“It Sure Would Be Nice” — October 16, 2011

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“Be good to yourself.”

It’s a message I’d like to give to the entire world and follow it with a quick hug. Unfortunately, most people (or maybe I should say some people) would consider the sentiment to be either trivial or the promotion of self-interest in a time when we need to be thinking about others.

But honestly, I don’t think we actually consider our own feelings nearly enough to make us viable or valuable to those who travel around us. In other words, we settle for misery and end up being very stingy with our mercy. I often will share jokes with my audiences and handle what they consider to be very serious matters in a humorous way. Someone always walks up afterwards and says,“It sure would be nice if things were the way you say they should be.” And I always respond, “Well, why don’t we just DO it that way?” The person usually gives me a little frown at this point and walks away sadly, communicating that to remove all struggle from our journey is not only impossible, but would steal away our evidence of maturity.

So I decided to go back and check out the genealogy of grumpiness. Where did the idea of “barely gettin’ by” find its origin?

First–I discovered it wasn’t started by me. Somewhere along the line, I was asked to follow the concepts and be obedient to the nastiness. So I checked to see if the beginning of the lifestyle was found with my parents and teachers. Running through my memory, I realized that they didn’t come up with the idea–they were merely enacting a plan that was passed along to them. Likewise, I found my grandparents were victims of this notion of being miserable instead of the creators. So I continued my pursuit, going through generation after generation, trying to discover who started the idea that we weren’t supposed to enjoy ourselves when we did stuff.

And lo and behold, I arrived at the entrance of a cave. I cautiously stepped inside, unfamiliar with my environment. Because I was in the midst of this imaginary time travel, the man sitting inside the cave, dressed in some sort of bear-skin garment, didn’t even notice me. I watched as he tried to start a fire in the middle of his enclosure and how frustrated he became when the wood was too wet and just produced smoke instead of flame. Escaping the smoke, he stepped outside the cave just as a big rain storm came overhead and dumped its load of “wet” all over his head. He stood for a moment, drenched, trying to decide whether it was better to drown or to escape into the cave to choke on smoke. Torn between the two, he ran to find solace under a nearby tree, attempting to forego both soaking AND choking. Standing under the tree, a bird from high above dropped its morning’s offerings on top of his head. He stepped out into the rain to rinse off his furry scalp, slipped on a rock and fell down on his backside. Easing his way to his feet, cringing in a bit of pain, he shook his fist to the heavens and said, “Life sucks!”

So you see, my friends–I found the origin.  And from that point on, the message has been faithfully passed on to each and every one of us by our parents and those who hold authority over us. Therefore, unless we plan on continuing to follow the grumbling and complaints of a cave man (who really wasn’t a morning person anyway), we might try to learn instead: “Be good to yourself.”

And a good place to begin is to always discover a way to make work fun and do things in joy. If you can’t, either bow out or get them done quickly, to limit the pain. Unfortunately, “It sure would be nice” is our way of saying,“I have no intentions of changing.”

And those, my friends, may be the most dangerous words in the world.

***************

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Published in: on October 16, 2011 at 11:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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