Ask Jonathots … November 19th, 2015

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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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G-Poppers … June 12th, 2015

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The cereal aisle at the local grocery store.

G-Pop found himself perusing at least 100 boxes of the stuff, each one promising delicious diversity. So he decided to glance at a dozen of the packages, reading the labels to see what was so special about each one.

It was an amazing test.

After careful inspection, it became clear that the only difference among the various brands was that some were sweeter and some had more fiber.

That was it.

Even though, with all the colors, designs and advertising, he was led to believe that each one of the treats was birthed in a factory to be its own entity, they were all basically the same, with minor exceptions in flavor and color. How amazing.

Likewise, even though we tout ourselves a tolerant society, G-Pop would assert that we’ve allowed a sophisticated prejudice to enter our thinking by believing that there are actually African-Americans, Asian-Americans, women, men, Hispanics, LGBT and even religious differentiation.

We just keep shrinking groups down smaller and smaller, insisting that the subtle attributes that might make one group unique are actually insurmountable barriers.

It’s insane.

Just as the boxes of cereal are only set apart by their packaging, not by their cereal, we as human beings have much in common.

  • Some of us are a little sweeter.
  • And maybe some of us have a little more fiber in our disposition.

What will it take? How can we get a whole generation of younger folks to stop this insanity of purposeful division, and instead, remove titles and insert appreciation?

After all, even the distinction of “American” causes us to pursue the notion of exceptionalism instead of joining forces with the other souls on this small planet, to create harmony.

Cereal is cereal.

You can box it up differently, but once you open it and pour it out in a bowl, it looks like a dozen more equally delicious options.

The same is true with people.

G-Pop left the grocery store still deep in thought. He realized he needed to talk to his grandson about this.

Even though the boy is very young, it is never too early to set an intelligent young fellow on a mission for unity.

 

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Jesonian: Picky and Goofy … March 23, 2014

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camel“It’s important.”

I hear it all the time.

People have gone off into their own soul, deciding for themselves what they have determined to be of value in life.

Sometimes it’s religious, other times political and often it’s business.

My job? Listen, learn, observe–or face their wrath.

Here’s my problem with the “important” crowd: it’s not open for discussion.

Matter of fact, they become very picky. They not only want you to know it’s important, they take you to step two, which is: we need to do it.

Now it’s not only important, but we need to do it–and the we demands me.

Step 3: “If we don’t do it, we’ll be in trouble.”

At this point, any objection I might lodge would be anti-God, anti-American, anti-human and anti-reasonable. And of course, unfortunately, this lends itself to a fourth conclusion: “Don’t listen to anything else.”

Thus, 350 different Christian denominations in America.

Everybody has gotten picky, decided that we all need to do it, and if we don’t we’ll be in trouble–and by the way, if you’re smart, don’t listen to anybody else.

So here’s my assertion–I believe that “picky” leads to “goofy.”

Once you choose a lifestyle of being certain about everything, you start getting goofy about enforcement.  For instance:

How much flax is my your cereal?

Ridiculous discussions in church board meetings about whether communion wine could be white, or must be red?

Committee meetings in Washington, D.C. arguing over a point of parliamentary procedure (after fighting a war rebelling against Parliament…)

Picky leads to goofy.

Once folks get picky over little things, they often become goofy over the big things that are really important.

Offering a solution–may I call it a Jesonian one?

  1. It could be important–I’m not sure, but let’s chat.
  2. Let’s ask ourselves–what happens if we apply this? Do we learn, grow or go backwards?
  3. And what will is the progress? Are we afraid of evolution? Is it against our religion–literally?
  4. And finally, what is the next revelation? Because if we just discovered one important thing, what makes us think it’s the last one? There’s another one coming. Are you ready? Do you have some room in your brain? Can you open up your soul for it?

Picky people eventually become goofy and then they become more annoying than valuable.

So stop straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.

It makes you look like you’re trying to be God instead of on a quest to find Him.

 

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Some Total … October 30, 2013

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This morning it was egg whites, bacon and half a grapefruit. Yesterday, cereal, a few nuts and grapefruit.

Breakfast.

I mention the meal because it’s what I partake of right before I write this article to you every day.

Every day.

What a fabulous phrase. As much as we would love to take bows for sporadic activities, pointing to them as an indication of our progress, it is actually what we decide to do every day that energizes our character.

So in a sense, I’m a very selfish man. Even though it may appear that I am graciously offering encouragement to folks all over the world through my scribblings, the action of doing so affords me an emotional and spiritual cleansing daily, which transforms me into the man I am.

I will say this bluntly–if you don’t do something every day that is purposely accomplished, faithfully delivered and inspired by the rejuvenation of new ideas, you will eventually become convinced that life is pretty boring, which can lend itself to anything from lethargy to depression.

So here’s a simple little phrase to remember in becoming an “every day” human being instead of a hit-and-miss planet creature:

SOMEhow do SOMEthing for SOMEbody

Because SOMEday you will be SOMEwhere and need SOME more.

This is a fabulous philosophy, and makes twenty-four hours seem like a lifestyle instead of a waiting room for the next piece of “planned excitement.”

Matter of fact, I was shocked the other day when one of our potential sponsors said that he was going to “pass” on having us in this year, but “maybe next year.”

My mind nearly went into a spastic seizure. Next year?? Doesn’t this fellow know that’s three hundred and sixty-five days away? Three hundred and sixty-five opportunities to gain value, produce emotion and advance the cause. But you see, he’s convinced that he’s mature by being a big planner instead of a simple doer.

Every day.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t even have to be meaningful. It is a quality ritual wherein we prove our belief in the value of life by setting off moments for intentional endeavor.

In doing so, you go from being a victim to a victor.

You transform yourself from haphazard to motivated.

And you start appreciating the power of the rising of the sun and the setting of the same as a great barometer for self-inspection.

Let me say it one more time:

Somehow do something for somebody because someday you will be somewhere … and need some more.

 

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