog

(4225)

Overcoming the weak in my week,

I have sought what to seek

BAD

There’s nothing to be achieved by the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

This is not a statement on his innocence or guilt, but rather, the acknowledgement that such an endeavor is beyond us during this time with the unfolding calendar of the United States of America.

The country is weary–its citizens exhausted.

There is too much to discern to maintain any will to continue to reason.

In less than a year, an election proposed by our constitution, will settle the matter.

Although there are those who insist “an awful lot can happen in a year,” or that they wish to “nail the lid” on a coffin that has already been constructed, I contend that the deed is too costly for what might be guaranteed.

For you see, as a young man I purchased an old, green, Bell Telephone van. It was pukey. But the ugliest part of it was the carpet inside, which ran from steering wheel to back door.

I hated it. It was greasy, grimy, stained and filthy. Anyone who got into my van and saw the floor was surely convinced that I was a no-good slob.

One day I took it upon myself to get rid of that damn carpet.

I will tell you—it had been placed in the van with a notion to keep it there until Jesus had his welcome-back party. I cut, I pulled, I tore and I ripped. I probably got a lifetime of carpet fibers and asbestos up my nose.

After about three hours, I finally ripped up the last piece of carpet, though little portions stubbornly remained.

The underneath floor was just as putrid, requiring me to immediately get another carpet put in.

When I arrived at the back door of the carpet store, where I had been promised free c arpet from left-over jobs, the manager looked in my van and said, “Why’d you tear the old carpet out? You should have shampooed it and then put new carpet on top.”

Here are the facts:

Whether you’re a MAGA enthusiast for the President or you believe he’s the anti-Christ, he was duly elected and is part of our bizarre American history.

If you want him gone, wait for the next election.

Clean him out of Washington.

And lay down a new layer of carpet.

Because impeaching is like tearing out carpet—it’s a helluva project and will leave you with a bigger job at the end.

SAD

Sitting in my chair watching television, I teared up.

Maybe I’m an emotional fool, but sometimes I cry because I realize the great potential and am inundated with the present reality.

As I watched, person after person after show after news broadcast conveyed one message:

“You can’t trust anyone.”

Sometimes it was said sadly, sometimes communicated in anger. But in all cases, it was a definitive proclamation that trusting humans is not only foolish but dangerous.

Yet it will certainly be difficult to solve problems when the people we need to help us have become our enemies.

MAD

I don’t want to be a whiner.

I don’t want to be one of those kinds of guys who bitches about things and refuses to leave well enough alone.

And even though I have an abiding joy in watching college football, I am greatly disturbed at how it is gradually becoming America’s modern-day slave market.

57% of the college football athletes are black.

That is compared to 13% of the general population being that color.

Only 2.8% of the students on campuses are African American.

But 70% of the fan base of college football is Caucasian.

On top of that, sports announcers have begun to discuss the athletes as if they’re specimens instead of human beings.

  • “He has a huge, massive chest.”
  • “Look at his rock-hard abs.”
  • “He has thighs twice the size of a normal boy his age.”
  • “He looks like Adonis.”

At first hearing, you might think these are compliments, but actually they are observations—the same kinds of asides spoken by slave-traders as they walked among the young black men, stolen and brought over from Africa.

Granted, some of these young men may be headed for the National Football League, to make much money, unlike their unfortunate ancestors. But this does not rationalize the attitudes, terminology and carelessness with which these human beings are regarded.

Meanwhile, not many people are concerned about their education, integration into human life or even their communication skills.

It is racist.

It may be a gentle racism, or even an entertaining one—but it is racist.

Let’s not get rid of college football, but please—let us cease and desist with the plantation talk.

GLAD

There are three outstanding statements that must be honored for the human race to continue to run well.

1. All humans are created equal.

2. In the kingdom of God, there is neither male nor female.

3. Don’t judge unless you want to be judged.

Every time one, two or dare I say, all three of these, link up to form a circle of understanding, my soul rejoices.

So when “Black Lives Matters” arrived along with the “Me Too Movement,” complete with a new awakening of patriotism in this nation, I didn’t see campaigns at war with one another.

We are gradually beginning to grasp that these ideas, along with many others scattered out there, are like the yarn of understanding that must be knit together, to help us endorse our equality, our genders uniting, and the removal of prejudice.

May they create the circle of understanding that is unbroken.

Cracked 5 … November 9th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4223)

Cracked 5

You Know You Are Poor When…

A. You go to the mark-down bins at the Dollar Store

 

B. You hope someone forgets a bag of groceries at the checkout so you can grab it, run to give it to them but instead, take it to your car and speed away

 

C. You wonder if you can reuse your toothpaste

 

D. You feed the dry skin from your elbows to your pet hamster

 

E. You tell your children that serial killers travel in ice cream trucks

 

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Sit Down Comedy … November 8th, 2019

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Sit Down Comedy

 I felt the need for some caution.

When the Mogelthorpe family invited us over for a discussion, I was bewildered. First, I did not know the Mogelthorpes—only that their teenage daughter was dating our teenage son. Additionally, I didn’t think I had ever participated in an event dubbed “a discussion” that remained discussing and didn’t deteriorate into some sort of verbal standoff.

But I went.

As it turned out, the Mogelthorpes were very concerned that their daughter was getting too serious about our son, and that their high school dating experience was progressing at a frightening pace.

I listened. But I must admit, I find folks who attempt to curtail sexual activity somewhat comical. They, themselves, historically did not “cur their tail,” and most of the time when we try to keep young humans from doing things, they just do it sooner and faster.

I tried to talk like a responsible, aging, overly anxious parent and take the whole thing seriously.

At length I failed.

After an hour-and-a-half of back-and-forth conversation, which was deteriorating into each set of parents beginning to blame the other set for raising either a “tart” or a “rascal,” I finally concluded, “Folks, this is really simple. Your daughter has a radioactive vagina and my son is toting a Geiger counter.”

They did not find this humorous or even enlightening.

We left on semi-cordial terms—but with no prospects of future interaction or fellowship. It was especially ridiculous when within two weeks the two lovers lost interest in each other.

At this point, you might think the parents would relax and laugh at the failed conference. But no, the whole time I lived in the community, they never spoke to me again. And I imitated them.

Now, I felt the same way yesterday afternoon as I watched the news.

Made-up people are putting together made-up discussions over made-up problems in a world that has been made up by all of us.

The result will not be good. For it has become much more important to score points than to make one.

We are determined to wrestle our opponents to the ground and stand over them, spitting bullets.

We need to understand one fact:

Where there’s an absence, there will be a presence.

And where there is a presence, to make room for such an introduction, something will have to be absent.

Although the Democrats are certain that all the problems in our country are caused by the Republicans, and the Republicans feel they’re on a holy mission to prevent the Democrats from gaining control of the steering wheel to our government, the tactics that have been conjured are now the only things we all share in common.

Republicans aren’t nastier than Democrats. The Donkey Party has pulled even.

The Democrats are not free from scandal. They are completely equivalent to their Republican nemesis.

We believe the best way to settle a Presidential campaign is to insult until we get the desired result.

So the absence of one thing becomes the presence of another. And if you’re not careful, you may not even notice that something beautiful is gone. It is quickly filled in with something ugly. Then people tell you that this ugliness has always been there.

For instance:

The absence of civility is the presence of aggression.

Civility began feeling too “goody-goody” for us, so we attempted to change it to “toleration.” In other words, “I agree to disagree with you.”

Little did we know that in order to maintain this neutrality, we would have to be aggressive to keep our opponent at bay.

Likewise, the absence of truth is the presence of lying.

We didn’t believe that. We thought some matters could be “private,” and an explanation would not be necessary. But with a 24-hour news cycle, the facts always come out—and then, lying must be used to cover up the secret.

The absence of understanding is the presence of confusion.

Parts of our country have attempted to isolate themselves from other parts, pleading ignorance of social, cultural and even spiritual differences. But ignorance is a hard idea to present as a virtue.

And the absence of understanding has become the presence of confusion.

In other words, “How can those people be so stupid?”

Countered with, “How can those people be so arrogant?”

It may be difficult to understand, but:

The absence of good becomes the presence of evil.

We would like to characterize this as free will—but when humans are given liberty, they normally use it for an occasion to gratify their flesh. It’s just in our DNA.

So as Abraham Lincoln suggested, if we are not in pursuit of our better angels, our worst demons start planning the picnic.

I do believe we have good intentions.

But once you want to dominate, you don’t take the time to ruminate.

Yes—to sit and ponder how often we’re wrong, and to allow that to soak in so we don’t have to act like we are always right.

For I can tell you:

The absence of love is the presence of hate.

For the past twenty years, we have tried to achieve a relaxed indifference toward one another.

We have more interest in our personal family than the family of man.

And we have changed our lives to an electoral-college map, which tells us how to act.

Love is more than affection and it is more than commitment.

Love is the certainty that we are wrong often enough that we need to talk a helluva lot less.

Without this admission, hate shows up early, and leaves late.

 

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3 Things … November 7th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Are Most Noticeable About You

 

1.  Do you smile or frown?

 

2.  Do you step up or step back?

 

3.  Can you answer a question without launching into an explanation?

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Drawing Attention … November 6th, 2019

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Decircled

(tap the picture to see the video)

art by Clazzy

Music: Thunder

From the Symphony Prima Vera by Jonathan Richard Cring

 

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