1 Thing You Can Do to Escape Distractions

 

Don’t talk about what needs to be done—do something

As you read this, you might conclude that this statement is so practical that it sounds common, and therefore could be considered just drivel.

But if you take a candid look at the flow of our present national conversation, you will discover that we have replaced taking action with a series of debates and dare I say, Town Halls, where we discuss all the life out of every idea, until it’s pronounced dead on arrival.

Yes, we’ve begun to believe that thinking, wishing, praying and conversing is equivalent to doing something.

How about a powerful piece of advice?

No problem is solvable—that’s why we’ve dubbed it a problem.

If we sit around and discuss our impasses and struggles, we will only grow more cynical and therefore, open the door to a stubborn spirit telling us we’ve done enough.

For instance, if the dilemma in the world is starvation, then find one family in your community which needs groceries and take over a few every week.

Discussing world poverty will provide no relief for the pangs of hunger.

But if you move out on what you have, there will be one family who benefits because you did something.

Likewise, if you believe that millennials are spending too much time on social media, then simply offer a millennial the opportunity to join into something other than download and scan.

Stop stumbling over the problem and start studying the elements that cause it.

Pick one problem and do something to address it.

You can yell all you want about gun violence or insist on the need for gun control, but it’s much more intelligent to take a group of kids at your church or in your neighborhood and present the pros and cons of what a gun is and what a gun can do.

The first step to removing yourself from being a clown is to take off the makeup.

If you look like everybody else, then you are everybody else.

So don’t discuss what the problems are. Instead, do something.

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4168)

Sitting Thirty-Seven

Thursday insisted on following Wednesday.

The rally was set to begin at 1:00 P. M. Karin decided to arrive half an hour early. There was already quite a crowd gathering—milling around, glancing at one another to see if anyone had an idea on what was going on. She had tried to call her editor to see what his intentions were about attending the event but there was no answer. She sure could have used his grouchy kindness at this point.

Ever increasingly, a stream of people in cars, jeeps and even some with bicycles, paraded into the desert scene. They toted signs:

“Boys go home!”

“Honor your father!”

“Jews are Jews and Arabs are Arabs!”

“Spare the rod and spoil the child!”

And one particularly nasty one proclaimed, “Ishmael was a bastard.” Fortunately, a couple of fervent Muslims came and tore it up before too much display time was possible.

At 1:00 P. M. sharp, with about two hundred folks gathered, the politician stepped lively to the forefront, carrying a bullhorn. Karin could tell he was a politician because he was smiling too much, shook everyone’s hand and had a huge button on his lapel with a picture of himself. He addressed the crowd through the bullhorn.

“My dear citizens, we are gathered here today to right a wrong. It is not often that we are able to have such a power, such a privilege. Today, we can restore these boys back to their divine, loving position. Today, we can bring together God’s greatest gift, and God’s amazing unit—the family. For these two boys have gone on errant ways, hearing the deceiving voice of rebellion, and have abandoned both their senses, their cultures and their homes. We are here to see an end to foolishness. We are here to see the restitution of what is right. Yes, the rejoining of what has been broken.”

The politician pulled down the bullhorn and lifted his right arm into the air, as if inviting a smattering of applause in the desert heat. He then made a dramatic turn toward the encampment of the boys. Karin and the entire assembly, en masse, as if on cue, pivoted to view.

The region around where the boys had settled was a disaster area. After many weeks, garbage was everywhere, along with construction cones, Port-a-johns, fast food wrappers and magazines blowing in the wind—a landscape of disarray.

“Jubal and Amir!” bellowed the politician through the bullhorn, “Come out and be restored to your families.” An anemic cheer came from the observers in response to the beckoning.

But the boys were nowhere in sight.

After about thirty seconds, the politician repeated his plea. Then, a very faint sound. A tiny voice, almost inaudible, came from inside the tent. The people turned to each other, trying to figure out what had been spoken, so the politician lifted his bullhorn and said, “What? We can’t hear you.”

Karin, exasperated, shouted. “That’s because they don’t have a bullhorn.” She shocked herself. Everyone turned to peer at her with mingled expressions—part in agreement, but mostly disapproving.

Quickly, a second bullhorn was located, and a young boy was summoned to run it up the hill as far as he could, watching for danger, and throw it near the tent opening. Completing the mission, he returned, to a few cheers from the crowd. And then, an arm reached out to pull the bullhorn into the tent.

The politician summoned, “Now you can speak, and we can hear you.”

All at once there was a screech from the enclosure followed by a phony, basso profundo voice. “I am the Lord your God.”

There was a little giggle at the end, which came through the bullhorn loud and clear.

Some chuckles trickled through the gathered horde, quickly terminated by the politician holding up his hand. “Jubal and Amir, we want you to come out and be restored to your families.”

A delay.

Then Iz spoke through the bullhorn—much more basso profundo. “Man with the loud voice, I am the Lord your God. I want you to leave the boys alone.”

Then Pal came on with his own God-impersonation. “Don’t listen to him. I am the Lord your God.” More stifled laughter.

The politician dropped the bullhorn to his side in disgust. He turned to the audience and pleaded, “This is not funny. We’ll just have to go up and get them.”

A lady raised her hand and spoke from the midst. “I’ve heard they have weapons.”

“A grenade,” quickly confirmed a man.

“Does anyone know this for sure?” asked the politician, scanning the gathering.

An unseen man in the back piped in. “No. But I’m not willing to find out.” A few more chuckles.

Suddenly, another screech came from the tent—Iz, singing.

“I’m gonna rock and roll…all night. And party every day!”

He sang it again, this time with Pal joining him.

The politician was furious, finished with any negotiations. “They’re just mocking us!”

Karin felt a light tap on her shoulder. She turned, and there was her editor. He whispered, “Hold on. I think it’s about to get really interesting…”

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Cracked 5 … September 14th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4167)

Cracked 5

Things Not as Well Known About the Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe

A. Hated the Pope because she couldn’t use birth control

 

 B. Was reported to children’s services by the young chick who lived in the hat

 

 C. Really, really wanted to give her children the boot

 

 D. Cleaned her house from heel to toe

 

 E. Kids had laces, but no braces

 

 

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Sit Down Comedy … September 13th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4166)

Sit Down Comedy

The government the forefathers envisioned–being of the people, for the people and by the people—has devolved into a puzzle of political pandering.

Perhaps the worst part of the scenario is that those people the government was supposed to serve have accepted the bastard that’s been birthed and deemed America.

This has primarily been brought about by the assertion that the more complicated a thing is, the greater the chance that it will succeed.

So imitating the worst parts of former kingdoms which had emperors, senators, dignitaries and conquering, we have accumulated a history of pursuing a dream which has gradually left us sleepless.

America has boiled down to three P’s

  1. Party

The political party you identify with, which means you concede to accept the universal platform

  1. Plans

How can we make it seem that we’re addressing the difficulties in our nation and the world around us, without ever explaining step-by-step, how it will be initiated day by day?

  1. Personality

We are obsessed with rooting for our candidate-tainted-with-scandal while condemning your candidate-tainted-with-scandal.

Our leaders should be selected on the following:

A. Could we work side-by-side with them on a job?

B.  Could we work for them if they were our boss?

C.  When problems arise, what demeanor do they take on?

There’s the word: demeanor

The Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives should be voted in based on the demeanor of the candidates who will need to mull great quandaries yet find ways to simplify them for immediate attention.

So what is meant by demeanor? It begins with one simple principle:

Don’t attack

If you feel the need to bring down your adversary in order to make yourself look strong, then you do not possess the demeanor to be part of the leadership of this great country. Therefore, the people with the correct demeanor also:

Refuse to retaliate

For such defensiveness is a sign of avoiding looking foolish instead of persevering with great ideals.

Case in point: Does anyone think we are doing good in the Middle East?

The argument presented is that “bad things will happen if we leave.” We should pose a question: Since we know what we’re doing is foul and we don’t know that leaving will make it worse, why do we continue to stubbornly pursue the inefficient?

We are led by people who first attack and then retaliate.

You should not vote for anyone based on their policies or their political party. Ask yourself if you could work with them, if you could work for them and if he or she carries a pleasant disposition, seeking ways to solve problems instead of losing perspective and exacerbating the situation.

A leader of the United States of America must possess the wisdom and wit to have good cheer.

It was not Thomas Jefferson, John Adams or George Washington that launched our country in the correct direction. What held everything together in the beginning was what we need now:

The congenial cleverness of Benjamin Franklin

Franklin never saw a problem where he didn’t create an invention. He couldn’t even stand to watch lightning without inviting it down to explain itself. This is what we need.

Our candidates are pugnacious.

It is exactly the opposite of what makes good leadership for democracy.

So when I watch the debates or I look at Washington, D. C., I ask myself, could I work side by side with this person? If he or she were promoted, could I enjoy them as my boss? And, are they looking for a simple answer to begin the journey to completion, while maintaining a sense of “all is well” with good cheer?

 

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3 Things … September 12th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4165)

That Determine Your Effectiveness

 

1. Can you say yes or no without feeling the need to make excuses?

 

2. Do you truly know what you actually don’t know?

 

3. Can you stop comparing yourself to others?

 

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Drawing Attention … September 11th, 2019

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(4464)

Coming Fall 2

(tap the picture to see the video)

art by smarrttie pants

Music:  Anew

From the symphony Crystalline by Jonathan Richard Cring

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Not Long Tales … September 10th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4163)

5.

Pocket Size

Carl couldn’t stop staring at the small, cherrywood box sitting at the front of the church. He was very still, except every once in a while he got nervous knees and started swinging his legs, which prompted his mother to give him a quick, gentle swat, as she whispered in his direction, “Don’t you be actin’ like some peckerwood.”

He did not know what she meant by that, but every time she warned him in her stern tone, which still contained just a hint of her Norwegian upbringing, he was quite certain that even though he was a young fella, subject to fits of boredom, he did not want to be classified as a peckerwood, which based upon his mother’s disgust, must absolutely be a forsaken doomed child.

Inside that cherrywood box which drew his attention was his classroom friend. Her name was Lydia. They had told Carl that she was dead, though no further details were offered. Yet just by sitting quietly and listening to the adults on the way to the funeral, he was able to learn that his friend, Lydia, had been murdered by some stranger and cut into pieces, leaving behind only her blood-soaked dress.

All these words were so cruel and foul that Carl was unable to find an image in his mind to match them.

The funeral pressed on. Song after song, speech after speech. Especially terrifying to his young heart was when he saw Lydia’s mother and father break down in tears, a howling so intense it left him shivering, his skin crawling.

So he was relieved when they left the church, got into the big, black car with four adults including his mother, and headed off to the gravesite, where there would be more songs, talking and tears. Carl felt a little bad because he was grateful for the distraction.

Recently his life at school had become nearly unbearable. Living in the rural regions of Minnesota and having the last name “Bunyan,” Carl was constantly teased by all the children, because unlike his mythical ancestor, Paul Bunyan, Carl was a boy who was very small, slight, quiet, shy and sheepish.

Although these words were associated with goodness, they were taunted as failure by the overwhelming bullies. Last week, desperate, Carl went to see his grandfather, Peter. Peter Bunyan. He explained the trouble he was having at school because he was a Bunyan but didn’t have a mighty axe and seemed to be unable to “drink an entire lake.”

His grandfather listened carefully, stroked the boy’s flyaway hair and said, “When these boys say their words, you think this to yourself. I want you to memorize it. You think, then speak: Not small, not tall, not loud, not proud, just a lad, so glad, no lies, pocket size.

Grandfather reached down and tickled his ribs to prompt a giggling closing. Then he continued, “You see, that’s what you are. You’re perfect. You’re pocket size. You can be tucked away and carried anywhere.”

Even though Carl was not greatly comforted by the counsel and the bullies were unimpressed by the little rhyme he shared, his tensions were relieved.

And then the whole school received the news that Lydia, who had been missing for a month, was dead.

Now, standing at the grave, next to the hole in the ground where the cherrywood box would be placed, he was suddenly shaken with fear and grief. Since nobody was paying much attention to him, he scooted away and walked through the cemetery, heading toward the northeast corner where the bigger and older monuments covered with moss stood, worn but tall.

As he walked among them, he paused in front of one that still had some bluish-gray stone shining through.

“Is that you, Thomas?”

The voice seemed to come from inside him—out through the top of his head and into the surrounding air. “What?” he asked, looking around in every direction for the source of the question.

“Is that you, little Thomas? You haven’t visited for so long.”

Carl held his breath. He stared at the gravesite and realized that the question was coming from within it. He couldn’t help it—he was so terrified he peed his pants. He leaped away and looked in every direction to see if there was anybody who might possibly have been addressing him.

Embarrassed by his action of urinating himself, he looked over at the surrounding grass, and noticed some dribble of his own pee on the blades. Fearing being caught and punished, he ran over, took his foot and covered up the droplets with some dirt. As he did, the voice spoke again.

“Thomas, why have you come to see me?”

It was too much. Carl turned and ran at breakneck speed, not stopping until he literally collided into his mother’s leg, almost knocking her over. Having a maternal sense beyond comprehension, she gave a sniff and inquired, “Did you wet yourself?”

Carl was astounded, but replied, “Maybe. But I don’t think so. Nah.”

When they got home, he scurried out of the car and into his room, where he immediately changed. Merely wearing underpants, he lay on his bed, thinking about what he had experienced.

He must have been dreaming. Yes, maybe he had dozed off looking at the stones. Still, there was a tug from the adventuresome part of him—which usually hid away out of propriety and for fear of criticism.

He came out to eat dinner and asked his parents when the sun would rise. They gave him a quizzical look but told him that according to the newspaper it was set to rise at six-thirty in the morning. He nodded. They waited for an explanation. Realizing he needed to come up with something, he continued nodding, and mustered, “Schoolwork.”

“But tomorrow is Saturday,” objected his father. “There’s no school.”

Nervously, Carl replied, “Yes. But there is a sunrise, right?”

Carl’s mother found this funny, laughed, and the subject disappeared into the air. But the next morning, shortly after dawn, Carl headed back toward the cemetery. He brought along a canteen, a couple of candy bars and one of the small kitchen knives, just in case he had to defend himself. Of course, if ghosts were talking to him, a knife probably wouldn’t be very helpful. But it could scare them away.

Arriving at the cemetery, a walk of about a mile-and-a-half, he made his way to the gravestone where he had heard the voice. He edged forward until he was standing directly in front of the stone.

“Is that you, Thomas?” came the voice again, sounding identical to the way it had the day before. Carl immediately had the urge to run, but tried hard to stand still, his knees knocking.

“Not many people visit. Thank you for coming,” the voice stated politely. He quickly backed away, moving to the left, and found himself in front of another stone.

“My wife is my problem,” spoke a different voice. Frightened, Carl quickly leaped back to his original position.

“Hello, again, Thomas! Did you forget something?”

Carl carefully stepped across the adjacent grave and perched in front of another stone, next to the complaining husband.

“Do you know my husband?” A woman’s voice. “He is a philanderer.”

Carl didn’t know what the word meant, but inched back to his right, facing the other grave.

“My wife is nothing but a nagging machine!” intoned the voice.

Carl smiled. He was standing in front of the graves of a husband and wife. He moved to his left.

“I didn’t want to be buried next to him,” said the wife, “but the plot had already been purchased.”

Carl stepped again to his right, in front of the husband’s plot.

“It was bad enough that I had to live with her. To have her as a next-door neighbor is completely intolerable.”

Carl was terrified—but entertained at the same time. He spent the next hour going from grave to grave, hearing pieces of conversation—mostly complaints.

He wondered if death was a place where people realized that their lives were over, but they still kept their sadness. He had not yet decided whether to talk back to the grave-speakers, so forming what he thought was a very good question, when he was in front of the lady’s grave, after he heard her latest complaint, he asked, “Why are you so unhappy? I thought heaven was a place of joy.”

There was a long pause. Maybe Carl was not allowed to offer a contribution to the conversation. Then the voice responded, speaking softly.

“Heaven is unimaginable,” came the answer. “It’s just that every once in a while, we have to come back here to remember our lives, feel again, and pray for others.”

Carl shook his head. It was all so bizarre.

He had heard of a word—they had just learned it in school. Hallucination. Maybe that was what was happening to him. With all the tension of being bullied at school and the death of his friend, maybe his mind was escaping reality by creating a new world, separate from the pain. At least, that’s what the definition in the schoolbook said.

He slipped away, careful not to disturb any more gravesites, or souls.

As he was leaving the cemetery, he remembered the grave of his friend. Young Lydia. He wondered if it was proper to bother her so soon after her passing. But his curiosity overtook him.

He eased up to her grave and stood right in front of the marker that had been left, preparing for the arrival of the stone.

Nothing but silence.

Wondering if the hallucination time was over, he stepped over to his right. There was a woman’s voice, explaining the pain she had tucked away during her life.

On the gravesite to the left of Lydia’s, there was a young man’s voice, apologizing for drinking and losing his life in a car wreck.

But whenever he stood in front of Lydia’s grave, there was only silence.

Something was wrong.

Carl walked to the edge of the cemetery. About to head to his house, he realized that the town was only about a half-mile away, so he walked, jogged and ended up running to the police station. He had no idea what he was going to say.

He walked through the door. The entire station turned to look at him. He felt surrounded, realizing there would be no way to explain what he wanted to say without appearing to be the “crazy boy,” a dumb kid pulling a crank, or worst of all, coming off like a peckerwood.

A woman detective stepped forward, sensing something amiss. She took little Carl into her office and sat him down. She bought him a root beer. He loved root beer. (Mostly it was the taste, but some of it was being able to say he was drinking a beer, even though it had a root, too.)

After several sips, he relaxed. She was so understanding that he spilled his whole story. The funeral, the gravesite and the voices. He even told her that he had wet his pants. He explained that he had come back this morning just to see if he was nutty—or maybe just to confirm that he was wacko.

She listened carefully, hanging on his every word. When he was finally done sharing, she leaned in close to his face—so near that he could smell the coffee on her breath. “You’ve just had a really, really bad week. What is your name?”

Carl swallowed hard, knowing that once he gave his name, he was opening the door to his parents finding out about his weird comings, and now, weird goings.

“Carl Bunyan,” he replied dutifully. But he could not silence himself. The sense of dread overtook him, so he continued. “I know my story sounds crazy, but what if I’m right? Would you really hate yourself, ma’am, if you helped out a little kid? Even if I’m wrong, you can always say, you know…that you’re a good police person.”

Carl could see that she was considering it. She chuckled to herself and asked, “Well, what do you want me to do?”

Carl said, “I’m telling you—Lydia is not in that grave.”

The policewoman sat back and heaved a sigh. “Of course not. They didn’t find her body. I don’t want to spook you, but we think she was chopped up by her killer, and her body parts thrown in with the hogs down at the Spencer farm.”

Carl grimaced, but after he thought for a moment, he replied, “No—I mean, you know what you’re talking about, but I still just don’t think she’s dead.”

These seemed to be the magic words—the needed phrase. The detective patted him on the head and said, “Now you’ve given me probable cause. It’s my duty to follow up on every lead.”

She asked Carl to stay in her office while she checked some things out. It didn’t take very long. About an hour-and-a-half later she returned and awoke him from one of those “do nothing, go to sleep” naps. She was shaking her head. Carl noticed that her hands were also shaking.

“Carl,” she said, “I need to tell you—we went to the mortuary to talk to the undertaker who buried Lydia. At first, he was hostile. Do you know what hostile means?”

Carl nodded.

“I was suspicious of why he was so hostile,” the detective went on, “so I pushed him, and when I told him I was thinking about digging up her body, he broke down and confessed. Now, here’s the story. Carl, Lydia’s parents ran out of money, so they decided to go over to Beckersville. That’s about thirty miles away. They found some people who owned a big farm and they sold the girl to these folks so she could work for them. They got twenty thousand dollars for her. Before they took her over there, they drew some blood from her, telling her that she was donating to the Red Cross. And they worked out a deal to give two thousand dollars to the undertaker to keep his mouth shut—and to bury just the dress they had stained with her blood. So you, sir—you were absolutely right. Lydia was not there, and now she’s headed back home, to be with her grandparents. And three very bad people are on their way to jail.”

“Peckerwoods,” said Carl.

The detective frowned but nodded her head. “Yeah,” she agreed. “I guess they’re peckerwoods.”

Although the authorities kept the story as quiet as possible, it was leaked, and young Carl became quite the hero. He never, ever went back to the cemetery. He took the deceased at their word. The folks there were busy with their concerns.

He went back to school, and the bullies left him alone. Maybe they were all a little afraid that Carl might bring a ghost down on their heads.

Carl didn’t care.

Carl wasn’t unhappy.

Carl didn’t need to be famous.

He had decided he enjoyed being pocket size.

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