Two Speeches (not from the stump) … September 23, 2012

(1,647)

I don’t agree.

Political parties and pundits tend to aggravate some little open wound in my soul which refuses to heal, becoming calloused to the bizarre. I guess the popular thinking is that a certain amount of lying, cheating, attacking, fussing and maneuvering of truth is necessary to win an election. I not only disagree with this premise, but I wonder if anyone has actually ever tried to utilize the facts faithfully to a conclusion before giving up early in the pursuit to strike back over a recent smarting smack.

What I will share with you today are two speeches–one from each of the men running for President of the United States. These discourses don’t actually exist, of course. They are what I feel each individual candidate might want to express if he was intent on winning the job on both merit and humility. I will begin with the incumbent:

My name is Barack Obama. I would like to continue being your President. I guess, in a manner of speaking, you could say that I won the job four years ago. I have learned that there is a difference between winning and succeeding. I was not ready for all the surprises. No one can be prepared–because, dear folks, there is a world of problems out there in what we call the world. It is impossible to understand that in entirety until you actually get in the position where you need to make decisions that affect the lives of millions. But I have learned. May I tell you this–it is not easy to learn. You are tempted to explain your mishaps and trumpet your victories. Here is an assessment: some of my decisions were good. Others are still working out. Some of my choices, though, didn’t completely address the need. Once again–learning. To be President of the United States, in my opinion, means you have to know the difference among those three conclusions. I will tell you, after four years, I understand so much better what is going to be effective and what is a waste of energy. So let me tell you what I would like to do, should you grant me four more years:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

I ask you to give me a chance to use what I have learned. Thank you for your trust.

Another offering:

My name is Mitt Romney. I want to be President of the United States. I have no experience in this job. I have lived a full life. I have a collective understanding of business and commerce, discovered through my work,  family and adult journey. I am rich. It doesn’t make me better. It also doesn’t make me the enemy. I understand that when you are given much, much is required of you. I realize that I will be taking what I have experienced and using it the best I can, while learning how to be a good President. I will need help–not because I am helpless; it’s just that some of the assistance will need to come from Republicans, Democrats, independents and Americans of all types. I will need to listen to all of these voices because they are you. I will:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

Thank you for your time. I can’t promise you an easy solution–I can tell you that we will be able to do this together. I will bring all I know and a heart to learn more. Thank you for your trust.

The pundits would not like with these two speeches. They would insist that showing vulnerability is displaying weakness, and since they believe that politics is a jungle, that such openness would turn a candidate into a lame antelope instead of a roaring lion. Maybe they’re right. But see–we don’t know. There is no way to be sure, because no one has ever had the guts and determination to stay faithful to the understandable truth throughout an entire campaign. I will tell you this–without a heart filled with simplicity and a humble spirit, the responsibility of guiding human beings is carried out by a fool instead of a righteous king.

Two speeches–it is my offering for today. I guess my only counsel to you would be that the more you hear of these admissions from which ever candidate, the better prepared he will be for the inevitable struggle of leadership.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

The Back Room … September 22, 2012

(1,646)

It was small.

Even in my childhood memories, the space was cramped and overpopulated with furnishings and just stuff. It was a back area in my mom and dad‘s loan company which had been partitioned off with accordion doors allowing for privacy, because they had those smoky windows in them that looked like broken glass or glued-together pieces of rock candy.

There was a refrigerator, although my memory serves that not much food ever stocked the shelves, a desk, where my dad would sit and do income tax returns for local farmers to make extra money during that particular season.

That desk was also the location of one of my first adventures into mischievous boyhood–peering into the future of manhood–because my dad kept a stack of detective magazines in there, which I would slip away and read occasionally, giving me my first glimpse into the carnal interactions between men and women. I can still feel the tingles.

My dad also tried to hide his cashews in that drawer next to the magazines, and I also partook of those delicacies, I’m sure much to his disapproval. In the far-left hand corner of this back room was a water closet. It’s amazing–after all these years I can still remember that little toilet, which grew smaller and smaller as I grew bigger and bigger–and a tiny sink, which offered only cold water to the passing traveler.

There was a large green cabinet in this tiny room, taking up a tremendous amount of space. In it was the residue of many of my dad’s dreams which never actually survived sleepiness. One of the things inside that green cabinet was a miniature printing press my dad bought, hoping he could make a little extra money by providing business cards and wedding invitations to the area consumers. He even printed some business cards for my high school music group. It took six weeks to accomplish, and to my memory, was the only thing that printing press ever achieved before being placed into the green cabinet of oblivion.

There was also a couch right underneath an air conditioner, which never worked. I mean the air conditioner. The couch was quite functional, and became one of my favorite spots in my teen years, especially when there was a chore to do at home, like mowing the lawn. My parents would find me asleep on that couch and abruptly awaken me with a rebuke about my laziness. It’s probably why still, to this day, I find it difficult to sleep in front of other people.

Completing the furnishing of this miniscule arena was an old piano. I know that sounds ridiculous. Why would you have an old piano in the back of a loan company? Well, because it was a loan company, my mom and dad would obviously provide finance to people in our community, who often promised to pay back the sum and ended up falling short of that lofty goal. One delinquent client offered the piano to my mom and dad in replacement for the payoff on his loan. They reluctantly agreed and stuck it in the back of the loan company with aspirations of selling it and retrieving some of their revenue, but never finding the time to write an advertisement.

So I played that piano. Sometimes I got yelled at because I was playing it when customers arrived, and my father seemed to think it was ill-advised to have a financial institution doubling as a lounge. But it was on that piano that I wrote my first two songs, when I was eighteen years of age. I don’t know why I didn’t think of composing before that particular juncture in my life, but on that day I wrote one song, and without stopping, turned around and wrote another one. Within a year’s time, both of those tunes ended up on a 45-RPM record, which I believe sold twelve copies (I assume, one to each of the disciples).

Back to that couch…it was also where my second son was birthed. It wasn’t planned that way. We were not gypsies or raised in barns. It’s just that Dollie, my wife, was in labor and wasn’t quite certain of her symptoms, so she waddled on down to the loan company to see my mother, and before help could arrive, our son did. Oh, it was big doings in the town. There was such a crowd out in front of the loan company to see the new baby that I barely had space to get through the door to visit my new kid. I hadn’t seen that many people lined up in Sunbury, Ohio, since Farmer Johnson quietly advertised that he had some hard cider available.

That back room holds so many memories for me. Matter of fact, during one financially lean time, Dollie and I slipped in there with our little boy, Jon Russell, to sleep on the hard floor at night because we had no other place to go. My father had passed on my then. My mother certainly would not have approved, so I acquired a key from her, made a copy, and we snuck in at eleven at night and were gone by seven in the morning. We just spread a blanket on the wood floor, lay down and were grateful for shelter.

About twenty years ago I went back to my little community to take a look at that back room. I know it’s corny–but I had to see it.  It was gone. The building that once held my mom and dad’s loan company had been transformed into a hardware store, removing walls to create space. So I ambled my way back through the dry goods and ended up in the area, as far as I could tell, that had been the back room. It was now filled with shelving, nails, screws, hammers and saw blades.

But I took that private moment to reflect on the back room and how much it provided for me. It gave me my first festering of manhood. I deeply enjoyed my snatched cashews. There was the occasional uninterrupted nap on the couch, which later ended up being the birthing bed for my son, Joshua. There was the green cabinet with the quiet printing press, and the loud piano, which proclaimed boldly that I had the ability to do something other than be a small-town flunky. There was even the floor, which provided me a place of rest.

While people insist that too much in the realm of commerce, religion and politics is done in the “back room,” my version patiently nursed me through an evolution of foolish youth, preparing me to walk out ready to meet people in the real world.

The back room. Like Joshua, it was kind of my birthing chamber. It was there that for the first time in my life, I took what was available to me and tried my darndest to use it the best I could.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Squeaky Wheel … September 21, 2012

(1,645)

Complaining is when we take the precious time to stop off and write the “Book of Lamentations” when we know we should be finishing up the “Book of Acts.” It is the proverbial squeaky wheel which Benjamin Franklin insisted always gets the grease. But candidly, for every dollar’s worth of attention a complainer receives from the world around him, he spends two dollars in lost respect from others.

Human beings are often hypocritical, and one of our main hypocrisies is that we simultaneously despise complaining when it trips off the lips of others, but find it logical and necessary when its origin is in our mouths. Still, all in all, we actually judge the true depth of character in the human family by whether those around us are able to endure, or if they give in to sharing their opinions about their plight. Those who persevere are dubbed spiritual. Those who don’t are viewed as devilish.

The true problem with complaining is that it shuts down the learning process. It is quite impossible to be sharing misgivings and frustrations while still keeping an open mind about new possibilities. It’s just one of those things that makes us too predictable to be valuable.

My friend Caddie had a hard time learning this one. I met Caddie in jail. I was visiting and she was a temporary resident. She had acquired my number off of the wall next to the pay phone in the county jail, placed there by a young man I had assisted through some difficulty a month or so before, who obviously felt compelled to spread the good word about my generosity.

Caddie was a shop lifter. Within twenty seconds of meeting her, she explained that even though she’d had the twenty dollars in her wallet to pay for the scarf, make-up, hair brush and tooth polish, that she couldn’t purchase those items and still have enough money set aside for some groceries and bus fare. Her reasoning was flawless in her own mind. Even though she was surrounded by prison bars, she felt she was the victim of an unjust society which failed to understand that “Caddie needed to do what Caddie needed to do when Caddie needed to do it.”

I helped her get bailed out of jail and offered her a place to stay at my home, and for the next two weeks, as we awaited trial, I attempted to assist this young lady in finding some answers to what I believed were her burning questions.

As time passed, I realized that Caddie didn’t have any burning questions–just complaints. She started off leading me to believe she was asking for my counsel in some matter, but before she ever got to the end of the sentence to form a question mark, we took a detour–four or five details recounting how unfair the situation was in the first place.

She didn’t like the bed we gave her–it was too soft. She was allergic to almost everything we had to eat. She only drank Japanese tea, which I learned was quite different from Chinese tea, or the offerings of Mr. Lipton. She didn’t like television, only appreciated certain types of music on the radio (none of which we were able to provide, by the way) and for some reason, immediately tried to start a war with my young sons, who “returned in unkind” with their own nasty remarks. It didn’t take long for Caddie to set our entire household on edge. People began to root against her. I think one of my boys even hoped that when she walked across the floor she would slip and fall. Caddie seemed oblivious to the disapproval because she was already deeply embroiled in all sorts of disapproval of her own.

When the trial date finally came and we went to court, I found it difficult to be a character witness for her, even though that’s what she desperately needed. So this is what I said to the judge (maybe much to her chagrin):

Your honor, I am not related to this woman, but she has come my way and I have been doing my best to help her find a better path. I cannot tell you that she will never steal again, but I can tell you that she knows she shouldn’t. I also can enlighten you to the fact that Caddie’s main problem is not thievery, but complaining. But… for the past two weeks, she stayed in my home and learned that the squeaky wheel does NOT get the grease. What we do with squeaky wheels is … replace them.”

The judge chuckled and gave Caddie a very light sentence. She stuck around for a week or so more after that, and then took off. About five years later I received a phone call from Indianapolis, Indiana. It was Caddie. She told me she’d had a devil of a time tracking me down, because I had moved and was the traveling sort. She wanted me to know that she had landed somewhere and realized what a pain in all areas of the body she was, had gotten married and started a new life.

With a bit of boldness I stepped up to the plate and asked the most important question. “Have you stopped complaining?”

She laughed. “How do you think I got a husband?”

I laughed, too.

I will tell all ministers, politicians, school teachers and parents this very valuable point. Continuing to leap to your feet to respond to the complaints of a malcontent is to do nothing but build up a thunder cloud of stormy weather in your own soul which will eventually dump rain on them at the wrong moment. Instead:

Don’t give grease to the squeaky wheel. Change the tire.

Ask other human beings to do what you, yourself, have to do to continue to be a learner instead of just a burner of time.

Stop complaining.

And the best way to stop complaining is to understand that difficulty is pre-packaged in life to keep the human race moving forward and discovering instead of just settling into dangerous repetition, boredom and stagnancy.

So the next time you run across something you really don’t like, take an extra moment and find out why it’s really there instead of trying to spit it away with your complaints. Then maybe, like Caddie, you can escape the selfishness that steals time from others and yourself, and instead, find new life.

Maybe … in Indianapolis.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Painted Pigs … September 20, 2012

(1,644)

One of the more intriguing chores while traveling on the road is arriving in a new community, establishing a headquarters and locating a grocer who doesn’t charge too much for basic grits and gravy. We used to eat out a lot at restaurants, but that is not only expensive, but much too high in calories and filled with so many unknowns that one feels like a culinary explorer. So we find it much more healthy and wise to eat off of plates instead of styrofoam.

In this pursuit in Marion, Indiana, I was cruising along in my van and was startled to look on one of the corners and see a pig. Now viewing myself as an individual with an open mind, I was willing to accept that in a small farming town, a pig might be allowed to wander at will. But upon careful inspection, I saw that this particular pig was purple, with stripes, and had flowers on his backside. Even though I’m not a farm boy and not very acquainted with the fashion statements of the herd, I was still pretty sure that this was unusual. With a more intense second glance, I realized that this was not a living pig, but rather, a ceramic or tin one, sitting on a street corner, decorated–painted, if you will.

It looked very authentic–so realistic that I was a bit creeped out by the whole experience; because as I turned to the right, there was another one–this particular one, plaid. Straight ahead of me was yet another, adorned in some sort of bonnet.

They were everywhere.

Even though I have lived for many decades on this planet, I suddenly realized that … I don’t like pigs. I don’t know what the source of this disdain for the creature may be. Maybe it’s because I read Animal Farm. Or was it that CSI episode, where they explained that if you threw a dead human  body into a pig pen, that within twenty-four-hours the pigs would eat everything, including the bones. (You have to admit, that’s creepy.)

I kind of think it goes back to the fact that when I was a small child, Porky Pig freaked me out. He was dumb. Or maybe not. But he stuttered. And he was always–pardon the expression–the butt of every joke.

And of course, the Bible doesn’t do anything to help the image of your basic porker. Jesus says not to “cast pearls before swine.” And we also have a gruesome image of hogs running down a hill, possessed by demons, leaping off a cliff and drowning in the water below.

So as I drove through town, I realized that what they were attempting to accomplish was a cute, quaint tipping-of-the-straw-hat to the rural culture that had formed the backbone of their community. And I do have to admit that painted cows on the corners of the street would not have been any more relaxing to this tourist. But there are swans. Ducks. Sheep might even have been better. But pigs … are best “baconed,” ribbed, barbecued, and chopped. And even then, they ultimately get their revenge by hanging around to clog up our arteries and terminate our lives.

I have since been back to the Marion community three times, and have not yet gotten used to the painted pigs. I still fail to remember that they are there and that they’re not really alive, and one time even reflexively slammed on my brakes, thinking that one of them was about to run out in front of me. So if the goal of Marion, Indiana is to present something intriguing or memorable for those individuals passing through their village, they really missed the mark with me. Pigs on the corner of the street do not bring out notions of warmth–fireplaces and farm houses with grain silos filled with provision and goodness. No. Pigs are … piggy.

So in my opinion, it would be better to select some other way to bring coloration to your community. Because honestly, if you’re not supposed to cast your pearls before swine, it probably would be true that putting pearls on swine isn’t any more effective.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Fast Feet … September 19, 2012

(1,643)

The commentator was insistent. He wanted each and every listener to understand that the quarterback was having trouble because he had lost his confidence. Furthermore, he knew the quarterback had lost his confidence because he had “fast feet–happy feet.”

The commentator pointed by pointing out that in one of the replays, this fine athlete, who had a history of being very proficient, was failing on this evening because he couldn’t stay in the pocket, stand firm and throw the ball, but instead was responding to the pressure by dancing about and looking for an escape. It made sense.

Human beings do require a certain amount of confidence. This is undeniable. But the confidence has to be based on something rational as opposed to mere intangibles or hopes and dreams. Otherwise we get dancing feet, fast feet or happy feet–take your pick.

If we go back to that list of the seven things that God hates, the next one is “feet that are swift to mischief“–fast feet.

Are we just talking about bad humans here, who are always looking for a new high or a way of escape? Not at all. Here’s a definition of mischief: “I have lost my mission and I’m chasing other people’s ideas.”

That’s when we get in trouble–when we lose our faith in the portion that has been provided for us and believe it to be insufficient, and then we start trying to wrangle new ideas which are out of our scope, beyond our comprehension or even detrimental to our values. After all, the person who says I’ll try anything probably ends up doing so and always arrives at a place of defeat.

What is my job? My job is to ask to receive my mission. Ask who? Three different individuals:

  • Ask God. God’s answer is always located in the reality of what He’s already given you.
  • Ask yourself. That answer always comes in the quality of your work and the confidence you have in doing it.
  • Ask others you trust. That answer will be given to you in the impact you have on their lives and what the depth is that they feel you impart to them.

When you combine those three answers, you end up with your mission. Then, when you have your mission, you should seek to find your best adventure.

This is where most people lose their way. I think there are many fellow-travelers who actually do discover their mission, but the available venue for them to pursue their particular adventure seems so insignificant and small that they lose faith and think they must have been wrong about their calling.

Do not despise small beginnings.

It it’s NOT small, it is probably a passing fad which will be yanked out from under you just when you’ve made a start. The best adventure is the possibility that comes your way which immediately allows you to start your mission–not in two years; not later on in life. Now. Remember, the scripture on faith in the book of Hebrews begins with the word “now.” Faith is never expressed in the future, but rather, manifested by making a beginning in the present.

Consider this: faith with works is alive.

And finally, knock on the doors around you until you open an opportunity to do your mission with the best quality possible. None of us are going to escape sales. Even if you don’t seek it out as an occupation, you will still find yourself doing some of it to gain the breath to exhale your abilities to the world around you.

So, this is how we plant our feet firmly, ready to deliver the ball. Without this, we get fast feet–we borrow other people’s philosophies, which is not that different from using their toothbrush. We look for what is most popular instead of what is historically lasting. We grant ourselves permission to flirt with sin and ill-advised activity, proclaiming that we can handle it and know exactly how far to go.

We are pursuing mischief. Mischief is when I have denied my portion and I keep trying out everybody else’s portion.

The Bible says God hates it. Why? Why should He care about such an insignificant, immature choice? Because He loves us and the pursuit of mischief makes us look stupid, careless, insecure, frustrated and without the ability to bear the fruit that obviously comes from our own efforts. People who have “fast feet” towards mischief state, “I am better than my mission.”

And what is my mission?

  1. What I can do.
  2. What needs to be done.
  3. A starting point.

I arrived in Gas City, Indiana, last night. Only fifteen folks showed up. I had a choice–was I going to try to adjust my feet to the number of individuals who occupied the seats and come up with a compromise towards my mission, or was I going to stay faithful to what I am able to do, find out what needed to be done with these fifteen folks and jump in to a starting point?

It’s really that simple. My surroundings will change. My circumstances will be altered. My hopes will be tainted. My faith will be challenged. My mission must remain the same–otherwise I find myself with “dancing feet,” running towards mischief.

God hates fast feet because they run away from true ability to try to find temporary success in mischief. So what will today hold for me? How about you?

I have no idea. But the only way to guarantee the purity of each and every moment is to stay on mission and avoid those “dancing, happy, fast feet” which cause me to chase a portion that was never meant to be mine.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Them There Those … September 18, 2012

(1,642)

A startling realization–yet quite simple, as flashes of truth often are.

I awoke this morning fully comprehending that I was still retaining pieces of cultural prejudice which had been infused into me, not only by my upbringing but also by a social pressure which has been cooking in our country for the past thirty years.

Yes–circa 1980, an organization called the Moral Majority came along attempting to restore dignity, spirituality and of course, morality, to our nation. In the process of pursuing this agenda, this “majority” infected our country with a separatism that has made us aliens to each other within the borders of a common nation.

They should have realized that naming their particular outreach the Moral Majority was in itself an affrontation to anyone who didn’t hold fast to their concepts. Please understand, I do not accuse them personally of being notorious or evil. It’s just that in the pursuit of what we consider to be righteousness, we need to be careful not to thrust ourselves to the forefront as the primal example as opposed to the principles themselves.

The by-product is what I refer to as the Them There Those campaign. We no longer perceive ourselves to be part of a common humanity, chasing a dream breathed into us at creation. Now we are like forts of settlers fighting off the renegades outside our walls who just might have a different opinion from our own and therefore might taint the flavor of our particular recipe.

Them there those:

  • Them Jews — over there in the Holy Land, thinking that those like them are chosen people.
  • Them Arabs, there in the desert, with those terrorists.
  • Them Republicans, there in their mansions, with those rich corporate fat-cats.
  • Them Democrats, there at their abortion clinics, with those welfare masses.
  • Them Yankees, up there in the north, with those factories and high-falutin’ ideas.
  • Them Rebels, down there in Dixie, marryin’ those cousins.
  • Them men, there watchin’ football, with those friends with their brains in their pants.
  • Them women, out there at the shopping mall, with those other gossiping women.
  • Them young people, there in the streets, with those drugs and rock and roll.
  • Them old folks, there in Florida and Arizona, with those social security checks.
  • Them liberals, there in the Ivy League schools, with those anti-God, anti-gun curriculums.
  • Them conservatives, there in the Bible Belt, with those ideas that the world was actually created in six days.

Them. There. Those.

It’s showing up this year in the election. Somehow or another we feel the need to address our personal differences instead of attacking our common problems. It seems prudent to a generation of leadership that should be wiser in the ways of the world than to conduct the weighty matters of government and business from a playground perspective: “Give me the ball or I’ll hit you!”

I realized this morning, and startling it was, that I still had bits and pieces of this virus coursing through my bloodstream. I still was looking for an enemy instead of a reason to love those around me. I still am suspicious of being rejected instead of preparing what I will do upon receiving acceptance. I have pre-conditioned myself to believe that a certain amount of warfare is necessary in order to achieve peace.

I am perplexed by my own insanity. I am bewildered by my own misconduct. I am truly repentant of an attitude that separates me from those fellow-travelers who have just as much right to the road as I do.

But I am not alone. Even though we continue to postulate about how open-minded, free-spirited and generous we are with each other, we have all fallen victim to a need to be in the majority of everything, in order to secure our sense of belonging.

The Moral Majority believed that AIDS was the gay plague. The Moral Majority thought that apartheid in South Africa was acceptable due to the fact that the locals did not know how to govern themselves. Here is a sure thing: anyone who pursues the philosophy of Them There and Those will,n in some way, shape or form, be proven wrong.

What can we do about the plague?

1. Identify it in ourselves. We don’t have to do it publicly, but privately we should purge ourselves of all notions of Them, There and Those.

2. Stop preaching and start reaching. Don’t take the information you have read here or discovered in your own heart and use it to try to convict others. Just cease to participate in the disintegration of our country into tinier and tinier pieces of false individuality.

3. Develop a new philosophy. We shall call it We Here Us:We are together, here in this place at this time, trying to make the best ‘us’ possible.”

This is the tagline that will push us forward instead of thrusting us into Neanderthal thinking, causing us to believe that we must kill our neighbor in the cave next to us to guarantee that our family has enough mastodon for supper.

We. Here. Us.

Will you join me in abandoning the foolishness of believing that any one of us is a majority? 99.76% of the people of this country will never know my name, never meet me, never agree with me and never even know that I lived. It doesn’t make them less. It doesn’t make me suspicious of them. It doesn’t make me wonder why they even live. It makes me realize that the tiny percentage that I will meet must understand that I love them, I am trying to learn their ways and that when I don’t agree, I will get out of the way and allow them to do their best before their own conscience and God.

My dear friends, we are human and here together for this season, trying to become our best “us.”  And please don’t forget, it is all propelled by the necessary notion and powerful precept:

NoOne is better than anyone else.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

With All Your Getting … September 17, 2012

(1,641)

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the news media’s overly simplistic, goofy representation of life in these United States. Travel with CNN, MSNBC and Fox News as they journey us around the country to break us apart into little bits and pieces of quirks, which they then amplify to represent the majority popular opinion.

First stop for our tour bus?

  • Alabama. Guns, God and grits.
  • Then we journey down to Florida. Medication, Middle East and Medicare.
  • Cruising on, we arrive in Texas, with faith, football and fried…everything.
  • In no time at all, we enter the state of California, with television, tarot cards and tofu.
  • I think we have time for a bathroom break in Minnesota. Stoic, Scandinavian, and St. Lutheran.
  • Our tour bus now takes us to the state of Indiana, where …

Hold on a second. Please allow me to interrupt this cavalcade of comedic conclusions. I just spent the weekend in Indiana. What I found there was the same thing I uncovered in Alabama, Florida, Texas, California and even Minnesota. They’re called folks. And by the way, some get it and some don’t.

It’s really that simple. Some people burst out of the borders of their training and provincial surroundings and realize more universal truths of human behavior and how to get along with other individuals. Others cling to the bad habits of their ancestors, getting the same results of inadequacy, poverty and prejudice.

It all boils down to three be’s. If you learn these, you can go anywhere in the world and co-exist with any culture, religion and even form of government. If you don’t, you make yourself cranky, and therefore, a target for criticism by neurotic folks around you, who are looking for a reason to be offended.

1. Be friendly. Really, it won’t kill you. Suspicious, careful, backward, frowning, reserved, reticent and distant leave to the public their opinion on who you are and what you are. Friendliness is required to create the image of who we wish to be and how we wish to be viewed. I do not know when people decided it was their God-given right to be unfriendly, but all it does is make them look arrogant and causes other humans to want to hurt them.

2. Be there. Please do not come to a meeting talking about the your next meeting. Don’t have a conversation with me about how busy you are and how lucky I am that you’re even taking the time to speak with me. We owe one thing to everyone we meet–give them the time they deserve and our attention, or just don’t show up. The most aggravating attitude you can present to another person is to lead them to believe that your mind is on something else other than being with them. Great people do great things by focusing on small details. Be there.

3. Be changing. My brain is not presently manufacturing enough truth to sustain me for the rest of my life. I need more information. In the process of receiving that input, I will also have to deal with challenges to things that I already hold dear. If I am prepared to change my mind, I am a candidate for prosperity.

Let us realize that not everything can be voted on. America is presently obsessed with the notion of popular opinion. If popular opinion had been allowed, slavery would never have been abolished. Segregation would still be in place. Rock and roll would have been banned. The right for women to vote would have been a joke. And even smallpox, by this time, would be bigpox. Sometime the people DON’T know best. It requires us to have the kind of leaders who are willing to change their minds–in a  direction that will benefit the common good.

And if you are willing to be friendly, be there and be changing, you will be on the cutting edge of the three things that make life on earth prosper, and therefore, fulfill the will of God.

People need liberty. And here is my definition of liberty: Liberty is when health, happiness and honesty are thrust to the forefront.

People have a right to be healthy. They certainly have the right to pursue happiness as long as it doesn’t exclude others, and the presence of honesty allows us to keep a pureness of heart that makes the viewing of God so much easier.

Please do not fall victim to the news media, which tries to divide this nation into smaller and smaller units of conflict. What I saw in Indiana yesterday was very simple. I met some absolutely inspiring human beings, who had decided to be friendly, be there and be changing. What remained were those lost sheep, who think that by avoiding others, avoiding their surroundings and avoiding change, they can actually keep life the way it is. They can’t.

So with all your “getting,” get understanding–and the greatest understanding is that where the spirit of God is, there is liberty–the pursuit of health, happiness and honesty.

Happy Monday to you. Be friendly, be there and be changing.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

%d bloggers like this: