1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Make the World a More Flowing Place


Start with agreement

One of the more nasty vices that has slipped into our society is the attitude that we must establish how we disagree with one another in order to keep our ideas, our politics and our faith pure.

We lead with it.

We watch a movie and criticize it instead of first offering the things we enjoyed.

We read a book and tear into it before we share the parts that were enlightening.

We listen to music and complain that it’s derivative or doesn’t have the right beat or lyrics, instead of isolating off the portion that was enriching.

I do believe if you came to Almighty God and asked Him to say one nice thing about Satan, He would reply, “You know, he used to work here—as an angel.”

It won’t kill us to do this

And doing so will set in motion a completely different mindset and manifestation of emotion in the room.

Start with agreement

Then if you feel a need for further comment, enter at your own risk.

It’s a wonderful way to cut down on the animosity that has cropped up in the “Mean Streets.”

Just remember it this way:

First, agree.

Then suggest.

And if you must…

Share the rest.


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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Become a Better Communicator)

Don’t Quote From the Bible

Or Shakespeare, for that matter.

You might want to avoid constantly popping off with lines from old movies.

And nobody’s that interested in what your grandmother once said.

Human beings are just adverse to verse.

Along with coming across pious, self-righteous and intimidating, it leaves the listeners feeling ignorant if they’re not aware of the reference or fail to measure up to the content.

The Good Book even warns that “the letter kills.” In other words, quoting the Bible without allowing for the spirit of the idea to be included does nothing but condemn people.

HOW DO HUMANS LEARN?

Human folks do not learn by hearing lessons or even reading intelligent reports.

We imitate.

We see things we like or we view actions which have proven to be successful, and we come up with our own rendition.

Whenever you quote from the Bible, you’re not only telling people that “God has spoken,” but you’re also interpreting what God means. And the Good Book itself makes it clear that there is no private interpretation. In other words, you and I have not cornered the market on summarizing the heart of God.

This is why Jesus suggested that we “let our light shine before men, that they see our good works”–and then, from that positive experience, they can glorify the Father in Heaven.

The Bible does not encourage people to become faithful followers. You do that through the “word of your testimony.” Learn how to interact without needing to reinforce your experience with an “amen” from Almighty God.

It will turn you into a much better communicator.

 

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Populie: Be Careful What You Say… June 4, 2014

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sticks and stones“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.”

Many generations have used that little adage as a philosophy to handle the bullying, accusations and lies that fly around when our race attempts to jockey for position.

In times past, a man or woman were judged by what they did instead of what they said. (Honestly, a slip of the tongue is very common on the icy roads of daily fumbling.)

But the choices we make in how we interact with one another and the deeds we choose to perform are in our power.

Yet nowadays, we are obsessed with “right speak.” And “right speak,” by the way, is determined by the mood of the moment.

So very little is being accomplished because the whole world is self-conscious–to make sure and say the appropriate thing.

Religion loves this populie because it sets up a scenario for what we shall call a false persecution complex. If we can convince God that the heathen are attacking us verbally, perhaps some of our indifference and spiritual awkwardness will be forgiven, considering how bullied we are.

Politics uses this “be careful what you say” trend to attack opponents and also to pull up lame, hoping to gain the sympathy of the electorate over false reports.

And of course, entertainment finds this populie profitable because it allows them to test the boundaries of free speech and sell tickets based on alleged controversy.

Yet the most recent bizarre example is that of Donald Sterling and the tape that surfaced with his paramour, discussing racial issues.

First and foremost, that particular conversation he had with the young lady was private. I, for one, would not want things I share in my business meetings with friends and comrades to be trumpeted and played out on CNN.

Secondly, Donald Sterling has done many deeds of prejudice over the years, which should have been called out instead of using the back door of illegal intrusion to alienate and defile him.

Bluntly, I don’t want to judge anyone on his or her words. I will leave that to Almighty God. My job is to look at the fruit people bear in their lives, to determine the soul of their human matter.

Even though we’re not allowed to judge, we are entitled to view the efforts and deeds of our fellow human beings to ascertain their mission and goals.

Not only are we becoming too sensitive to words, believing they actually do break bones, but we are also creating a generation of false apologizers, who have turned repentance into a political maneuver and social evasion.

“I’m sorry” needs to mean “I’m sorry” again. Otherwise, it’s just a gentler way of proclaiming, “Leave me alone.”

Case in point: the chances of me saying something wrong in a daily column are innumerable. But I will not allow you to judge me by a term, a paragraph, or even one entire essay. My life is available for review and is played out on any Google search. Click away.

With that in mind, let me tell you how I believe things should be reviewed:

1. Hear.

Yes, listen for something you agree with and then take the leap to believe in it. Stop trying to be safe with your language so you can please everybody. Commit to something.

2. Do.

Don’t preach at people. Don’t quote scriptures, the Constitution or the latest popular book. Take that belief you have claimed and put it to a challenge, to grant it credibility.

3. Share.

And then, once you’ve gained a testimony–a piece of evidence–don’t decide for others that they should walk in your moccasins. Just tell your story.

I am not going to be careful about what I say. Because of that, I will make errors that are sometimes contrary to my actual heart, life and doings. Instead:

I will hear things that I believe and follow them.

I will do those things faithfully to see if they stand the test of time.

And then I will share my story with no condemnation or criticism in your direction.

In a world where we decry bullying, we are all eventually cast into the role of bully. Then what do you do?

I think we are best served by going back to defending ourselves against sticks and stones … and regain our sense of humor about mere words.

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Ooey-Gooey… December 15, 2012

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Jon Signing

I don’t care that President Obama cried.

I don’t care that the Governor of Connecticut desired people to reflect on their own families and children during this crisis.

I certainly am not interested in all the gory details of the merciless, meaningless actions performed by a narcissistic madman at Sandy Point Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

I just think that taking this “ooey-gooey” approach, where we try to handle such a fiasco by hugging our own children and thinking about the blessedness and contentment of our own family’s security is utter hogwash.

Pardon me if I don’t take time to reflect. I am weary of the self-indulgence in this nation, to lick our wounds until they partially scab over, only to have the scab quickly ripped away, once again exposing our bleeding sores. We are barely getting enough time to take the newspaper from one tragedy and wrap up our abandoned fish bones and coffee grounds before the next piece of insanity splashes across the pages.

Ooey-gooey is not going to solve this problem. Doing another special CNN report on the heroes of the moment is not only infuriating to me, but makes me want to open my window and scream out, “We are all mad as hatters–and I’m not going to take this hell anymore!”

When I heard about the tragedy, this is what crossed my mind: Would I be willing to trade my life for ten of those children?

It’s easy to talk about emotion in the abstract. It’s self-centered to try to equate the devastation that has occurred to these families into some sort of trivial, little piece of silliness about “hugging our own children.” Let’s get right down to it–if I had the opportunity, and God was in a bargaining mood, would I be willing to lay on the slab, dead, so that these ten children could rise from their bullet wounds, to live on? Would I do it for eight? How about six? What if it was just four?

You see, the lower the number gets, the more difficult it is to answer. And since this arrangement can not be negotiated with the Divine, what do I really plan on doing about the senseless slaughter of the innocent?

Because during this Christmas season, as we hear the tale about King Herod killing the babies of Bethlehem to eliminate competition, we, who consider ourselves much more civilized than this maniacal monarch, have now had innocent children slaughtered in our midst. What are we going to do about it?

Well, we might want to start with those who are against abortion–the destruction of a human fetus–having the consistency to also be against the wholesale distribution of guns which also, as we saw yesterday, not only kill womb-oriented children, but those who have actually learned to read, write and express themselves.

Guns should have three purposes:

  1. For the awful possibility of war
  2. To be in the hands of sober-minded law-enforcement officials, who rarely use them and when they do, needfully give a thorough account
  3. And, in much smaller calibre, for sportsmen who like to go hunting and plan on using that meat to feed the poor

That’s it.

If criminals want to have guns, then criminals will have guns. We can not arm the entire United States to protect ourselves against a projected or imaginary enemy.

It is costing us too much.

I am tired of having my friend–Almighty God–who is generally shelved by the dozing masses, suddenly blamed because we are just too damned lazy and uncaring to take responsibility for our crazies and the destination of ammunition.

I did not think about my children last night. I did not weep because it happened, wondering why God was absent. I am angry that I live in a nation of childish politicians with an inert population which is incapable of thinking of anything deeper than its next Twitter.

I am angry.

I am tired of concern for human beings and the life we live being deemed by the conservatives to be liberal and by the liberals, because of my stance against abortion, to be ignorant.

Here it is: I am against killing, period.

  • I do not believe in abortion.
  • I did not favor the Iraq War.
  • I think capital punishment is cruel and unusual.
  • And I think referring to our handling of weapons as gun control is the problem with solving the dilemma. We don’t need gun control. We need extraordinarily limited access to anything that can propel a bullet and hurt anyone.

In doing so, we will put ourselves in minor jeopardy during infrequent robberies for the purpose of freeing ourselves from the possibility of macarbre murders made simpler by unfeeling politicians.

President Obama, don’t weep. Care.

Politicians, stop being afraid of the NRA and decide what would be best for you if you were given the premonition that your children were going to be gunned down by a madman next week, and what stood in the way of that happening were restrictions that stopped the villain’s possibility of getting weapons.

Democrats, stop pretending that our nation is filled with pioneers who periodically need to go out and hunt buffalo so that they might stockpile meat in the root cellar for the winter months.

And to the National Rifle Association–hat’s off to you for allowing people to have guns for the purpose of sport and hunting, but don’t allow yourself to become the eventual victims of your own paradox.

I don’t want “ooey and gooey.” I am not impressed with the flags being at half-staff. I want to see people who are against the killing of babies to also have a concern about the killing of children. I want to see each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own crazies. We must learn how to get in the faces of our loved ones when they are nuts. I do it all the time. Sometimes my family members don’t talk to me for a few days because I see them going down a path less desirable than their dreams and I throw a roadblock in their way.

Take responsibility … or be prepared to build many tiny caskets.

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