Salient…July 2nd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3721)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Bring your own joy or bring your own bitching.

It’s really that simple.

There are a chosen few who have discovered the secret to life in knowing that it is essential to show up with your own joy if you expect to have joy for lunch and dinner.

It is not provided.

The American freeway system will not roll out joy for you on your way to work. Your job is not necessarily geared to your happiness. Certainly your children and family have so many pursuits that they don’t have time to plan a special dish of “giddy” for you.

And the entertainment industry in this country…Well, let’s just say they seem to enjoy themselves.

If you don’t bring your own joy you will fall prey to succumbing to the overpowering nastiness of those who bring bitching.

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll give you some examples of those who show up bitching. Here are a handful of the statements they make:

1. “I’m not a morning person.”

2. “I didn’t sleep well (again).”

3. “I don’t talk until I’ve had my coffee…”

4. “Those drivers are crazy.”

5. “My kids are good…just presently screwed up.”

6. “What’s with Trump?”

7. “America is getting great again.”

8. “I’m not prejudiced, but…”

9. “I think I have cancer.”

10. “The world is so evil…”

11. “The polar ice caps are melting.”

12. “I love my dog more than people.”

Brace yourself.

This onslaught of negativity will come at you without remedy. There is no cure. These people have already decided that bitching IS their joy. Therefore, they are only comfortable around fellow-bitchers.

They even want you to change the term from “bitching” to “complaining.” (It just sounds a little better. And of course, we all know that life is all about how it sounds. NOT.)

So here is your salient moment:

BYOJ (Bring Your Own Joy) or BYOB (Bring Your Own Bitching)

It is a daily conflict which faces each and every one of us, and determines the quality of our souls and often reflects the healthiness of our bodies.

 

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Salient…June 25th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3714)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Shall we take a look at a fascinating window of time that occurs in all human beings, from birth to about five years of age? Each one of us is so vulnerable, so needy, so inquisitive and so desperate that we are prepared to be taught to be Earth-dwellers by our parents. Sometimes this extends all the way up to age ten.

Three very intricate systems are introduced: manners, morals and motivation.

This is the period when we develop our ethics–perhaps a work ethic or a social one, but certainly a mental gear we adopt to deal with life and with others.

Most generally this instruction is completed by age eleven, because here comes puberty. For the average parent puberty can be best defined as this: “My children have lost their hearing in favor of their genitals.”

It is difficult to provide additional instruction during this period. Sometimes after a serious error, there will be a brief season of curiosity from the adolescent, but then the trio of temptation, taunting and teasing pulls them right back into the melee of mayhem.

This lasts until about age twenty-five. (Of course, it could be twenty-two, or thirty, depending on the person. But for the sake of this brief essay, I shall characterize it as twenty-five.)

At twenty-five young folks wake up–sometimes after a hangover or after getting their first threatening letter from a bill collector for their student loans, or perhaps realizing they might be in love.

A realization strikes: “Maybe me, an individual, could become us, a family.”

So three new friends show up to invigorate manners, morals and motivation. They are concern, confidence and clever.

We, as humans, develop a legitimate concern for others while building confidence and finding clever ways to use what we have more expansively.

It is a massive transition–a needful one. Without it, many young persons never become actual adults at all, but linger around their families, particularly their parents, coming back for another schooling in morals, manners and motivation.

This concern, confidence and clever births some children, buys a house, acquires job promotions and takes us, as people, to about the age of fifty. (Once again, this could be younger or a little older.)

At fifty, having tapped the fruit of concern, confidence and clever, people want more. There is a wrinkle in the spirit of human beings which causes them to wistfully wish to make a difference and leave behind a legacy.

It is at this point that we pursue wit, words and wisdom. It carries us through to our dying breath.

Yet we certainly know individuals in their seventies who have never escaped concern, confidence and clever–or maybe never even learned morals, manners and motivation.

This is a passage. All human passages are entered only through the power of repentance.

So here is your salient moment:

Gather up all your manners, morals and motivation, and stir in your concern, confidence and cleverness. And if you have reached the age, add on your wit, words and wisdom.

Finish the job.

Of course, if you’re led of the Spirit and you’re a creature who knows how to use faith, you don’t have to wait for birthdays to dictate your future.

As the Good Book says, “today is the day of salvation.”

 

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Salient…June 18th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3707)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

I have never been quite certain what the purpose is for a disclaimer. If you’re going to disavow a claim, why make it in the first place? Yet since I have the tendency to pursue hypocrisy, I shall make the following disclaimer:

I am fully aware that the toys I am about to mention are archaic, old-fashioned and certainly not in the lexicon of anyone under the age of thirty-five. Yet attempting to substitute modern toys would remove much of the charm, and still make me irrelevant within five years.

So let me say that when Eddie came to my house for a play date, I was fully expecting him to show up with marbles.

(Marbles are little circular glass toys of all sorts of colors. You pinched them with your fingers, rolling them across the floor and striking your friend’s marble, and in so doing, you won control of his prize. It was very popular back when you were able to play outside because the dinosaurs had gone to their watering hole.)

But when Eddie arrived, he did not have his marble sack. Instead he was carrying four brand new cans of Play-Doh. For those unacquainted with Play-Doh, it is best explained as a molding clay in various colors with which you could use to form objects and declare yourself artistic.

Eddie’s parents had just purchased the Play-Doh and he was obsessed with the stuff. I was offended because he had not warned me, and I was prepared to play marbles.

We struck a bargain: he would work with his Play-Doh and I would pursue marbles. This lasted half an hour.

We were miserable.

I kept looking over at his Play-Doh and he kept peering at my marbles, each of us insisting that we were happy–while secretly aggravated because we weren’t playing with each other.

Finally I interrupted the process and suggested we take the Play-Doh, roll it into tiny circles resembling marbles and mingle the games, instituting a new format called “Play-Doh Marbles.”

It seemed ingenious, but the Play-Doh would not roll, so we tried throwing the little clay circles at the actual marbles, and it came off as stupid.

It was a play day from hell–so frustrating that we cut it short, growled at each other a bit and separated to our households of security.

Now, as I rose and listened to the news this morning, I realized that we have much the same situation in our world.

Everybody is showing up with their favorite toys. Because we insist that nothing matches, nothing is the same, nothing is culturally equivalent, we are playing side-by-side with our own rendition of fun, privately pissed off.

No one seems to have the sense to look for common toys, mutual ground or general excitement. We have become convinced that “marble people” are better than “Play-Doh people,” and because of that “Play-Dough people” should not be allowed near “marble people.” We even make up rumors about “Play-Doh people” and diminish their character. Sometimes we even say that “Play-Doh people” smell. Or is it the “marble people?”

Earth does not work unless we agree on the toys. I can think of three right away:

  1.  Kindness.
  2.  Respect
  3.  Passion

Without this trio, the Trinity look like three bums who came into town to hold a revival and nobody showed up.

It is time for your salient moment:

If you can play with your dough, you won’t mind losing your marbles.

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Salient…June 11th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3700)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Even though it is not the holiday season, I found myself thinking about the song, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

If you are six years old, the title of this tune is frightening, leading your young mind to believe there’s a divorce in the making, custody battles and certainly a scandal awaiting the great Toymaker to the North.

If you happen to be older–let’s say above fourteen years of age–you don’t have quite the visceral reaction, since you have some inside information which might explain the circumstance. In other words, there might be a reason that Mommy is kissing Santa Claus that the young tyke isn’t fully aware of.

This is the advantage of knowledge, especially when it’s clothed with a great coat of common sense, and sits in a comfortable chair, with calmness.

Yet we, who are supposed to be grownups, are being carried away by all sorts of foolishness and deceptions, as if we are unaware of the possibility of different interpretations.

In politics, we’ve convinced ourselves that lying is an acceptable part of the practice, even though, in our mature minds, we are cognizant of the fact that no liar ever totally gets by with his or her fabrication.

In social interaction, we don’t seem to be able to distinguish the difference between a very poorly executed attempt at flirtation, harrasment, stalking and rape.

And in our religious realms, we deem ourselves to be the judges of humanity, when we were warned by the Judge of All not to don His auspicious robes.

To put it plainly, we are much smarter and more sophisticated than we pretend to be. Just as we know Mommy’s not really kissing Santa Claus, we likewise know that politicians can’t lie without eventually being destroyed, men and women need to learn how to interact with each other without singeing the edges with sexuality, and God needs to be worshipped instead of our fellow-human-beings defamed because they fail to measure up to chapter and verse.

We can do better.

  • We can actually take responsibility for the intelligence we’re supposed to have.
  • We can walk in the mercy we require for ourselves.
  • And we can garner the respect for one another that our own souls yearn to receive.

So for our salient moment:

Be as smart as you need to be by making sure you do not dumb down the world around you by pretending that dumb things should be heard.

 

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Salient…June 4th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3693)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

You can “go crazy” or you can “stay sane.” One requires you go and another suggests you stay.

If you intend on spending your life chasing what is popular, convinced that the numbers, profit margin and adulation is proof of its value, then you will end up constantly finding yourself splashing down into a pool of disappointment.

After all, consider the word popular–it “pops up,” and then, when it’s proven to be insufficient for human growth, it pops again, like a balloon, and goes away.

Here is a statement: virtue, love, tenderness, creativity, gentleness and honesty will never be popular.

You will never get the majority of the people to agree at any single moment to swing their weight in the direction of faith, hope and charity. These attributes are enduring.

Those who stay and follow them, when the “crazy” goes away, will find themselves positioned to be of help for friends and family who were wounded by the latest failed fad.

You might ask, what’s the difference between crazy and sane?

Crazy is any movement that suggests that the absence of mercy will achieve progress.

Sane is understanding that the greatest progress we can make is to apply mercy to every situation.

It’s all about mercy. There is no kindness without mercy. There is no love without mercy. Mercy is realizing that even if things don’t get better, we can work with what we have to find some good.

This will never be popular.

There will be more screams for revenge, vindication and violence as the years go by.

You can “go” after these causes, but you’ll end up crazy. Or you can “stay” with the power of mercy and remain sane.

So here is your salient moment:

There will be many voices in the wilderness. If you follow them you will go crazy.

There will always be an opportunity for mercy. If you embrace it, sanity will be your prize.

 

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Salient…May 28th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3686)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Taking into consideration the attitudes and climate in our nation, there are certainly times you might feel like you’re stuck in an elevator with a life insurance salesman, a Mormon missionary and a flasher. It is very difficult to escape without being offended by one of them.

Yet before you fall into a pit of despair or decide to give in to trending thoughts, you might want to consider that there are certainly ongoing principles that need to be honored. Even though it may seem that people break these cardinal rules and get by with it, ultimately, there’s always a reckoning.

There are three words that make the world go ’round: “I was wrong.”

Without “I was wrong” nothing can ever be right.

If you can’t say “I was wrong,” you inevitably resort to lying.

Also, if you’re unable to say “I was wrong,” it leads to an immediate situation: “I am wrong.”

In other words, I continue to be wrong as long as I don’t admit I was wrong.

For most certainly, nothing we ignore ever changes.

Nothing is transformed merely by the passage of time.

Everything must be evaluated, confessed and revised. Otherwise, we cannot separate ourselves from wrong.

I personally don’t mind visiting “wrong” as long as I don’t have to live there. And the only way to keep from dwelling in the condition of being wrong is to admit that you stumble.

Because if you are unwilling to say “I was wrong,” you enter the realm of “I am wrong.” Then the ultimate curse that befalls you is “I will be wrong.”

So no matter what your position is in life, if you’re slow to say “I was wrong,” by the law of nature, you will continue to be MORE wrong as time passes.

You can object. You can try to disguise your iniquity, but your foolishness will be exposed.

So here is your salient moment: “I was wrong” is the only way to ever become right.

 

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Salient … May 21st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3673)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

There is no escape.

No value in running.

Certainly no place to hide.

There are nearly a billion eyeballs staring at you and tens of millions of I-Phones trained on your every move.

Privacy is a concept but never a reality. You are being viewed, and often critically. Even individuals who do not speak to you are still noting your temperament, actions, generosity or lack of compassion.

Perhaps the greatest irony in the human experience is the notion that each one of us should carry a certain amount of overwrought self-esteem, even though simultaneously, you will not tolerate it in any other mortal.

Common sense should kick in. You and I should realize that since we are a species that respects the hell out of humility, pushing our self-worth too far guarantees a backlash from those who feel we are overbearing.

You must realize that kindness, mercy, grace and gentleness are not virtues but rather, precautions–used by intelligent people to protect them from the galling scrutiny of bystanders who draw conclusions from very little evidence.

And from those conclusions they decide how they will treat you.

Case in point:

Sometimes they don’t even know why they don’t like you, but they remember how you cut someone off in traffic, and it pissed them off.

They recall being in the room when you lied to your wife or your family.

They watch as, for the fourteenth time, you walk by a homeless person who is seeking a buck.

They burn with anger over your lack of consideration, caused by your perpetual boredom with your own life. Even though they themselves wouldn’t have done anything differently, you are not permitted indiscretion. You are not allowed to be obnoxious.

Courtesy is not an adventure of the meek, trying to keep the world civil. It is a coat of armor to protect against the slings and arrows which come from the probing public, always ready to indict, prosecute and convict.

And that doesn’t even take into consideration that there may be an Eternal Creator, also watching, who happens to know the number of “glares in your head.”

If you decide to be surly, always realize that there are people who saw it. They will take that encounter and use it against you in a time and place which you do not know.

So now for our salient moment. May I keep it simple?

Be mean, be seen.

Be kind, clear mind.

 

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