Sit Down Comedy … June 26th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

It’s a statement I ferociously despise, even though I have kept quiet about it for many years, and in weaker moments have had its drivel tumble off my lips in an attempt to be relevant to my surroundings.

“There but for the grace of God go I.”

If there were a contest for the most arrogant proclamation, this one would certainly be in the running.

What ever gave us the idea that we could express humility, or even gratitude, by simultaneously acting as if we are preferred?

If God is no respecter of persons, then misfortune and blessing are not manifested in His mood swings.

The truth of the matter is, we don’t know what causes the pendulum to swing in our favor or the clock to turn its face from us.

This came to my mind when I was staring at a gentleman in line at the grocery store.

He looked like me.

He wasn’t my twin, but certainly gave me pause to consider myself and my position.

He was about six feet tall with a bald head, and obese—all like me.

His facial hair was much more overgrown than mine, and his clothes suffered from Goodwill.

He also had a slump to his shoulders, welcoming a hump in his upper back.

There were enough differences that I was not startled but there was enough about the man that resembled me that it caused me to consider the nature of things.

Even though I was only twenty feet away, he did not notice me at all. He was staring off in the distance with a slightly perturbed twitch in his brow. He was holding a six-pack of beer, some hot dogs and matching buns.

Before I knew it, he had put his items through the cashier and was heading out the door. I strangely felt compelled to say something to him, but timidity discouraged me. Or maybe it attempted to save me.

I don’t know.

But I clumsily remarked, “I like hot dogs, too.”

He turned to me and replied, “Do I know you?”

He didn’t. And I didn’t know him.

I was doing one of those things that we sometimes do, which seems like it should be done, but should have been left undone.

“No,” I sheepishly replied.

Perhaps fearing that he had come across terse, he added, “I cook the hotdogs in beer. It makes them seem like brats.”

I nodded my head, uncertain of what to reply. Fortunately, years of small talk helped me cough up an answer. “Nice tip.”

He turned, walked out the door and was gone.

I wondered where he was going.

Was he going to someone?

Was he fortunate, like me, and had found a lover who was tolerant to occasional fits of ineptness?

Did he have a collage of children who were grateful and revered him for his efforts?

Did he have a gnawing talent which refused to allow him to slip into the doldrums of mediocrity?

Was he giddy—just downright silly?

Was he stubborn enough to be cute but flexible enough to be giving?

Was he alone?

On my particular journey—not knowing which path to take, nor whether one was even less taken—I stumbled my way along and was salvaged by the love of many friends and strangers.

I did my best to return the favor.

Life is not about the grace of God being extended to one human traveler over another.

It really boils down to one thing:

As you press on and choices come your way, always select the one that excites you.

Even if it also scares the shit out of you.

 

 

1 Thing That Can Be Done to Brighten the Possibilities of the Day

Prove Love

(And while you’re at it, approve and improve it too)

Love is a committed affection.

A fostering of favoring.

A tenacious tenderness.

So how do we prove love?

Find the better parts of our humanity and purposely lead with them.

Don’t wait to express yourself until your reaction is frustration or anger.  Speak up when you know that your words will still be saturated with mercy. Make love your first choice and your last choice.

And while you’re at it, approve the love you see in others.

Isolate off those friends who are daring to believe in the simplicity of caring.

Feel free to ridicule those who come along to limit the power of belief and mock the sentimentality of emotion.

And then improve it.

Don’t be satisfied with a religion that talks only of God in heaven and is of no earthly good.

Don’t feel that your expressions of faith and wishfulness should be abandoned simply because they did not dent the surface of cruelty the first time around.

Talk about a God who loves us in the moment instead of watching us from afar, waiting for eternity. Improve love.

And if you can’t find anyone to join you in this quest, then prove love to them.

Approve the love you see in them.

And gently show them how to improve the love they think is too weak to stand in an arrogant world.

Sit Down Comedy … April 3rd, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

Eunice Buell was a Sunday School teacher for the junior high class at my church. Somewhere deep in her heart, I think Mrs. Buell liked me very much—maybe even found me entertaining.

But every once in a while, I sent her into a near-saintly tirade over some of my comments. She called them crude, unwarranted, hurtful, offending—and once even went so far as to say “vulgar.”

When I said something she did not approve of, she often turned to me (while simultaneously gesturing to the whole class) and said:

“Think before you speak. That’s what separates us from the animals.”

I didn’t have the heart to correct her and say, “Animals don’t speak.”

She expected us all to understand.

We did.

And we still do. There is no place you can go where “think before you speak” would not be considered a holy axiom, possibly even found somewhere in the Bible.

Because of this, we now have politicians who polish their lingo, scrubbing it of all possibility of controversy, while inserting enough lying to make sure the proclamation has some heft.

Our religionists require blind devotion from all followers, lest someone stand up and suggest that there are contradictions, or at least confusions, dwelling in the Holy of Holies.

Our corporations and businesses hire lawyers to develop statements placed at the bottom of the product in small print to protect the stockholders and investors against all liability.

And relationships—oh, dear God—relationships are riddled with a series of phrases used to manipulate one party into performing “your will”–without ever noticing that they’re sacrificing their individuality.

It spawns from the notion that humans are capable of perfecting themselves.

We aren’t.

The theory is permitted to exist so we can maintain our arrogance. But it is the emotions in our lives that need to be spoken, even though they are often raw and uneducated.

They are the real we feel.

Certainly, these thoughts fester with frustration and can frequently be proven wrong.  But when we are the only ones correcting the language in our brains, we close the door to greater revelation being afforded us through discussion.

So without trying to cast myself in the role of renegade, I challenge each and every one of us to:

Speak before we think.

And since we know it comes out as raw ore—not gold—after we speak, we should be quiet.

Listen. Register the reactions. Ponder the possible contradictions.

Then we must do something that makes the human race truly unique:

Change our minds.

As a species, we are worthless to one another and an enemy of the Earth when we are incapable of recanting our initial feelings and replacing them with common sense.

Because once we change our minds, we can speak again.

And those who know us realize that we are not only sharing the truth with them as we feel it in the moment, but we have also alerted ourselves to gain new insight—and then verbalize our fresh discovery.

Thinking before you speak turns you into a self-editor.

No good writer should ever trust himself to be the sole editor.

Speaking before you think presents the emotion and heart which very well may be overwrought or even wrong.

Yet it provides the opportunity to inform those around you that you are fully aware of your imperfection—and prepared to be a student of the planet we share.

 

3 Things … August 15th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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You Should Stop Saying If You Want Your Life to Be Effective

 1.  I am so stressed out.

 

2.  I am really, really busy.

 

3.  I am sure I’m right.

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The Z Word … July 30th, 2019

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THE

Image result for gif of letter z

WORD


And finally, the Z word that should never be spoken or written again is:

Zealot

A zealot is a person who, though still human, becomes obsessed with a divine calling to be supremely right and to manifest the conviction through:

Fanaticism and an uncompromising attitude

I have found it

It is good

I am right

It is perfect

You must leave it alone

I will fight you over it

This is what makes a zealot. It is very easy to become a one. It occurs between step 2, “It is good,” and step 3, “I am right.”

For since we wear skin and are prone to error, we should never translate the goodness we experience as being a definitive sign that we’re right.

Everything that happens after that proclamation of rightness is deeper and deeper wells of arrogance drudging up more and more of the filth of selfishness and eventually violence.

I have found it.

Great. This is good. This is a bold statement that is still acceptable. But at no time during your season on Earth are you ever going to be able to say, “I am right.” As soon as you do, you trigger the need to cheat, lie, abuse and curse your way into proving that your profile is accurate.

Zealots are never good.

Zealots never achieve anything except proving that pride goes before every fall.

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The T Word … June 18th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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THE

Image result for gif of letter t

WORD


The T word that should never be uttered in the common ease of human conversation is:

TRUTH

Human beings are incapable of knowing the truth.

Even though I’m sure the tiny portions that do dribble into our souls have the capability of making us free, we must admit that they are mingled with much superstition, false teaching, selfishness and inaccuracy.

Actually, the best we human beings can hope for is to be truthful.

In other words, “This is what I’ve experienced, this is what I’ve seen, and this is what I’ve picked up to be workable from the lives of others.”

And even those insights often lack the hindsight to give us foresight.

Every one of us is repulsed by a human who walks in the room and insists he or she knows the truth and we don’t. Every religion that proclaims its rendition of “divine understanding…” well, all of them are like children sitting around reading fairy tales, pretending they comprehend chemistry.

We can all work on being truthful.

But if you’re quoting someone else, it’s hearsay, even if you insist they are prophets, or “the Son of God.”

If you’re judging others, it is condemnation, even if you have tablets of stone which are able to crush their spirit.

And if you are sure you’re right, it is arrogance, although you may walk with a great history of being precise.

Truth is what causes the foolishness of superiority that launches the wars that kill the children.

I shall work on being truthful–but I will not take the writings of men and women I never knew and share their hearsay, condemnation or supremacy to make you feel small.

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week That Will Always Make You Seem More Successful

 

Stop Announcing

Put down your trumpet.

Cease clapping your hands to your own beat.

Let the braggart be silent.

Don’t share your plans

Why?

Your plans are susceptible to chaos, the natural order or the fact that you may sleep through your alarm clock.

Hush. Please don’t tout your prowess.

There’s always someone better than you.

There’s always someone more talented.

Endurance and Humility

What makes quality rise to the top is its endurance and the blessing of humility, which allows other people to lift it up instead of needing to put it down because it’s pompous and arrogant.

And please, for the love of God:

 Stop proclaiming your purpose

Your purpose should be obvious as the fruit of your work. Telling people what you intended to do does not qualify for actually doing it.

If you simply stop announcing your great battleplan for your life, then you will be able to acknowledge the small victories instead of having to win every single conflict to prove your point.


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