Three Ways to Be Wanted … November 6, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2405)

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Everybody yearns to be wanted.

Are there universal aspects of human behavior that make us more appealing to the tribe than others? Of course there are.

So it’s ridiculous to continue to preach a gospel of individuality when a certain amount of conformity is necessary for us to get along and succeed with our brothers and sisters.

So let me offer three suggestions on how to make yourself more wanted by friends, and even strangers.

1. Stop complaining.

I mean, completely. And when you do slip up and begin to grump and growl, catch it and apologize. It’s a piece of self-righteousness that we must acquire, otherwise we will find ourselves hanging around with folks who believe that complaining is an option rather than a vice.

To identify what complaining is, let me give you a definition: Complaining is when your expectation has been dashed and detoured by reality and you still feel you have the right to an opinion.

You don’t, I don’t and neither does anyone else.

One of the most appealing aspects of human character which draws people your way is a reputation for “taking one on the chin” without bruising up for a week.

2. Start listening and remembering.

Some people say they’re good listeners, but they’re horrible at remembering.

  • If people tell you they don’t like pickles, don’t keep serving them.
  • If you hear that someone is searching for a specific item and you run across it, buy it and present it to them.

We extol the virtue of listening, but it is a useless attribute if we don’t allow the information to become part of our conscious memory.

Listen–yes indeed, but more importantly, remember the preferences, deeds and desires of others.

3. Pick a mood.

You don’t have to be happy all the time. But you do have to land on a general temperament which people can trust. Even though we may not admit it, we get frustrated by folks who are high one day and “in the pit” the next. Matter of fact, we tend to become amateur psychiatrists, diagnosing what their condition might be.

Unless you have a neurological disorder or a mental illness, your moodiness is your choice.

All of us desire to be wanted. But to achieve this status, we must pack our knapsack with the kind of supplies that make us valuable on this great camp-out called life.

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Untotaled: Stepping 32 (January 14th, 1967) Mr. Bayonne … September 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2357)

(Transcript)

Two or three days of snow, then a brief warming period, followed by a frigid arctic blast, leaving the countryside glistening with ice, rendering everything precarious.

This was the winter of 1967.

It left all of us in grouchy moods, even though we insisted we were hearty “Ohioans,” accustomed to such frosty conditions. We basically just muddled through it, quietly complaining about “the winter of our discontent.”

Arriving back in my classroom after the Christmas holidays, I discovered that our female math teacher was gone. The initial explanation was that she was battling a severe bout of the flu.

But it took little time for the sour grapevine of the gossip mill to unearth the details. She had actually left town due to a pregnancy out-of-wedlock, making her the subject of great local scandal. My coach joked that considering she was a math teacher, she certainly didn’t do a very good job “counting her days.”

The whole locker room laughed, and I joined in–even though I didn’t get it.

Replacing her was a tall, lanky, clumsy olive-skinned fellow with thin brown greasy hair and a beak for a nose which would have been more suitable for the Family Ostrich. He was a tentative sort. Honestly, it appeared this was his first excursion as an educator.

Yes, he was an oddity. An Ichabod who resembled a crane. And in our community of conformity, he became a necessary target and needful diversion for our present boredom.

Especially when we found out that he was inept at discipline. We tormented him with our ridicule and teasing.

He wore the same brown suit every day with a white shirt and a brown tie with a gold design which could just as easily have been a speck of dried-on scrambled egg.

He had a hilarious tendency to point at the blackboard using his middle finger (which by the way, appeared to have three knuckles) and we always burst into laughter. He would whirl around and screech in a scratchy voice, “Silence!” We laughed harder.

One day a cheerleader inched her way to his desk, supposedly to ask him a question. He was so delighted for the kind attention that he failed to notice that she was taking blackboard erasers from their perch behind his back and softly laying them against his coat with her hand, creating an amazing chalk-dust design. After she returned to her seat and he turned around, we all once again erupted in great guffaws. He had no idea. Matter of fact, the same marks of chalk were on his suit four days later.

He persisted. So did we.

Matter of fact, it became more nasty when one student thought it would be funny to place an anonymous note in the suggestion box in the principal’s office, complaining about Mr. Bayonne’s teaching style.

Long story short, when we returned after our Easter vacation of resurrecting our Lord and chomping on Easter bunny candy, he was gone. We had successfully driven a stranger away–simply because we deemed him strange.

I often think about Mr. Bayonne. He may not have been suited to instruct the rabble of high school hoodlums, but he certainly deserved better treatment. But in our tiny world of thinking, this math teacher just didn’t add up.

  • Because he was different, he was wrong.
  • Because he was clumsy, he was mocked.
  • Because he wasn’t Nordic, Germanic or Scandinavian, he stirred our prejudice.

I have spent much of my life trying to make sure that I never “Bayonned” anyone again, and in so doing I have discovered a magnificent reality:

It takes different people to make me different. And if I don’t become different, I’m stuck … going no further than where I am.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

It’s My Party … July 29, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1958)

party hatI went to a party last night.

Some of you might not consider it to be that type of gathering–perhaps not festive enough for your taste. For instance, there was no alcohol. Nobody was smoking. As far as I know, the only pills popped were four Tylenol–by me, for my achy knees.

Laughing was available but not because somebody made a funny bodily noise and because the joint was inebriated everybody burst into guffaws. People at this party laughed just because things were funny.

There was no big stereo system in the corner, piping out the latest hits at ear-piercing decibels. Just music. Maybe to some people, simple music.

No huge buffet of food spread so that everybody could overeat as they complained about their waistlines, vowing to do better on the morrow.

No one was getting high–except for the fact that spiritually, they were being filled … as promised by their heavenly Father.

Yet it was quite a party. The kind where designated drivers were not demanded. Part of the joy was reveling behind your wheel about the fun you had.

It wasn’t even a party of friends who had known each other for years, so comfortable with one another that they can resort to personal insults and call it “poking fun.” No, most of the people at my party were strangers to each other except for embracing ideas like brotherhood, love, peace and joy.

  • The world has its own way of doing things.
  • The world lets you think that you’re an individual and your opinions are welcome–until you dare to disagree with the mentality of the mob.
  • The world is more than happy to have you in its conclave as long as you don’t excel too much, step out of the box or dare to suggest some sort of more righteous approach.
  • The world is selfish but hides behind the notion of “freedom for all.”
  • The world is uncaring but tries to take the sting of that revelation away by offering you a “swig.”
  • The world preaches individuality yet extols and advertises conformity.

It’s not that my party was better than the party down the street, where they drink, smoke, carouse and curse. It’s just that after a party is over, what remains becomes our lives. We can either have memories of tender thoughts filtering through our minds, enlightening us, or a series of regrets that we try to assuage by going to the next party.

“In the world you have tribulation.” That’s what Jesus said.

So once the world realizes that everything will be in a constant state of upheaval, it tries to intoxicate itself and warm in a blanket of self-love.

Jesus said this was not a good idea. He said the only way to handle the uncertainty of this world is to “be of good cheer.”

Start a party in your emotions.

Invite your spirit.

Welcome your mind.

And encourage your strength.

I went to a party. I wake up this morning rejuvenated, not hung over. I wake up this morning with everything the world promises me from its party–individuality, freedom and acceptance.

Those waking up from the party held by the world are lamenting it’s over and hoping that another one will come soon, to take away some of the confusion and pain.

Thanks to Faith Lutheran.

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

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