P.A.L. One

P.A.L. One (1,185)

June 22nd, 2011

Thousands of people buy my books, music and movies every year. Thousands of people don’t.

Thousands of people read this jonathots every day. Thousands of people don’t. Some of the members of my own family choose not to read my daily column. Some do.

Last night I was at my book table and well within my earshot, a husband and wife were debating whether to purchase my package of materials. The man whispered to the woman, “Do you want Jonathan’s stuff?” She, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, yet realizing she was being viewed by others, quickly shook her head, no. I had to laugh. I think she thought I might have been offended, so she was a little embarrassed. So I apologized and said, “Really—it’s okay. It’s not a salvation issue. You probably will make it into heaven without reading any of my work.” (She later came over and purchased the package because her husband insisted.)

I thoroughly believe that a good portion of the problems we experience in life happen because we do not rectify within our spirit the balance necessary between people loving us and disliking us. The reason? We are all raised with the American-culture P.A.L. system, making us all slaves to the opinions and feelings of others.

P.A. L. is an acronym, standing for Pretty, Acceptance and Loved.

The need for each one of us to look in the mirror and believe in our P—that we’re Pretty—is such an infection to the human mind and heart that it can render us incapacitated if someone even dare hint we lack comeliness. “Pretty” is so important to the male and female of our species that we preen and even do iniquitous actions to try to prove our youth and virility. It makes us look stupid.

I personally don’t spend a lot of time in front of the mirror. Been there, done that. I’m pretty sure what I will see. Long ago I decided what I was going to do about it and what I think is pure vanity. I know that “pretty” is not my best option, so I have moved on to acquire additional reinforcements to my personal package. But the need to be pretty (or handsome, if you will) completely disembowels us of the confidence necessary to not only use our talents, but to have the tenacity and will to multiply them.

This is followed, in our acronym, by A.—Acceptance. Most people are so desperate to be normal and accepted that they will perpetually adopt the majority opinion, even though that outlook on life has historically been proven wrong. I will go so far as to say that if you are in the majority opinion of the nation at any given moment, you will spend much of your life being judged incorrect, with everybody wondering why you didn’t think it through. After all, at one time the majority of this country was in favor of slavery, witchcraft, the use of opium as a common source of entertainment, and that each nationality landing on our shores needed to be subjugated in order to earn their stripes as part of the red, white and blue. Almost consistently the majority is wrong—because it seeks acceptance instead of truth.

And finally, what eventually puts us in an emotional coma leading to spiritual death is L.—the demand to be Loved. It is not so much a passion as an aching need which betrays itself by turning quickly into animosity when the person we want to love us chooses to be less-than-amorous. This is why people who have ravaged each other sexually in marriage can plot one another’s death in nearly the next breath. Because when someone who is supposed to love us dares to suggest we make improvements, we can place them at the top of the list of our bitterest enemies.

I do not know how this P.A.L. philosophy survives, considering how often it has proven to be ineffective, and even devastating. Pretty people, after all, are not usually happy. Those who seek acceptance often find themselves in the outer darkness of rejection—either because they still don’t quite fit in, or because the majority has demonstrated its sinister nature. And the desire to be loved is not love, but rather, a festering itch, which leaves us scratching at our lives instead of soothed with the ointment of tenderness.

I giggled when the husband and wife had their conversation last night, because the beauty of this journey on earth is having the freedom to be yourself by first giving others the benefit of the same. Contrary to normal Christian theology, there ARE sins that are worse than others. And I will tell you this: when you get to the Great White Throne, judging your follow human beings will be viewed more harshly than adultery.

So be careful. Wanting to be Pretty, seeking Acceptance and requiring to be Loved is the slippery path to destruction—first the destruction of your confidence, followed by the devastation of your emotional well-being, and culminating with a confused mind which just doesn’t know which way to turn.

But the good news is this—there is a P.A.L. Two, which I believe does work. Aren’t you glad? It would be really mean to tell you something ridiculous without giving you a solution. But I’ve run out of time today, and for the thousands of you that read this, I will be back tomorrow. And for the thousands of you who don’t, well… you needn’t worry about it.

Published in: on June 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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