Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … June 18th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Are you looking for equality?

 

Dear Man: Absolutely not.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I think I know you well enough that you’re not going to settle for inferiority–or pursue superiority.

 

Dear Man: That’s right.

 

Dear Woman: So isn’t the whole thing about equality? Even hearkening back to the Equal Rights Amendment?

 

Dear Man: That would have been a mistake. You see, the word “equality” is a trick. Thomas Jefferson used the word “equal” in the Declaration of Independence–while still owning slaves. For many years in the South, there was a proclamation of “separate but equal,” which was supposed to make everything right. But of course, it didn’t.

 

Dear Woman: So what you’re saying is, to a certain degree we are pursuing “separate but equal” between the sexes.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. We have created a Jim Crow situation between men and women with all the books, jokes and rules that are enforced in our society.

 

Dear Woman: I get it. Things like “man cave–chick flick.”

 

Dear Man: They connote that there’s equality–a place where each gender has dominion, but keeping us totally separate from each other.

 

Dear Woman: So is it possible to be separate and equal?

 

Dear Man: Not unless the power is equal. In other words, if men are in charge of almost everything, then the stream of equality that trickles down to women will be subject to their whim.

 

Dear Woman: Just like it was in the South during the Jim Crow era. They claimed equality, but because they were separate, and the white population had domination, the black folks had to rely on the white interpretation of equality.

 

Dear Man: You got it. It sounds a little complicated but it really isn’t. Separate but equal was the way the white community in the South tried to control things while making it look like they were creating equality.

 

Dear Woman: In other words, when we say women do this and men do that, we’re separating them off, while insisting that in the separation there is still equality.

 

Dear Man: That’s why I don’t want to be equal. I want to be equivalent.

 

Dear Woman: Interesting word. So where do you see the difference?

 

Dear Man: It’s a situation in which men and women head for the common ground–human. Attributes, emotions, preferences, desires and skills are not viewed by gender but instead, solely on talent and choice. We’re working on this in racial relationships–the black community is not trying to be equal. They’re trying to establish the fact that we’re all equivalent.

 

Dear Woman: This makes complete sense to me. Because even though I’m trying to be forward thinking on this issue, unfortunately, I still contend that there are things that women do better than men and vice versa.

 

Dear Man: Me, too. We were trained that way. So when it comes to the gender wars, we promote “separate but equal,” which has historically proven to be nearly worthless.

 

Dear Woman: So how do you think I can confirm to you that I believe you and I are equivalent?

 

Dear Man: That’s easy. Stop assuming. Stop assuming that I won’t like a football game. Stop assuming that I’d rather go shopping than help you fix a cabinet in the kitchen. And I’ll stop assuming that you won’t like a movie because someone declared it “for women.” And I won’t assume that you’re completely uninterested in an outfit I’m buying.

 

Dear Woman: Is it really that simple? Do you really think that will bring some resolution?

 

Dear Man: What it will bring is clarity–that we’re not looking for an equality that still allows for separation, but instead, an equivalency that gives us the right to enjoy what we want to enjoy without having to distinguish it “pink” or “blue.”

 

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Ask Jonathots … October 29th, 2015

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Are you supposed to like your siblings? I’m twelve and my sister is fifteen. She always acts like she’s better than me and I can’t stand her. My mom says that will change but I don’t see it happening anytime soon, if ever. How does this work? Nobody I know likes their brother or sister. I feel bad saying it, but it’s the truth.

There is an old saying which is basically true: “Familiarity breeds contempt.”

And as you probably know, the word “family” is at the root of familiarity.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that because people share certain aspects of DNA, they have natural emotional linkings to one another.

There is also historical fact that the heroes of our past had many problems dealing with their families, often having to go against those ties to achieve their purposes.

You don’t have to go any further than Jesus of Nazareth to discover squabbling among siblings. The Gospels make it clear that his family did not believe in him.

That being said, I contend that the purpose of family is to place us in a boot camp.

It’s a chance for us to find ways to get along with adversaries who live in our midst, eat at the same dinner table, share in grief and celebration, and acquire the ability to be merciful, gracious and forgiving, so that when we get in the real world, we are prepared to do so.

For this to work, we must be willing to admit that our families are not perfect, nor were they designed to be naturally connected.

In other words, if you were able to look at your sister as just another human being that you needed to deal with rather than some sacred creature born within your lineage, then you would have a much better chance to put your relationship in perspective, and maybe even understand her ways.

Brothers and sisters within a household fight with each other because we tell them they need to get along–simply because they’re related. It sets a horrible precedent, and we begin to believe that in the outside world we can avoid the people who disagree with us, and only hang around with those individuals who seem to be perfectly agreeable to our ideas.

What is your best procedure in dealing with your sister since you’re twelve years old? Do exactly what you’ll need to do when you’re 22, 32 or 72 years old: find common ground.

Don’t ever try to go beyond common ground. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself trying to change people, or worse, judge them because they don’t meet your standards.

If for some reason you cannot find common ground, then retreat to a position where peace can be achieved.

This is real life.

Forcing people to think they should love each other only leads to pent-up resentment, and worse, explosions of anger later on.

  • What do you like about your sister?
  • Is there anything you appreciate?
  • How is she valuable to you?

Try to pursue those areas, and avoid the parts that upset you.

This is called growing up.

The overemphasis on family in our culture has not created more loving people.

It is the promotion of loyalty–often without affection.

 

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G-Poppers… October 2nd, 2015

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No one is better than anyone else.

G-Pop teaches all of his children this universal principle.

It creates the even playing field, where we can start finding the better parts of our humanity.

Unfortunately, there is an imitator out there in the social media which tempts G-Pop’s kids with a falsehood:

Everyone is different.

It seems to be an open-minded, gentle, accepting and tolerant approach. The fact is. every war, conflict and dissension in the history of mankind has been fueled by this idea that everyone is different.

After a while, we get tired of being willing and we retreat to our high-minded sense of superiority.

We get weary of being restrained and we start cursing others.

And then, we give up, go out and try to kill them.

This approach has other disguised phrases:

  • Everyone has a culture.
  • Everyone deserves a chance.
  • Everyone should have what they need.
  • Everyone matters.

Even though these sound sweet to the ear, they are sour to the tastefulness required to create justice.

We don’t need a culture, especially when it alienates us from others. Feel free to have customs and preferences, but don’t use them as an excuse to separate you off from the rest of the world.

Secondly, we’re not guaranteed a chance unless we’re willing to grant the same blessing to others. Those who refuse will ultimately be refused.

Also, aiding the needy has a noble edge, but no one deserves to have their daily bread without offering their daily willingness.

And finally, the truth is, we don’t matter unless we are willing to let others matter equally. Segregating a segregationist is necessary to eliminate segregation.

So what is the answer?

Let’s start with common sense.

Common sense says that God is no respecter of persons. In other words, America is not exceptional and the rest of the world trailing behind.

This affords us the opportunity for common ground.

God loves the whole world. As a human being, I have one job: to express His mercy to the world around me. His judgment belongs to Him and Him alone. I am not supposed to separate the wheat from the weeds–He will do that when the last trumpet sounds.

And ultimately, common good.

Jesus made it clear that if we love our family and friends more than other people, we are heathens. It’s pretty direct, isn’t it? It is my responsibility to extend the same grace, compassion and humor to strangers that I afford my children.

Everyone is not different. We share much in common, including sin.

And because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we have a “humanhood” of inadequacy which should give us the tenderness to express generosity to those around us. 

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G-Poppers… August 28th, 2015

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G-Pop is aware that it is virtually impossible to tell his grandchildren to be wary of what is popular, when the very essence of their contentment is tied up in becoming part of “the popular crowd.” Taking a stand on an issue for a teenager is certainly the equivalent of social suicide, if not a temptation to completely whack oneself.

But by the same token, that which is popular is rarely proportional. It is some extreme which has been selected to create the dangerous blend of rebellion and pleasure or it’s just popular because it seems easier because we have not yet traveled it all the way down the road.

Yet looking at today’s thinking, G-Pop felt compelled to share with his teen and pre-teen three popular ideas which have practically become absorbed into the fabric of our society, creating a stain.

1. This is what you are and this is what I am.

We believe that squaring off with each other over minor issues, or what we even call “culture differences,” entitles us to be disrespectful of others and selfish with our own motives.

  • Where is the notion of common ground?
  • Where is the pursuit of the common good?
  • And where is the reverence for common sense?

Although it’s popular to dig in, place your hands on your hips, jut your jaw out, and pridefully declare your independence, nothing is ever achieved with this profile.

2. We’re only human.

Somewhere along the line, we have simultaneously lifted human foibles up on our shoulders as free-will choice, while at the same time, projecting the idea that all humans are stupid and worthless.

Here’s the truth about humans: God was so proud when He created us that He invested His breath of life in us. No other creature on Earth was given that distinction.

We’ll become better as a populous when we understand that being a human is an honor, and requires that we rise to the occasion instead of sink in the mire.

3. Everyone lies.

I watched four or five television shows last night and the consensus was that human beings lie, it’s not a problem and we just need to learn to live with it.

If a situation is intolerable then it must be changed–and we all find that when others lie to us, it is completely unacceptable, so pretending that it is cleansed by the fact that “we do it, too” is not going to benefit the harmony of human interaction.

Even those these three ideas are popular–you’re you and I’m me, we’re only human and everyone lies–nothing good has ever come from them.

What needs to become popular is that we have more in common than different, being human is the greatest gift from God and lying is the sure way to crucify a relationship.

 

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