Ask Jonathots … November 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I am a working woman, a wife and a mother of two teenage girls–one age 13 and the other 14. I have just come to an odd realization: my girls are brats. We have spoiled them. They don’t appreciate gifts, they demand the newest everything and I see trouble coming in spades. Sometimes I don’t even like them. I feel like I’m in this alone, especially since my husband thinks I’m blowing everything out of proportion? What should I do?

First and foremost, let me explain that if you did not go through a moment or two as a parent of thinking your kids are brats, you probably can be declared legally insane.

We have a source problem in this country. What do I mean by that?

We buy products, we see end results and we view the culmination of effort… without ever having any idea on the source of how it came to be.

Your daughters are not brats, but they are completely unaware of the effort that goes into the events and conveniences which they now take for granted.

In earlier years, when families lived on farms, young kids were not better than they are today, but they had to go to the barn and grab a cow teat if they wanted milk for their cereal. They had to go out into the field, plant seeds and hoe weeds if they were going to take a product to market in order to acquire the pair of shoes for which they yearned.

It wasn’t a better time but the system took you from seed to corn, from cow to milk and from chores to completion, when playtime could begin.

I’m suggesting you create that environment for a season, so your daughters will be aware of what goes into making a meal, what is involved in paying bills, how a car is maintained, and what people have to do to make sure that the Big Mac has special sauce.

Take your girls back to the source.

There are many farms in this country where you can go pick your own berries, or you can go to a fish pond to catch a fish to bring it home, scale it and fry it in the pan.

Your girls are victims of a society which expects perfection without ever seeing the trial and error.

Now, they will be reluctant to do anything since they are teenagers, but if you wade through their bad attitudes and throw them into the waters of discovery to learn to swim, they will gain a whole new appreciation…for what it takes to turn a cow eating grass into a cheeseburger.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 49 (July 13th, 1969) My First Bikini…January 10, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Being painfully bored, I was greatly relieved when Marsha called and said that some of the kids from school were getting together to hang out, drive around Westerville and see if we could have some fun without getting in trouble.

She wanted to use my 1962 Chevy Impala because it was big enough to seat seven people.

I agreed.

We had a great time, but we did start running out of things to do, so we headed off to an area of our community where all the rich people lived. The locals usually did this because we wanted to drive by their houses and talk about what brats they were.

Suddenly Marsha suggested that Carol, who was with us and was about to get her driver’s license, take the wheel and try her luck. As unbelievable as it may sound now, in a moment of sanity, we all thought it was a great idea on that day.

Carol got in the car and the first thing she did was put it in reverse and back my automobile into a deep ditch.

We spent the next twenty minutes trying to get out of the predicament. Then Marsha noticed we were across the street from one of our friends from school, so she walked down the long drive to try to get some assistance. While she was gone, miraculously, we were able to wiggle the car out of the ditch, so by the time she returned with her friend the problem was solved.

As I looked up, there was the girl from the house down the long driveway, standing there, wearing a bikini. It was my first bikini.

Normally Ohio people wear clothing–similar to the reason that bears have fur–for protection, warmth and of course, modesty. But there before me was a bikini, displaying its fruit like a bowl full of cherries.

I don’t know why it shocked me so much. Perhaps I had never been that close to breasts that didn’t belong to my mother. I tried not to stare, and of course, when you try not to do something, it becomes even more obvious that you’re doing it.

She was dressed in a bikini because she had a swimming pool, which normally would have caused us to make fun of her, but since she was wearing a bikini, I reconsidered.

She was the same girl who believed the Easter bunny lived at her house, and who sat next to me in biology class like a timid lump of nothing.

But today she was a bikini.

We didn’t stay long, but all the way back to town I was thinking about the sight. I thought about it all that night. I woke up the next morning thinking about my first bikini.

So later that afternoon, I called the bikini girl on the phone and I asked her out on a date. I realized that some of my friends would ridicule me because they had characterized her as a rich weirdo, but I didn’t care. I was driven by a higher force–certainly not as high as the heavens, but floating somewhere above the earth.

I learned that day that romance needs more than love. It requires lust.

And lust has a very brief lifespan without love.

 

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How to Make a Mistake: Three Easy Steps… October 3, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2025)

cookingIf revenge is a dish best served cold, then mistakes are brats, piping hot off the grill, with a side of pickle.

I would love to believe that my mistakes are innocent fumbles caused by either a lack of information or a willingness to do what’s right which went astray.

But it isn’t true.

All mistakes are stirred up from a recipe of attitudes which should have been addressed long ago, but we have convinced ourselves if they were removed, our   arms and legs might fall off.

Here are the three easy steps that lead to all mistakes:

1. Be sure you are right. It is almost impossible to convince someone of a better way if they think all of their thoughts are heavenly. I know we extol the value of confidence, but often it is just arrogance, trying to get in the door wearing sunglasses.

2. Ignore history. Ninety percent of the mistakes we make are revisits. Somewhere along the line, we convince ourselves that THIS situation is unique, and not like the last failure whatsoever. Not only do we fail to take into consideration the ridiculous practices of our ancestors, we also do not include our own experience in creating our new possibility.

3. Refuse to change. Yes, there are human beings who believe they are better than others because they will not alter the course of their determination. I have to ask myself if there is ANYTHING I believe today that is exactly the same as twenty years ago. If you and I were truthful, the answer would most certainly be no. It is not so much that the world is changing as it is that we don’t completely understand our world. So the stubbornness that causes us to refuse to change spits in the eye of God and punches Mother Nature in the nose. You might expect some throwback.

So that’s how you make a mistake in three easy steps. But to swing this to a more positive conclusion, let us say that we can avoid many foibles by realizing that we could be wrong, counting the cost, factoring in our experience before making a decision, being ready to change our attitude, expand our knowledge, and increase our prospects.

There aren’t as many accidents in heaven and earth as the average mortal would like to portray.

We are blessed because we are given the bowls, spoons and ingredients to whip up a great dish for ourselves.

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Central… August 17, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1978)

For a city, it’s downtown.CentralMuskegon

A doughnut, the hole.

The earth, the equator.

And a Twinkie, the cream.

Center of things. It’s important stuff.

As I take off tomorrow morning to do my thing at Central United Methodist Church in Muskegon, I realize that the end of my little excursion needs to make clear to this handful of souls what I believe is central, intricate, everlasting and truly necessary.

CentralMuskegoninsideHonestly, that’s easy.

Happiness.

Any time we stop believing in happiness, refuse to pursue it or think we’ve outgrown the magnitude of its blessing, we paralyze ourselves, with all of our emotions lying dormant and useless.

Life is about the pursuit of happiness. Some may call it idealism, but the lack of happiness should be a fire alarm pulled at the first sign of smoke.

Enough said. How do we get happiness? Just remember this little four-step process: don’t expect, don’t reject, don’t worry, do more.

That’s it:

  • Expectation turns us into brats, waiting for a reason to throw a fit.
  • Rejection makes us critics who have already written the review before seeing the play.
  • Worry makes us comical because we’re not energetic enough to participate and always have “egg on our face” when the omelet actually flips over and is perfect.
  • And doing more, although it seems to be futile at times, is the best way to stay busy while we’re waiting for today’s tragedy to become yesterday’s little piece of silliness.

Central is happiness.

It keeps us from becoming so grown-up that we lose our childhood dreams.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Juvies, Brats, Brown-nosers and … April 22, 2012

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They used to call it recess.

It was a fifteen-minute period when they allowed the students to escape the classroom and roam the playground, finding ways to entertain themselves and stretch their muscles before returning to the confinement of the educational system. It was also an opportunity to learn what your classmates were really like.

For some of them turned out to be juvies (short for juvenile delinquents). These were individuals who had decided to rebel against all forms of authority and who believed that Mom and Dad basically sucked.

Others were brats. These were children who were normally a little prissy and favored one parent over another. They explained to you that “my mom’s okay but my daddy’s mean.” Or “Daddy’s really smart but my mom’s a witch.”

A third group consisted of brown-nosers. These were kids who were kind of juvies AND brats, but had found a way to manipulate Mommy and Daddy to do anything they wanted because they APPEARED to be obedient. They weren’t.

Now, the reason I bring this up to you on this beautiful Earth Day is that the playground really doesn’t stop as we graduate from the school system into the life system. Juvies grow up to be atheists, agnostics or really unbelieving church-goers who don’t have faith in God and have no respect for Mother Nature. That’s right–they decry and deny both Father and Mother. They seem to find self-sufficiency in insufficiency. The times when they enjoy themselves the most are when they’re complaining about their lot being “the least.”

Meanwhile, the brats grow up and continue their brattiness by either preferring Father God–becoming very religious and self-righteous–or Mother Earth, favoring camping, pine trees, crystal-blue lakes and listening to lengthy renditions of Thoreau‘s Walden‘s Pond.

Of course, you probably have jumped ahead to think about the brown-nosers. These are the children who reach adulthood but continue being childish, believing if they do a few basic things to please Mother Nature and Father God, that they should get everything they want. They are disappointed and disillusioned because they fail to realize that they’re disconnected.

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of folks who understand the balance. We’re not supposed to be juvies. Mother Earth and Father God don’t suck–they simply work in unison. Once you understand that, it’s easier to sing along.

We don’t get anywhere being a brat–believing in God but hating the earth, or loving Mother Nature but speaking evil of her companion, the Father in heaven.

And people who just brown-nose or give lip service–kissing from the rear to gain frontal approval–are at odds with the world around them because their shenanigans and fake feelings always play out and become obvious.

Good news. There is a fourth group. In my day and age on the playground, we refered to them as “coolios.” These were the young humans who “got it.” It isn’t that you have to agree with your mother and father all the time–it’s just that you have to trust them enough to be honest, forming your complaint into a question in order to learn how things really work instead of just rebelling, ignoring or faking it.

For instance, I will not worship any God who is not open to Q and A. I am not interested in revering nature–when nature wants me to worship God. My job as a smart child of the earth is to trust my father and mother enough to ask questions when I don’t understand, instead of assuming that I am all-knowing or that they’re really unfair.

Do you want to give a present to earth on this Earth Day? Stop being a juvie, thinking that Mother Earth and Father God suck. You might want to give up the brattiness of favoring one over the other. And don’t think you’re going to brown-nose your way into finding God’s approval or Mother’s blessing.

It’s time to turn into a coolio. Trust your Father in heaven enough to ask the questions that are on your heart and to learn how Mother Earth really works so you can stay in step with the household.

Now that would make a great Earth Day. That would create the fulfillment of the prayer that says:

“Thy will be done on earth (Mother) as it is in heaven (Father).”

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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