1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Magnify Your Character)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

(To Magnify Your Character)

William Shakespeare contended that “all the world’s a stage and each one of us, merely players.”

So who are you?

In the world of theater, it is impossible to play too many characters without coming across anemic in the roles. Also, if you establish your character onstage and then drastically revise it, the audience doesn’t buy into your leap.

The one thing you should think about this week to magnify your character is:

Don’t let your problems give you stage directions

Unlike true theater, in everyday life we have a tendency to adjust to the settings, the surroundings, the spotlights, the poor audience reaction or the failure of others around us to remember their lines, and either attempt to revise our dialogue to fit the circumstance or freak out because our the revisions cause us to lose all credibility.

Here is this week’s question: who are you?

And don’t try to tell me that you are a multi-faceted individual with many different layers of being. That’s the best way to describe a liar. Who are you?

Once you find the answer to that, remaining faithful to the role, no matter how the play unfolds in front of you, is how you gain the reputation of being solid and trustworthy– well worth knowing by your peers.

An acquaintance recently asked me, “Who are you?”

I replied, “I am a character addicted to good cheer, so no matter what you hand me, I will do my best to give you back joy.”

The definition of immaturity is feeling the need to change the script simply because there’s been an unforeseen twist in the plot. But in doing so, we sully our character and make ourselves seem unreliable.

Who are you?

Answer that question–and then don’t let your problems or your mishaps give you stage directions.

 

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Ask Jonathots … November 17th, 2016

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When turning the other cheek, how do you ensure you won’t be slapped twice?

A door has two functions.

If open, it provides access to another possibility.

If closed, it creates curiosity, but also can pass along the impression that what is beyond the barrier is forbidden.

The reason most people fight is because the doors are closed. It’s the main reason that “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” fails to achieve any purpose–because slamming the door in the face of another human being does not mean they won’t try to burst through or close doors in your face.

Retaliation is a never-ending process–unless somebody opens a door.

I have relationships with people who are fruitful, even though they’ve been speckled with egregious conflict and offense. They work because doors are left open.

And I have broken connections with other folks that were halted because the door was slammed on communication, leaving behind a climate of mistrust–a grudge.

When you turn the other cheek, you refuse to slam the door on the possibility of creating peace.

Will someone take advantage of your willingness and slug you again? Perhaps. But if you push back they will certainly follow up their violence with additional attacks.

For after all, there are no guarantees when it comes to interaction with human beings, yet I can promise you that if you slam doors, strike out, or try to get even, you will certainly be in danger of escalating the aggression.

It is in that moment of turning the other cheek, refusing to participate, and allowing for cooler heads to prevail, that you thrust a mirror into the face of your enemy and let him or her see themselves as the villain.

Does it always work? Does anything?

Certainly there are some folks who will continue to beat on you once you stop fighting, but it is not the norm. Usually when you refuse to seek revenge, you will stall the vitriol of others and give them pause to contemplate.

In that moment, more than likely you will avoid the second slapping–and just possibly open the door to conversation. 

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Ask Jonathots … November 10th, 2016

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What role do you think the media played in the 2016 Presidential election?

Decide.

It’s the most important step each one of us takes in our lives. Decide what we think is important and steer our life in that direction.

Without this determination, we often find ourselves misled by the passing fancy of an overzealous press or an under-informed society.

Once you understand the function of the media, you can begin to comprehend how their input is valuable, and where it is detrimental to your own well-being. Here is the agenda of the media in the United States of America:

1. Dig up information–the fresher the better.

In the process of desiring to bring news-breaking stories, often truth and detail are compromised. So in order to be intelligent, you must realize that what you hear is not dependable unless it has survived 72 hours of scrutiny.

2. Fill time.

When the nightly news was only half an hour in length, there was no requirement to cover so many stories with so many angles, as with the introduction of the 24-hour news cycle.

It is similar to going to a party knowing you’re going to stay an hour, or going to a party knowing you will be forced into the confines of that environment for four hours. Under the one-hour limit, you don’t have to work so hard to fill the time, and therefore may actually be less likely to lie, exaggerate or gossip.

3. Make money.

Yes, the media is at the mercy of sponsors, and they often have an agenda. So the media finds itself subject to that agenda, and therefore they pad reports with stories which support the requirement.

So whenever you watch a news organization, you are getting their “take” on the news instead of an even representation.

As for me, I consider what the media is doing–having already determined three things for my own lifestyle

A. I will love my neighbor as myself.

B. I will take personal responsibility for my life.

C. I will be of good cheer.

I feel that the media during this Presidential election was instrumental in robbing us of a sense of brotherly love, personal responsibility and certainly a desire to have good cheer.

There were just times I had to turn it off  to maintain the integrity of my heart’s desire and mission.

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“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

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Ask Jonathots … November 3rd, 2016

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Organic and natural foods are extremely expensive–out of reach for the average American, including me. But packaged foods are full of additives, starch or high fructose corn syrup. How do you find affordable healthy food in America?

In the realm of groceries or food products, there are only three ways to acquire nutritious portions and avoid the additives, salts and sugars.

1. You can grow your own food.

It may sound a little ridiculous, but lots of people have a small parcel of land where simple vegetables can be grown with some ease–especially things like tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and squash.

2. Look for mark-downs.

Some grocery stores are very willing to mark down produce and even meat when they are near expiration. Find those stores, learn their patterns and be there when these various products are discounted for a more reasonable price.

3. Adjust your menu for the week to what is on sale.

Sometimes produce and vitamin-rich products are set at a lower price in order to lure people into the store. They often keep those prices for ten or twelve days, hoping to “hook” people on the taste before they raise the cost.

Don’t lock into bananas when it turns out that strawberries are on sale. Don’t insist on grapefruit if they have a deal on tangerines.

And I guess I should add a fourth point:

If you’re going to get nutritious food at a reasonable price, you have to adjust to the fact that you probably will be traveling to more than one grocery store. Make shopping a joy by beating the system through finding the deals, taking advantage of the mark-downs, and then supplementing your choices with a few things grown from your own garden.

If you will do these things, you will find that your budget will permit much healthier choices.

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Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Ask Jonathots… September 13th, 2016

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I have some very intelligent conservative friends, but they seem like they will give up all logic concerning this election. Why will they give up their logic just to see their candidate prevail?

During a very brief period of deprivation, I ended up living on a farm with a fine gentleman who generously afforded me a chance to regain my feet.

I was grateful for the mercy. I wanted to help.

One day I asked him if there was anything I could do, and he led me over to some firewood. He requested that I stack it up against the side of the house. I agreed.

I had never done this before. So when I came to the side of the house, I saw two wooden planks on the ground, and thinking they were castaways, I removed them so I could place the wood in neat piles. Try as I might, I could never get the wood to stack correctly, and every time I thought I had figured out the right angles, it would slide down and fall to the side. I worked on it for three hours but made little progress.

When my benefactor returned, he asked me where the boards were that were supposed to be lying on the ground near the house. I explained I had removed them because I thought they were unnecessary. He laughed.

He said, “You need the two boards down on the ground. Otherwise the wood won’t stack right. The ground is too uncertain to keep things straight.”

Such is the case in this election year.

In an attempt to stack up ideas, goals, agendas and proposals, we have removed the planks that make everything work.

Very good people have ignored their basic truths in an attempt to elect their candidate. But you see, when you remove the boards–the principles and abiding notions of humanity–the ideas just don’t stack up.

I do not know what your planks of principle may be. I only have two:

  • No one is better than anyone else.
  • Don’t judge.

When I lay those down as the foundation for my thinking, my ideas and opportunities begin to stack up better. If I remove them, I find myself becoming too partisan, selfish, self-righteous and unfortunately ignorant.

Your conservative friends, just like your liberal ones, have decided to ignore the fallacies of both candidates. Why? Because they foolishly believe that the end justifies the means.

In an attempt to appoint Supreme Court justices, secure the borders or even promote the overuse of entitlement, they have abandoned the planks.

So my best advice in handling these last days leading up to the election is for each and every one of us to find our planks of purpose again, and then stack up these candidates in relationship to them.

For me, I would have to ask which candidate is the least offensive to “no one is better than anyone else” and “don’t judge.”

Based upon that decision, I would make my selection.

So when you talk to your friends–be they conservative or liberal–start the discussion by asking them what are the two greatest planks of their principles.

Then stack the wood accordingly.

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Ask Jonathots… September 15th, 2016

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I truly don’t understand what the big deal is about sex. I haven’t figured out why people think your sex related decisions define you. Is it just because a) you’re naked, and b) it’s how babies are created?

There is a simple problem in our country:

Those who believe in God fail to honor science, and those who revere science find it necessary to turn their backs on God.

There seem to be relatively few people who understand that a Creative Father felt the need to establish an order through Mother Nature.

With that in mind, let’s address your question.

  • When do people mature sexually? Somewhere between the age of 13 and 15.
  • When do we think people should get married? Late twenties, or some folks even think early 30’s.

So in our culture there are fifteen years of sexual viability which is supposed to be stuffed away in a closet in preparation for marriage, or stumbled into through carnal experimentation made dangerous through immaturity and disease.

We really have to make up our minds. Are we going to continue to believe that people are children until they’re thirty, or are we going to establish an earlier emotional awareness to match the sexual awakening?

Sex is a big deal because people either pretend it’s sacred or just “a physical experience.” Since human beings may be the only species in which both male and female have the capacity for pleasure outside of procreation, we should probably emphasize the pleasure side of sexuality instead of insisting that God has belabored the girl with birth and the boy with “killing the game and dragging it back to the fire.”

What is sex? It is a physical experience producing a burst of pleasure which is also used by our species for procreation.

So if you have no intention of procreating, then you should be looking for ways to tap the pleasure without becoming irresponsible.

If your intention is to procreate, then you probably need to do what all the animals on Earth do–find a way to nest with your mate to take care of your baby birds.

You have to make up your mind:

Are we just animals or is there more to us than that?

Are we just spiritual or do we possess a bit of animal?

Sexuality can never be casual because we’re not just tigers. It can also never be considered completely spiritual–it’s too easy to do and we really don’t do it any different from the monkeys.

So what’s the best answer for you?

Get a mature look at both your physical evolution and your emotional responsibility. You will never be able to have sex without having some inclination toward an emotional union.

Avoid the stupidity of the religious, who make the joining of the penis and the vagina some sort of holy oracle.

And also escape the worldly, who view it as a common crossroads of human interaction.

In the long run we will have to teach our children to mature more quickly–or else not be so concerned that they start “probing the parts.”

For after all, even the Pope knows that nobody’s going to arrive at twenty-nine years of age a virgin.

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Ask Jonathots… September 1st, 2016

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I have a friend who is not a believer. He loves people, is kind-hearted and generous. In other words he acts like a believer who follows Jesus. How can I convince him that Jesus is the way? P.S. I have done my best to “shine my light” before him, but he doesn’t seem to budge.

I assume you’re talking about the standard Plan of Salvation:

God sent His son in the body of Jesus of Nazareth to come to Earth to give himself as a human sacrifice for the sin of mankind, so that if anyone accepts him as Savior, they can be redeemed and guaranteed a home in heaven.

I will tell you that if your aspiration is to see your friend follow this step-by-step procedure to attain eternal security, you probably will be greatly disappointed. The amount of anger, disaster or devastation that comes into one’s life before reaching the “end of the rope” that is required to comply with this particular enacting of salvation is not very common–and not something you would actually wish on your worst enemy.

So let me offer you a different insight.

Your friend has the power of knowing where the switch is, to turn on the lights. That’s pretty special. What he doesn’t have is the awareness of how that light works or what to do if the switch is broken.

Once we understand that God is not only our Father, but is the Creator of Earth, and therefore the Initiator of science, technology, atmosphere and logic, we have a much better comprehension of the mission of Jesus.

Jesus basically grants human beings two things they do not have without him:

  1. Don’t worry about life.
  2. Don’t worry about eternity.

He made it clear that we should not sit around “taking thought” about what we shall eat, drink and wear because it is all built into God’s system if we keep our eyes open and pursue opportunities.

And Jesus made it equally understandable that eternity was prepared for us, and that he would be there to meet us.

The rest of the Gospel is merely explaining how the juice gets to the lightbulb–so just in case our light switch stops working, we can ask the “Master Electrician” to join us in reconnecting.

Is there truth to the Plan of Salvation about a human sacrifice?

When mankind was given the freewill choice of accepting the teachings of Jesus, and rejected, murdering him, God chose to use it as a means of forgiving us for our shortcomings.

Pretty powerful.

So what should your profile be? Make sure that your friend is fully aware that the Creator is also the scientist, philosopher, musician, technologist and free thinker that he requires in his everyday life.

Remember, Jesus wanted to be known for his words.

The religious system honors him for his blood.

But the average person is not nearly as intent on finding a sacrificial lamb as in discovering someone who can understand and show compassion.

Case in point:

When Zacchaeus gave his money back to those he had cheated on taxes, Jesus said, “Salvation has come to your house.”

Zacchaeus didn’t confess, he wasn’t baptized and Jesus had not yet died. But salvation was there because Zacchaeus welcomed the wisdom of awareness and mercy for others.

Stop being in a hurry to get your friend to sign on the dotted line, and instead, give him more “lines” of appreciation to his Creator.

 

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