Getting in Character … July 27th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Siskell and Ebert

From Act II, Scene VII of As You Like It, Shakespeare asserts that “all the world is a stage and all the men and women, merely players.”

A good performance does not guarantee a good response.

Learning this may be the secret to both contentment and success.

Somewhere along the line, we have acquired the idea that good things eventually receive acclaim. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are factors at work in the marketplace of humanity that are often geared to eliminate competition by thrusting good ideas, good sensations and even good performances to the rear. Otherwise, mediocrity would have no chance of surviving–and we all know that the mediocre is often hoisted on the shoulders of the masses and proclaimed to be excellent.

So the first thing we must do is establish a standard for ourselves that is higher than present expectation.

There’s a simple reason for this:

If we do receive rave reviews, then we know that it was brought about by concerted effort rather than luck. And if we don’t, we can have confidence that any persecution or retribution that comes our way is more than likely being spawned from some pit of prejudice or jackal of jealousy.

So if we’re not going to always receive what we’re due for our performance, what is the purpose of trying to excel, or stepping out on the stage of life to display our hearts in the first place?

Every real performance which is practiced and perfected affords us four delightful conclusions:

1. We can stop lying.

That in itself should be enough to encourage us toward developing the glorious rendition of our part.

2. Every good performance exposes our insecurities.

Isn’t it fascinating that rehearsal always brings the faults to the forefront, and then we can decide whether we are secure enough to improve them?

3. Performance eliminates conceit.

There is no need to be conceited about something that is obviously good. Conceit is generally birthed in a person who privately fears that what he or she has to share is insufficient. So they try to cover it up with pomp and circumstance.

4. And finally, the pursuit of a great performance, whether regaled with honors or not, gives us a huge opportunity to overcome our fears:

  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of obscurity
  • Fear of being critiqued
  • And fear of suffering injustice while knowing deep in our hearts that we’re doing something of great quality

The truth of the matter is, great does not always rate. It doesn’t come with a guaranteed award.

But it does reward us with a true sense of confidence… that we have stepped out and found our best.

 

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Populie: You’ve Got to Play the Game … August 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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monoplyThere is a popular assertion by the masses that “life is a game.” It is usually accompanied by the rallying cry–which is also a lie–that “you’ve got to play the game.”

Thus a populie.

Now, religion, politics and entertainment don’t always have to agree on a premise for it to gain popularity. Sometimes they disagree, which generates great tension, and therefore, press coverage.

So religion loves to believe that the world is kind of a bad place and the poor sheep must be careful not to be consumed by the evil lurking in every direction, thus giving their congregations the benefit of both being morally superior while also potentially victims.

Entertainment loves to bounce between promoting the game and criticizing the game of life, placing itself into the position of being the arbiter.

And of course, politicians love to portray their opponents as gamesmen, and themselves as “the straight arrows of truth.”

Oh, forgive me. I failed to mention what the game is. Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Get mine
  2. Get it fast
  3. Get going.

We are convinced that life is much more exciting when we acquire what we need–perhaps to the detriment of others. It turns us into a vicious, nasty, grouchy, backbiting lot, always paranoid about the intentions of the folks around us, and never quite satisfied when we do achieve our goals because we’re afraid they’ll be stolen from us by those who want to “get theirs, get it fast and get going.”

So once you believe in this game you never have a moment of rest, because you are either involved in the pursuit or else cladding yourself in armor, to protect your valuables.

You can imagine–I disagree.

I will refrain from calling my idea a game. Rather, it is a lifestyle. It is as follows:

  1. Get mine.
  2. Get yours
  3. Get moving

There’s nothing wrong with me pursuing mine first, as long as I am willing to give the same passion, doorway and opportunity to you, to acquire yours. As a result, I make an ally instead of an enemy. I’m acquiring a comrade instead of competition.

So perhaps when we go on our next adventure we can do it together. We can get it for both of us, and get moving much more effectively.

The cynical American would insist that I’m opening my life up, to be decimated by the greedy. But I would point out that the greedy individuals in life don’t need me to open up in order to eliminate me.

I would rather make the choice.

As long as you believe that the game is about garnering your portion and being gleeful that someone else failed, you are just waiting for a bigger bus to come along and strike you down.

I don’t believe in the game.

I will not play the game.

I will get mine, and through that process have the confidence to help you get yours, so we can get moving … together.

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Chingaling … December 9, 2012

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Jon Signing

 

“How’s your chingaling?”

Sounds like the typical, comical loaded question, doesn’t it? The chingaling is that delightful area located between our heart and our soul, where ideally, our feelings turn into praise. You can completely destroy the potential of a human being by dulling the chingaling or disconnecting it, causing the brain to stop learning, leaning to its own understanding.

The chingaling is under attack in America:

  • What could be spirit has turned into religion instead of experience.
  • We are satisfied with beliefs that fail to deliver fruit. What was meant to be government “of the people, by the people and for the people” has become politics, segregating us into our prejudices, rather than teaching us to pursue the common good.
  • Our chingaling desires real romance, but we are instead inundated with a war between the sexes, extracting the life-giving force of tenderness.
  • Movies that were intended to inspire our chingaling to greater human feats of generosity and intelligence are now just coy vehicles for promoting violence.
  • Sports, which used to be an inspiring way to initiate competition, have now become the generator of anger and malicious words and actions.

The chingaling of the American public is under attack. The end result is that we have emotion without feeling and spirituality without praise, so we settle for crocodile tears and worship services.

It’s not enough. Human beings are emotional. When legitimate heart is removed from endeavors and we try to replace it with duty or phoniness, we stagnate. We revert back to family, culture, misgivings and bigotry.

I feed my chingaling every day–because if what I feel does not turn into praise, then I will stop learning and never expand. But if what I feel does result in praise, I can renew my mind and bolster my strength.

What should we watch out for?

1. Repetition. Let us be frank–lightning cannot be captured in a bottle. Therefore, blessing can’t be packaged and shipped off for mass sale. The blessings of the Lord are fresh daily.

2. Cynicism. I don’t mind a good dose of sarcasm or satire, but when I’m led to believe that reality is dark, I am prepared to do battle for the light.

3. Frustration. Frustration is not the natural result of human beings living their lives. Frustration happens when we make wrong turns, and rather than taking the time to correct them, we assume that our choice was acceptable.

If you can avoid those three monsters, you can clean out your chingaling and get ready to feel again with your heart and praise with your spirit. It will set you apart. It will make you a little peculiar.

But it has always been those who have pursued excellence who ultimately carry the banner for better humanity.

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