1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Shock Your Critics

 

Stop Being Critical

A goodly portion of the problems that come our way are initiated because a massive hunk of dangling hypocrisy hangs off us, which remains without any sign of removal.

Three simple ways to stop being critical

1. Surprise those around you by confessing something you did wrong.

If this is a shock to your system, start small: “Yes, I ate the last piece of pie.”

2. Surprise your critics by forgiving something which has become a grudge, which you are now going to release.

And finally:

3. Surprise humanity by actually trying something that you once attacked.

It doesn’t mean you have to like it—it doesn’t mean you support it. It means you’re willing to cease being critical of it, removing your previous blanket disapproval.

If you will stop being critical, your critics will not necessarily feel the need to even the score back in your direction.


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Sit Down Comedy … July 19th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is a breathtakingly simple three-step process:

I. Like. You.

I, like you.

I like you.

Although not complex, it seems to profoundly stump the consciousness of the human race.

It begins with I.

In other words, me. I will stop putting the focus and the blinding light on the faults of others and center it on my own foolish foibles.

I will remove the sacs filled with venom so that when I become grouchy and bite someone, I don’t have to accidentally poison them.

I will become the “I” that needs to learn what I need to know, and only I need to know, in order to accomplish what I must do.

This will lend itself to becoming a person who can “like” things once again.

I have stopped doing so. In favor of coming across with wit, I have transformed myself into a cynical snoot, thinking that intelligence is better expressed through critique. I have refused to appreciate the little blessings that have come my way.

But since I have taken the time to acknowledge what I am and what I need to do, I can ease up my insecurity and start to like things again.

Which brings me to You.

You have always been one of my problems—perhaps my only calamity—because I view you as competition and resent the hell out of you using up the oxygen in the room that I could be hoarding in reserve.

I am twice as critical of you than I am me.

I am ten times more judgmental of your pratfalls than my huge stumblings.

But if I will take the time to find out who I am and not be afraid of admitting that I am lacking in some areas, then the possibility for liking things will cheer my soul and make me much more pleasant to be around—so I will be able to store up a measure of grace for when I find myself dealing with you.

With Step One in place, I am ready for Stage Two:

I, like you.

Yes, I look for similarities between you and me—your kind and my kind—my race and your race. I want to stop discussing your culture and my culture and see if we can discover the human culture.

And thirdly, I believe I will arrive at a position where I can say—hopefully:

I like you.

Perhaps God was too optimistic to think we could love our neighbor. But maybe we are able, after we’ve taken stock of our own weakness, to like things again, offering more room for one another.

Then negotiation, reasoning, conversation and even arguments could be well-oiled with compassion, commonality and gladness.

There are nearly eight-and-a-half billion people in this world. It would not be necessary to get all of them to follow this three-step process. Even if we had one million people with hearts of good cheer, to pursue:

I. Like. You.

I, like you.

I like you.

Well, if we could just get a million, the light that would shine would be so brilliant that another ten million would want to imitate the success…

Of course, offering their own name for it.


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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … April 26th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Shadow People

Tiptoe through the room

With a sense of gloomy doom

The message of the day

Has already slipped away

Leaving a darkened view

Instead of a holy renew

Peering for the sinister

Ignoring the need to minister

They wander to their wonder

To dwell upon the blunder

Energized by the pain

Pleased that all’s insane

They whisper to the hearer

Attacking those much dearer

Destroying a reputation

With distorted information

While insisting it is good

What God “would” and “should”

Piously shaking their head

Parsing the words that were said

Is there evil about?

Can we cast some doubt?

There is too much joy in this place

So it is balanced by their frowning face

The Shadow People always arrive

When revival threatens to come alive

And they dim the light of contentment

By pointing toward some resentment

We can never let them go

We just pray that they will grow

But evil thrives in their glance

Destroy your hope if they have the chance

The Shadow People will come again

To douse the fire and find the sin

They speak in tongues with no understanding

Critical of others and always demanding.

 

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G-Poppers … November 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop would like to take this morning just to establish that human beings are human.

Although the concept may seem to be a given, religion turns us into sinners who are transformed to saints; politics insist we are a “movement,” and entertainment proclaims that we are of value simply because we are born.

Life on Earth is much easier when you realize how to deal with its major inhabitants–at least those who have brain power beyond raiding a picnic or grazing in a pasture.

There are two things to learn about people, and if you choose to educate yourself, you become much better at loving others and happier on your path:

1. Human beings are always spontaneously selfish.

If the moment’s whim intrigues them, they will chase it like a puppy dog trailing a sausage. Even if they’re working on something else or committed to achieving a goal, an immediate opportunity will rob their attention span and take them off on a chicken track of “clucking things up.”

Don’t be critical.

Just realize the same attitude dwells in you. Then you can assist others by limiting distractions and understanding that they will be slowed down by the ones you were unable to prohibit.

2. Human beings are only obliquely aware.

When we report a tragedy in a foreign land, the tendency is to only tally the deaths of the Americans. We want to be better than this; we want to pretend we give a damn, but the more the degrees of separation diverge from our own household of concern, the less chance we have of focusing compassion.

Therefore it is important to make it clear to everyone you wish to motivate that the available situation does improve their personal space.

Now, before pouncing on G-Pop and saying that he is overly simplistic or cynical, realize that God, Himself, feels the need to offer eternal life to keep us interested in our present one.

God also teases us with the possibility of being “given to” as a by-product of giving.

And God certainly offers rewards for good behavior.

We are human.

We are spontaneously selfish and obliquely aware.

So even when we’re altruistic, we still need a payoff. Stop asking humans to be either devils or angels. Those jobs are filled.

G-Pop wants you to know that God is madly in love with the unpredictable nature of the human heart, because He is fully cognizant that when we actually create, generate and innovate, it is definitely an action of masterful purpose.

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G-Poppers … March 11th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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The advantage of getting older is that you have been out-smarted so many times that you just might have stumbled upon some “in-smarts.”

At least, that’s what G-Pop thinks.

In a day and age when ragged ideas are being touted as well-sewn pieces of truth, it is important to remember how ignorance is born.

Ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, it is the carefully planned de-bunking of truth.

Ignorance begins with a critical nature.

Although G-Pop would love for his children to be able to discern what is real from false, he also would warn them not to develop a critical heart in performing this mission.

Critical people have one phrase which falls off their lips too easily: “I don’t like it.”

And the more they say it, the more they become accustomed to the intoxicating sensation of power they feel when they reject ideas that come their way.

The beginning of all ignorance is to be critical.

For after all, from “I don’t like it,” it is a simple few steps to, “I don’t like you.”

Once we express our disdain over the flavor of eggplant, it is just too easy to start looking at other human beings as if they were eggplant.

This is the first fruits of prejudice.

All prejudice comes via the misuse of a critical nature. If you’re not looking for reasons to dislike people, you have a much better chance of learning to live with them. But if you’ve convinced yourself that you should be allowed to have preferences, you will soon turn those inclinations into prejudices.

And G-Pop will tell his children that once we don’t like someone, it becomes easier and easier to generalize into, “I don’t like them.”

Bigotryturning one face into condemning a race.

To see change in our country, we must stop believing that “critical” has anything to do with intelligence. We should be looking for reasons to praise instead of criticize–because once critical, it’s easy to become prejudiced.

And once prejudiced, it is a “trip and fall” to bigotry.

There are stereotypes in life. If you spend time with any culture, you will find that many of the claims made about the group do have some foundation.

Those who are born of spirit and wisdom ignore the stereotypes. Once we start pointing out the stereotypes, it is a brief season until we begin promoting them and making up new stereotypes, producing hate.

G-Pop would love to see his children learn the dangers leading to the path of ignorance.

Stop being so quick to criticize: it is the gateway drug to bigotry.

 

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G-Pop’s Coming — Part 2 … November 25, 2013

angy with familyJonathots Daily Blog

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Learning is what happens when we stop complaining and start believing that what has come our way is usable.

I guess the best way to describe my life is that I have gradually learned how to learn.

In so doing, I have become less critical of others because I understand the aching process involved in transition–but I have also become more motivated to escape the sidelines, nursing my injuries.

When I meet with my family this week and they ask the golden question, “What have you learned?” I’m going to tell them the following six things (of course, one at a time over a space of time, so as not to bore them):

1. People want experience without wrinkles.

Everywhere I go, audiences desire insight, excellence and maturity but because of our culture, they would like to receive it from someone who is young, handsome or pretty. Unfortunately, beauty and youth don’t always coincide well with wisdom and moxie. You have to make up your mind–do you want a beautiful billboard? Or a slightly beat-up but very functional moving truck?

2. The second mile is the new GPS destination.

Sometimes I wonder why people think they can get by doing what everybody else does and still distinguish themselves from the mob. You have to have an edge. You have to have a little extra oom-pah if you’re going to perform in the best polka band.

3. Sophistication is everywhere–and it’s annoying.

Somewhere along the line America has become more demanding than giving. We expect other people to jump through hoops as we feel only the necessity to hold them. We need an innocence in order to create revival–a belief that we haven’t seen everything yet, and what we’re looking for is not necessarily dazzling, just heart-warming and meaningful.

4. Good cheer is the new money.

People are so morose, despondent and out-of-whack that simply coming across with a willingness, a smile and a desire to pursue betterment pushes you to the front of the horde. Good cheer is when you purposely put on the mask of a face you deeply desire to be your own.

5. Indecision is killing us.

I don’t know when we started defining maturity as the act of holding meetings, discussing and deciding nothing. Sooner or later we will need to risk being flawed in order to actually move forward and discover improvement.

6. And the final thing I will tell my family that I learned this year in my journey across this United States is freedom isn’t always right–but it’s never wrong.

Unless you have some sort of belief that the U.S. should be ruled by Christian Sharia law, you have to understand that democracy grants freedom at all costs. This doesn’t mean that the things people select to do are always right, or even moral. It’s just that they’re never wrong–because the freedom exists in this country to do what you deem necessary, as long as you don’t infringe on the rights of others.

I see absolutely nothing in error in a church establishing in its doctrine that certain attitudes or behaviors are appropriate for the message they espouse. But if that same church lobbies for other American citizens to be forbidden to conduct themselves however they deem best, then that church has gone from a personal choice of worship to a position of robbing civil rights from their brothers and sisters.

So there you go. If I were to sum up all six of them, I would say this:

Find yourself, be happy, love people–but leave ’em alone.

That is what G-Pop learned this year as he traveled across this country. I’m in my van, driving to meet those who are willing to be called my kin.

It should be exciting.

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Lawless… November 4, 2012

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I love this country.

And it’s not because I was born here or I think we’re superior or we are the unique bastion of freedom or we have a divine right to lead the world. I love this country because it is the perfect blending of silly and important.

After all, anything that’s too silly ends up in folly. How do I know that? Because I, myself, have followed that path from time to time and have also seen the United States go through seasons of dumbness. Likewise, if one believes one is very important (by, say, repeatedly using “one” in a sentence instead of “you”) then one (or you) becomes self-righteous, officious and annoying. I am aware of this because I have been guilty of a bit of piety, and my country certainly has been adorned in the robes of ritual.

But what is perfect is when silly and important decide to get together and balance one another, so that nothing is taken too seriously and truly valuable things are given some air to breathe and a chance to succeed. It may be what’s missing during this particular juncture of the nation’s evolution. We’re frightened of being considered silly, so we are taking ourselves way too seriously.

But this condition was temporarily relieved from my mind last night when I was driving home from my set-up near Ashville, Ohio, and saw some campaign signs in a yard advertising: Lawless for Sheriff.

Come on. You’ve got to laugh out loud.

Only in America would such a silly name be associated with something so important as “sheriffing” without the constituency laughing out loud every time they read it or heard it. Only in USA would a man named Lawless feel free to run for sheriff–using his own name–without fear that he would be judged and guffawed right out of the office.

It made me think of other possibilities.

  • How about this one? Frank Critical for Supreme Court Judge.
  • I like this one: Karen Wolf for Dog Catcher.
  • Here’s a frightening one: Bill Terrorist for Director of Homeland Security.
  • Susan Graft for State Treasurer.
  • And of course, my favorite: John Mayor for Mayor.

I think it’s so positive. It gives me such hope that we have achieved the first step in a four-step process, to cease being a nation of prejudice, that we can just relax and enjoy the mixture of silly and important.

The first step is: No difference in a name.

Polish, Italian, German … or even Lawless for Sheriff. It doesn’t seem to bother us that much anymore. There’s even one guy running for office in this state whose last name is Gentile. No one is accusing him of being anti-Semitic. No one is asking if he’s circum … spective. We have made a step.

Look at those running for President. Mitt and Barack. Are you kidding me? This used to be a country with Presidents named Richard, Jimmy, George, Bill and Franklin. Mitt and Barack? Don’t tell me we haven’t made progress.

We have achieved step one, so take heart We might just be ready to go to step two, which is: No difference in color.

We are discussing it–nervously. I think we can do it. We may have to totally ridicule those who still go into the human home improvement store with a color chart, but I think it’s not only possible, it’s a necessity.

And when we get done with Number Two–no difference in color–we might be ready for Number Three: No difference in liberty.

People don’t have to follow my book. They don’t have to line up with my lifestyle. If what they choose to do is not detrimental to other human beings, they deserve the right to pursue it. I know–it seems we are light-years away from that one. But don’t give up. And please, don’t insist that we would be better off by having a Republican or a Democrat in the driver’s seat heading towards this destination. People are people and their prejudices don’t change that much simply because they are trailing behind a donkey versus an elephant.

Once we decide there is no difference in liberty–that our founding fathers truly did envision a land where all citizens would be granted equal justice, then we will culminate in the fourth step: Just no difference.

In other words, all of you are my brothers and sisters. This is how Jesus said his followers would be recognized–that they have love one for another. You can’t have love one for another and believe there’s a difference because of a name. Love is impossible if you’re differentiating by the pigment of someone’s skin. How can you give love to someone if you refuse them the liberty to pursue his or her own happiness? No, love is when we admit that even though we may have many contrary opinions, we are nevertheless all brothers and sisters.

So I drove back to my motel last night with a giggle in my spirit, thinking about Lawless for Sheriff–proud of my country because we are no longer name impaired.

You may think that’s silly. I would agree. And as I told you, silly is halfway to linking up with important …and making this whole dream called America a reality.

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