1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Magnify Your Character)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

(To Magnify Your Character)

William Shakespeare contended that “all the world’s a stage and each one of us, merely players.”

So who are you?

In the world of theater, it is impossible to play too many characters without coming across anemic in the roles. Also, if you establish your character onstage and then drastically revise it, the audience doesn’t buy into your leap.

The one thing you should think about this week to magnify your character is:

Don’t let your problems give you stage directions

Unlike true theater, in everyday life we have a tendency to adjust to the settings, the surroundings, the spotlights, the poor audience reaction or the failure of others around us to remember their lines, and either attempt to revise our dialogue to fit the circumstance or freak out because our the revisions cause us to lose all credibility.

Here is this week’s question: who are you?

And don’t try to tell me that you are a multi-faceted individual with many different layers of being. That’s the best way to describe a liar. Who are you?

Once you find the answer to that, remaining faithful to the role, no matter how the play unfolds in front of you, is how you gain the reputation of being solid and trustworthy– well worth knowing by your peers.

An acquaintance recently asked me, “Who are you?”

I replied, “I am a character addicted to good cheer, so no matter what you hand me, I will do my best to give you back joy.”

The definition of immaturity is feeling the need to change the script simply because there’s been an unforeseen twist in the plot. But in doing so, we sully our character and make ourselves seem unreliable.

Who are you?

Answer that question–and then don’t let your problems or your mishaps give you stage directions.

 

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Become Believable)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

To Become Believable

 

A proverb is a wise saying that gained status by being true most of the time. Like this:

“There’s a way that seems right to a human being, but the end of it is destruction.”

For instance:

“If you make a mistake, deny it, hide it and cover it up until people lose interest in it and you can move on.”

This concept is so faithfully followed in our country that it should be hung on a golden plaque in the halls of Congress, Madison Avenue and the White House.

Somehow or another, we have convinced ourselves that lying works. I don’t know how it happened–so many liars have been exposed, ridiculed and condemned that one would think their stories would prove to be cautionary tales. But not so.

If you want one thing to pursue this week to help you become more believable, do this:

Admit your faults and admit them early.

Nothing sounds nearly as bad if the confession comes from your own mouth. When it turns into an accusation from others or an indictment by society, you will find yourself either continuing to lie or offering a tardy admission of guilt.

“It was me.”

The three magic words. Not “I am sorry” nor “I love you.”

When the question is posed, “Who drank the last of the milk and left the carton in the refrigerator?” and you know it was your doing, simply replying, “It was me–sorry about that…” YOU BECOME A HERO.

Honest to God, nobody sane on the Earth will incriminate you further.

Take this one thing this week and put it into your daily activity. If you want to become believable to those around you:

Admit your faults and admit them early.

 

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G-Poppers … March 2nd, 2018

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They were bombed. Yes, completely bombed out of their minds.

G-Pop is talking about Nikita Khrushchev and Mao Zedong, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Russia and the Chairman of the Communist Party in China, respectively.

They were bombed in the sense that they were intoxicated on the power they felt by possessing an arsenal of nuclear weapons. So inebriated were they on their own power that they frequently threatened the world with destruction.

Fortunately, the world was granted a country called the United States, which possessed a President who refused to take the bait and openly, or at least quietly, lobbied against nuclear proliferation.

Beginning with Eisenhower, then Kennedy, Johnson and even Richard Nixon–all were convinced it was essential that the world be disarmed from the threat of atomic annihilation. It continued with Jimmy Carter and even Ronald Reagan, who tried to negotiate treaties while simultaneously being an usher at the falling of the House of Lenin.

Vladimir Putin of Russia and Kim Jung Un of North Korea are also bombed. They have picked up on the infection of egotistical, maniacal manipulation through the news cycle by threatening humanity with demise.

Here is where G-Pop is concerned: we seem to have lost the American president who stands in the way of these bombed individuals. Unfortunately, some chest-thumping and threats are now coming from the red, white and blue.

We have three leaders in the world who are bombed. At no time in our history has such a precarious imbalance loomed over the precious lives of our children.

It does not do any good to claim to be a Christian nation if we continue to politically and diplomatically live under the pretext of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Sanity must prevail, and we can’t wait for a redemption story to come from the Kremlin or North Korea. It is up to our President to follow the examples of his predecessors and control the danger which might accidentally be unleashed just to prove a point.

G-Pop wants his children to know that much of this Earth is negotiated by balancing. It’s not an issue of compromise, but rather, a deterrent to insanity through seeking the counsel of better “angles.”

We are in trouble.

It’s not because Putin is in Russia or Kim Jung Un is in North Korea. It’s because we’ve lost our perspective as a nation on how foolish it is to intimidate–and how such maneuvers can create alarming predicaments which might force us to back up our claims.

Where is the voice of reason?

Where is the realization that military might is best used in exercises instead of filling body bags?

G-Pop is praying for restraint.

G-Pop, who had a grandson born just today, is attempting to encourage “turn the other cheek,” which allows us to keep our good face alive and well.

 

 

 

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Ask Jonathots… July 21st, 2016

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Last year my friend’s fiancé drowned in a flood. He is very bitter and blames God. What can I say to him?

Before we discuss what you can say to him, let me ask you a question: is it possible that this fiance would have drowned in a flood if there were no God?

In other words, are there floods on Earth? Does water rise? Do people find themselves caught in odd circumstances? And does water filling the lungs kill a person?

The question that’s actually being posed is, “Should God intervene in every situation to eliminate death and destruction?”

And if He were to do that, how would He determine when it was time for someone to actually pass on? In other words, if there were no bad things that happened in life, would there be good things that happen, or just sameness?

We appreciate blessing because we’re fully aware of the possibility of difficulty.

We appreciate our loved ones because we know we’re mortal and susceptible to termination.

So if there were no God, how could one get rid of humans from Earth to make room for more humans? Would we be satisfied with that system, or decry it for its unfairness?

God had an important decision: How could He create a Natural Order which could be studied, but also does its best to keep things even so that the rain and the sunshine “fall on the just and the unjust?”

And after developing this system, was God willing to take the criticism from those who presently feel cheated, and receive too much praise from the ones who are overly confident?

  • Equity.
  • Fairness.
  • Justice.

The best thing God could offer was a clear statement to humanity–study the face of the sky and learn the ways of Nature.

Case in point: I was heading out on tour this year to California when I realized that the weather patterns were forbidding such a maneuver. I changed my itinerary. I based that decision on what I knew about El Nino, and how I have seen it work in the past. I ended up not being caught up in floods and blizzards, but instead, continuing my work unabated.

I used the greatest blessing–it’s called knowledge.

So what do you say to your friend?

I don’t know.

I don’t know what he can hear.

Sometimes it’s just better to hug people until they get their wits about them again.

 

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G-Poppers … June 3rd, 2016

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“It is the mingle that produces the mangle.”

G-Pop will freely admit that the phrase may sound a little too cute, but nevertheless, bears repeating.

How we mingle our thinking determines whether virtue, progress and intelligence will become mangled.

It all revolves around two insidious but often blended ideas:

  1. It’s not my fault
  2. God will take care of it

Yes, in an attempt to free ourselves of any responsibility for failure, we seek villains to blame for the destruction in our society.

Or we stand back, feigning helplessness, reciting our prayers, waiting for a divine being to intervene and make the world a better place.

And then, there is the ridiculous mingling of the two:

“Since God will take care of everything, why should I force myself to do things that are unnatural to my present thinking?”

It is the mingle that invites the mangle.

Because once you convince a generation of human beings that they are without fault and that God has a plan for everything, you scrawl a permission slip for people to continue their ignorance and prejudice.

Even though we contend “the truth makes us free,” we fail to realize that this freedom is only achieved if we’re willing to know the truth.

And here’s the truth:

G-Pop tells all of his children that if any one of us is within three feet of a problem, we probably have some responsibility for the situation.

And if we’re not within three feet, we still have the potential–within that yard of our jurisdiction–to improve the world.

  • There is no progress without repentance.
  • But there is no repentance minus confession.

“If we confess our faults, we will be healed.” If we don’t, we remain sick.

The more we insist that we are guiltless, the more intensely others look for our guilt.

And the idea that a God who created the universe and made human beings with a brain attached to their hands and feet without expecting them to use the connection, is just pure farce.

If you want to stop the mangling of truth, justice and mercy, you will have to attack the credibility of “it’s not my fault” and “God will take care of it.”

Unless we repent, we will perish.

And not even a God of mercy will stand in the way of our disappearance.

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Ask Jonathots … June 11th, 2015

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I know this question gets asked a lot, but with all the flooding and tornadoes going on, and people losing their homes, I can’t help but wonder why God allows all of this destruction?

There are two forces at work on Earth: Nature and human desire.

Human desire wanted to build a city below sea level in Louisiana. It is called New Orleans. Mother Nature creates storms to replenish the earth with water and has thoroughly warned us that anything below sea level will…well, be below sea level.

As long as we live lives where we believe that nature is our enemy or that nature can be ignored because of our prayers, we will suffer some of the painful conclusions that befall those who ignore the obvious.

For instance, certainly by this time, since we know that a lot of tornadoes move through Oklahoma, it might be smart to build a system that protects people–and even their homes–from destruction. The fact that the people in that region believe that the present tornado might just be the last one could be classified as a bit ignorant.

You would have much less destruction and loss of life on Earth if the humans who have desire took into consideration the natural order, the way of the earth and the history of how things work.

As long as human desire ignores Mother Nature, she will plow right through our plans and leave many people sad.

So what can we do? Learn how things work.

For instance, instead of arguing about climate change, why not just take the precaution that the climate is changing and make a few adjustments in order to submit to the trend?

But I will tell you–prayers to God will not stop the movement of Mother Nature. God uses the natural order to bring balance to everyone, so that it rains on the just and the unjust.

So what can you do?

Don’t build your house on the sand.

And if you do, be prepared for your living room to be filled with 4 feet of water.

 

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Populie: The Holy Land … October 29, 2014

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Isis, Jew and Crusader

Land: a retreating of the waters, leaving behind soil which is available for living and planting.

Holy: promoting, initiating and welcoming a sense of wholeness.

These are truths.

So what is the populie? Calling some region in Mesopotamia “The Holy Land.”

It is neither conducive to growing much of anything or welcoming wholeness. Even though it’s only the size of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, it has fostered more death, destruction, bigotry, selfishness, greed and lunacy than any other location on the face of the earth.

Yet the entertainment industry loves to make movies about the Crusades and supposedly deep insightful, flicks focusing on the conflicts between the Jews and the Arabs.

Politics certainly enjoys spouting the term “Holy Land” because it welcomes certain constituencies into the mix for large donations.

And religion adores the idea that this space of property has magical powers or is ordained by God to be the prophetic source of spiritual renewal.

The Holy Land is not. I have never had a desire to go there, nor will I ever, of my own volition.

It is occupied by inflexible souls who mysteriously continue to fight a battle among each other to honor their traditions instead of dealing with the realities of our time.

It is evil in the sense that it pulls down the rest of our brothers and sisters living with us on this planet, because supposedly Abraham said something thousands of years ago, which Moses confirmed and Mohammed contradicted.

They are quarreling brothers who bang on our door in the middle of the night because they’re fighting again, and somebody punched somebody in the nose, and we’re supposed to decide if we’re going to call the cops or just make a big pot of coffee.

I must tell you:

  • Jesus found nothing holy about that land.
  • Matter of fact, he prophesied that it would be left desolate.
  • He told them that even though they believed they were the “children of Abraham,” that he existed before Abraham, and therefore trumped the patriarch.
  • He warned them that their holy temple would be torn down.
  • He told his disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem but to get out of there as quickly as possible and take the mission to the more receptive parts of the world.
  • He explained that true worship of God would not be in Jerusalem, but would be achieved through spirit and truth.
  • And even though we try to make Jesus Jewish and connect him to the Holy Land, he made it clear that he wasn’t called to those who thought they were righteous, but instead, to those whom the righteous considered to be sinners.

We must begin to call this desolate, angry, self-righteous location the dark place it truly is, and stop trying to revere it as a special piece of turf. If not, we will perpetuate the myth that if we just send one more army in there on a crusade, we can finally win back God’s holy land.

For if Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut suddenly decided to start squabbling over land and spiritual heritage, we would go in there and tell them to shut the hell up, get it right or we would close off all supplies and sanction them from our country.

But even though we contend that God is no respecter of persons, we in the United States continue to treat Israel preferentially and look at the Arabs with a jaundiced eye. They probably won’t be ignored, but we need to stop giving them so much of the human stage.

It is not a Holy Land. Stop planning trips there, thinking you’re going to “walk where Jesus walked.”

Because true holiness is where God is.

And the Spirit of God always dwells where there is liberty. There is no liberty in the Holy Land. Even Israel, which claims to be democratic, has restrictions on spiritual expression and prejudice against their neighbors.

Go where there’s liberty, and there you’ll find the Spirit of God. Forgive me for a little bit of flag waving–but that’s why I’m glad to be an American.

And for me, today, as I travel, the Holy Land … is Roanoke, Virginia.

 

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