PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 13th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3702)

To Truly Be

by Jonathan Ric

Three boys sit at my table

Too young to consider much

The world swirls around them

They need to develop some trust

What shall I suggest to them?

What truths are unscathed from the warfare of compromise?

Shall I tell them not to lie when lying is a national pastime?

Will they believe that being kind is possible for our race?

Or will they watch the atrocities committed in the name of God and country?

Will they honor women as equals and make amends

Or leer and jeer at the lasses, declaring them stupid with their careless friends?

Is the Golden Rule for saints

As gold, ruling the world, is touted as worth?

Can I teach them not to cheat when it seems that cheaters prosper?

Can I speak to them of God when others deny He lives?

Can they learn the power of humility and all the true grace it gives?

Do I have the courage to differ from the passive horde of sheep?

Or is my soul slowly dying and my conscience falling asleep?

I pass the food around the table ​and look at the young men before me

It’s time to shine

It’s a season of reason

Dear God, grant to me

The willingness to truly be

Our reader today is Jasson. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with three sons and his wife, Deahna

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G-Poppers … November 20th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2758)

Jon close up

If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C.

It is the only part of geometry that G-Pop seems to have retained.

It is called a syllogism. It is deemed to be valid–a valid syllogism.

It’s the kind of reasoning which allows us to make the necessary comparisons between things on earth which invite the pursuit of common sense.

G-Pop has spent the last week observing the raging tides of conflict which seem to tug at humanity from different spectrums, while simultaneously offering very little solace.

For we are given the option of religion, which often turns us into regulated bigots, with no compassion for those aroud us; or we are tempted with atheism, which insists there is no need for a God when we have the function of our conscience and intellect.

G-Pop just wants his children to understand that neither one of these hovering haunts offer any true sense of what it really means to be human. So please consider:

A. All human beings share a common planet.

Unless you plan to dominate the entire world, forcing it to submit to your will, you will find yourself situated in a compartment with other travelers, needing to share baggage space and conversation.

B. We do not naturally care for each other.

I suppose atheism would be a tantalizing possibility if human beings actually did have the will power to follow through on their whims. But since we don’t seem to be able to avoid eating the cake we renounced a few seconds earlier, it is safe to say that we won’t give enough attention to those around us who are screaming for space.

A life without God appears to be bold until you realize the limitations within yourself.

C. Human beings need a steadfast encouragement for participating and including one another.

G-Pop will not argue the point that religion does not grant the oil of understanding to generate the engine of mercy. But neither does atheism give us the impetus to continue to forgive the erratic behavior of others without becoming cynical and jaded.

So since A equals B: in other words, we share a planet, but don’t naturally care for those who share it with us

And B equals C: not caring for those around us means that we need some sort of special mentoring,

Then A equals C: human beings who are sharing a planet are benefited by believing there is something larger than themselves, which lovingly encourages them to co-exist.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that religion, like atheism, is just a different way to reject a loving Father and a path to mutual understanding with our fellow-humans.

Be careful–the greatest danger is believing that an extreme can ever turn into a legitimate compromise.

 

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Populie… January 30, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2136)

Archi and EdithTo find what’s right we must be willing to be wrong. If not, we start to lie.

Lying becomes easier when it is accepted by others because they, too, are trying to escape responsibility.

Some lies become popular.

Thus populie.

Once they become populie, they are picked up by the three forces at work in our society, which mold the thinking of the congregated citizenry:

  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Entertainment

Although I am a firm believer in unity, the ideas that bring us together must have a purity which recognizes some form of eternal truth instead of taking the temperature of the air and assessing the direction of the blowing of the present social winds. If we don’t choose to be careful about our pursuits, then gradually we can deteriorate civil rights, human relationships, personal value and “soul” significance.

America is addicted to populie. We depend on plurality to determine our acceptability. If we find ourselves in the minority, we quickly change our opinion to become acceptable, for fear of being considered ignorant and out-of-step.

But you must understand, I have an abiding mistrust of politics, religion and entertainment. Over the years, they have been agents for the types of tradition that maintain stupidity in the name of compromise and peacefulness.

Perhaps one of the greatest populie going on today is the concept that men and women are natural enemies.

Politics promotes this because it grants us a male-dominated system which can characterize women as being “too emotional for leadership.”

Religion adopts it quickly because it fosters female submission and creates a scapegoat for men by blaming Eve and all her sisterhood for original sin.

And entertainment embraces the concept because it is a cheap way to derive human slapstick for their comedies and pathos for their dramas.

Fortunately, reason, common sense and the true spirit of God reject this populie and insist that we work together in the common cause of our humanity. For after all, God did not give different jobs to Adam and to Eve. There is no gospel for women and another for men. And John 3:16 does not read, “For God so loved men that he gave his only begotten son…”

Just because it’s popular does not make a lie any more viable. So what can you do with the populie of “men and women are natural enemies?”

1. Change the language. Talk more about human beings and being human instead of being “manly” or “girlie.”

2. Ask the opposite sex to react in a more enlightened form instead of falling back on our culture’s forced role models.

3. Call out inequality between the sexes when you see it, using humor, but also diligence.

Popular lies–populie–is when religion, politics and entertainment join together in agreement to promote easy ideas instead of instigating needful change.

It is the definition of becoming too worldly.

Because our species will not survive unless men and women celebrate our similarities … and set aside our alleged differences.

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Sniff and Whiff … December 2, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2082)

scratch and sniff“That stinks.”

Two words normally thrust together when we are in a mood to express our displeasure over some event or individual.

Matter of fact, often we talk about the “smell of success,” so it’s safe to assume that failure has its own distinctive odor. If you think about it, being a human being, you can certainly sniff the whiff of doom, compromise and defeat on another person.

So how do we keep that unpleasant aroma from permeating every pore of our being? There are many schools of thought. The normal diagnosis for such weakness is to express confidence in ourselves and let that exude from our beings as evidence of our pending victory.

But over the years I have learned that confidence leaks and flat-out dumps its load of joy whenever confronted with unexpected difficulty. So some of the more boisterous and bold individuals I have known turned into real chickens–cluckers–in the heat of the frying pan.

Equally as useless is false humility, where we pretend to be modest while secretly storing up a ton of self-assurance to allegedly release at just the right moment when surrounded by trial and tribulation. It’s just another disguise.

There is a path that does remove the stench of inadequacy while also realistically assessing our abilities without either diminishing our capacity or over-reporting our statistics.

“I can’t, yet I do, so I will.”

These are the three ingredients that make us appealing to fellow-travelers, while also keeping balance in our own lives.

1. “I can’t.”

Some folks consider this to be negative, but actually, it’s humility. The gift of knowing your true talents while also being aware of your weaknesses through trial and error is the greatest gift you can give to a comrade–and an endearing one, at that.

Candidly, a truthful person always has the potential of doing more. A liar is stuck with his or her promises.

2. “Yet I do.”

“Even though I have discovered areas of lack, I have taken the time to acquire expertise and am consistently bearing fruit.”

Merely saying “you can’t” without producing something you can do is to be a loser. But knowing what you can’t do while pointing to obvious successes that you’re presently pursuing is balanced human thinking.

3. “So I will.”

I will what? “I will continue to do what I do well, while expressing my energy to humbly try something new.”

This is the trio of emotions that make us appealing to one another–because we say right out loud, “I have a weakness, I have a passion and I have a willingness.”

There is nobody who can counteract, contradict or criticize such candor.

So as you go about your business, especially during this holiday season, don’t be afraid to report your can’t quotient as you give a tally on what you are doing, and also express a desire to pursue more.

This is the sniff of a whiff that lets other human beings know they can draw close … instead of pulling away, repulsed.

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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Recess… November 8, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2061)

children playgroundThe bell rang. Time for recess.

I looked around the room into the faces of twenty-nine other young souls like myself, in Mrs. Arnold’s third grade class and realized that the ringing meant different things to each and every one.

Some were smiling, wiggling in anticipation. Others seemed resigned, as if bored with the prospect. And there were those who were terrified–fully aware that in a few short minutes they would be out on the playground with their peers, trying to compete and falling short of the glory of childhood acceptance.

  • There would be interaction.
  • There would be competition.
  • There would be challenges.
  • There would be ridicule.

It is part of the process. And as we pursue a much-needed campaign against the brutality of bullying, we must be careful not to hamper the interaction among younger folks when they are separated from grown-ups–an exposure that brings about the necessary evolution toward character, confidence and realization.

For when you discuss “peer,” there are three different categories. If you think that each and every time children fuss, argue and fight, it is wrong–bullying–you are disrupting the human jungle that DOES provide a great barometer for cleaning out abnormalities and setting apart better paths.

For instance, I failed to be called a “fat boy” enough in school to rid myself of obesity. I was TOO well-liked, too personable and in some ways, too talented to be challenged over a weakness that has now plagued me my whole life. It should have been taken care of by:

1. Peer presence.

This is just the blending of kids getting together to discover solutions on the best way to get along. It is characterized by talking. This is why sometimes it’s stupid in school, to tell kids to be quiet. They are trying to find a way to blend with each other. Not everything can be solved by an adult guidance counselor. We need our friends to talk with, to blend with and to discover solutions. And sometimes this leads to:

2. Peer pressure.

It is essential in the human race that we learn how to bend. We must discover our differences and even be willing to argue about them in order to produce adequate compromises. Too many teachers think that because kids are arguing, it’s a sign of severe difficulty. The truth is, peer pressure teaches us to bend, acknowledge our differences, and if necessary, fuss our way through them.

I certainly agree that peer pressure can go too far and can lead to the promotion of violent behavior. But I will also tell you there is no person who appears to the youngster to be old, who can intervene and produce the results that they can hammer out, on their own, together.

When you live in the adult world, the only power you have over the young is to teach them right, wrong, manners and gentleness. Then they must go out in the midst of peer pressure and work out the specifics. Occasionally this can get carried away and lead to:

3. Peer persecution.

Some kids feel compelled to bind other children by bullying them.  How can you identify what’s bullying and what is viable peer pressure?

Bullying is when the arguing stops, one person ceases to speak and becomes the target of the other one, who dominates.

That’s right. If two kids are arguing, give them a chance to work it out. But if you come across two kids and only one of them is yelling, ridiculing the other child, who is standing there, without speech, just taking it–you have just come across bullying.

It is a mistake for people who are no longer in school, no longer youthful and no longer understand the playground, to try to come in and make things right for everybody by keeping things calm and on an even keel. You are just making matters worse. Learn the difference.

  • The young students in our country need peer presence. They must be given a human mixer to blend, discovering solutions.
  • Sometimes this leads to peer pressure, where kids will argue, trying to bend to one another’s inclinations, and in the process, uncover differences which eventually are included in the flow.
  • But we should never let it go into peer persecution, where one kid binds another one up with bullying. This is easily identified by the absence of the persecuted child offering any verbal defense.

I recently heard about a young man who felt he was being bullied, so he committed suicide. Here’s my problem with that: why wasn’t there a climate where this young man could express to his parents, family or teachers his need for assistance?

And why are we attacking the very delicate procedure of peer interaction, trying to eliminate anything WE would consider negative, just because in this case, the system failed one young man?

I am saddened by his death, but alerted to the fact that the problem here was not just bullying. It was a fellow who didn’t think he could argue back to the peer pressure, and also did not feel that anybody outside the playground would either hear or have the power to change his circumstances.

We need peer presence. Students must learn to blend.

I think we need some peer pressure, to bend, where kids have the chance to produce some of their own solutions through argument.

What we do need to stop is peer persecution, binding, where one person is silenced as the others continue to rail against him or her.

Can we make these distinctions? If we can’t, we need to stop calling ourselves parents, teachers and leaders.

Our society is overwrought. Some things are necessary to create the cultural revolution in each generation that progresses the idea of humanity instead of trying to keep everything calm, but stalled.

I know it is possible. I did it with all six of the sons I raised. I let them blend and I let them bend. Only when they began to bind each other with persecution did I step in. Because of that, I think each one of them has grown up with a better understanding of who he is and how he fits in.

Bullying–it’s when one person stops talking and runs for cover, only to be chased by an assailant.

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Mediocre … July 11, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1940)

I must be candid–the main problem in our society is not that we are continually embroiled in disagreements, but rather, that the things we have chosen to agree upon are the breeding ground for mediocrity.

I suppose that’s why we selected to compromise in the first place–it’s easy to find human weakness and identify it as normal, and then glorify it as individual. In other words, the more we promote that each one of us is an individual with particular tastes, styles, emotions and beliefs, the simpler it is to tolerate inadequacy.

For example, I may become frustrated with your lack of productivity, but all you have to do is claim that you are a TYPE of person who works “at a different speed” and has varying goals from mine. Once you remove a common standard for humanity which each one of us has to consider in evaluating ourselves, you silently produce anarchy, making us too self-sufficient and overly tolerant of incompleteness.

  • Once we’re convinced that we’re “fine the way we are,” what is the need for excellence?
  • What is the need for introspection?
  • Why should we require ourselves to consider our previous attempts with regret, and determine to repent and do better?

This is the only place where Republicans and Democrats, atheists and believers, and conservatives and liberals agree. It’s the statement: “We are not the same, but rather, individual islands of “special” creation, who must be viewed as independent of general human behavior.”

If this philosophy had wings, we should let it fly. But since the only fruit of this ideology is the generation of loud-mouth critics rationalizing their own inconsistencies, we might want to reconsider what has gotten us to a place where we’re stuck in the mud with no desire to go forward.

Case in point–what you have in Washington, D. C. is not gridlock–it is the application of a selfish society which has finally elected leadership reflecting its own ridiculous formula for life. Our President, Senators and Congressmen are all convinced there are MANY ways to solve problems, and they must fight for their own personal utopia. Since we contend there are a multitude of salvation available for the human race, we therefore believe that each person should “work it out” in his or her own way.

Not only does this eliminate cooperation, but it also institutes an airport with many landing strips and no air traffic controller. It welcomes disaster. It is a certainty that the planes will collide.

So what can we do?  Well, the best way to alleviate pain is to trace it back to its source. Would you allow me to do that? Over the next week or so, I will share where we have derailed our train of thought. Yes–where we have allowed ourselves to extol the mediocre, so as not to impinge on the rights of others to be less than they could be.

It should be very interesting.

You may agree with some of my thoughts and disagree with others. I welcome your disagreement as long as it’s not grounded in the silliness of declaring it “unfair” or “out of the flow of present thinking.”

The first thing I will contend is that life did not begin with the founding of the United States of America. Life didn’t commence at YOUR birth, either. And it was not instituted in the latest revelation of favored Google searches.

Life had a beginning and life has taught us much about ourselves.

On the morrow we shall go to class.

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Finding a Message in a World aTwitter Act I – Character… December 11, 2012

(1,726)

Jon Signing

The difficulty in not believing in Santa Claus is that we end up having to buy all the presents, wrap them and retrieve the credit card bills at the end of the month. A lack of faith in a North Pole friend can very well close the door on assistance–even from those around us who get caught up in the spirit.

Now, I had the distinct pleasure of raising six sons. One is a film-maker, another is a sound technician and entrepreneur. The third fellow is a junior executive at an insurance company and an aspiring actor. Son four is also a sound technician and plays bass guitar in a blues band. How about number five? He is another filmmaker, presently living in China. And my sixth fine young man is a drummer who would love to start a great rock and roll band.

Even though all six of these fellows have my love, they also occasionally have my intrusion into their lives as I challenge them to find a message–a core, if you will–a bit of character that forms their character and determines the character of their endeavors.

Walking around in today’s world without possessing a guiding message in your soul is similar to arriving at an Arabian market, not knowing the language, starving to death and ending up giving away everything you have for a handful of dates. The world will rob you of your soul if you’re willing to give it your heart–and where your treasure is, your heart will be also.

What is our treasure? It is the compass of a message that directs our actions and draws lines in the sand when deception is wearing the mask of compromise.

I ask all six of my sons what I ask you today. What is your message? Don’t tell me about your faith. Possessing a faith is not pursuing a message. Being conservative and liberal is not a message. Those are profiles. Even claiming to be a Christian is not a message, because somewhere along the line in every religion, the passion of the original proclaimer has been lost in a flurry of business meetings and spreadsheets.

Your message is the guiding hope of how you conduct your life–no matter what or no matter who disagrees. To exist without that is not only dangerous, but can be lethal when the world around you is “aTwitter,” determined to race to the edge of the cliff, having never tested their brakes.

I’d like to take the next few days to discuss the process of finding a message. Because here is the order:

  • You find your message first.
  • Then you seek out those who are in fellowship with your purposes.
  • If there is a God available who touts your values, then He or She is worthy of worship.
  • And finally, you go out and change the world, using your message in truth, with love.

Don’t try to find God  before you find your message, because religion will immediately demand that you blindly accept principles that are unnecessary for preservation.

I have found my message. NoOne is better than anyone else.” My next step? To discover if anyone or any God anywhere … says amen.

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