Populie: With Age Comes Wisdom… September 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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baby and great grandma

“Old people know more.”

This is a popular assertion.

It is generally followed by the populie, “With that knowledge comes wisdom.”

Hold the presses on that one–or to make it more contemporary, don’t download.

The reason this populie is so accepted is that our country is becoming older and therefore desires a shortcut from the responsibility of productivity by stomping and stumping about birthdays.

The entertainment industry loves the populie because it creates generation gaps, where the conflict between age groups can be exaggerated to create humor or drama for the viewer.

Politics really touts it because it generates a new demographic they can pander to in order to gain votes.

It is especially comical in religion. Even though we live in an American society which has removed the basic tenets of the patriarchal system, we still continue to insist that Mom and Dad submit to Grandma and Grandpa, and the children should be in submission to all the above.

The only thing I can tell you about getting older is that you have lived more days and been exposed to more events, which gives you the chance to be of more benefit.

But the important factor is how we react to these events. There are three typical scenarios of reaction:

1. I resist.

Even though the evidence is quite available, I am still going to thumb my nose at the change I see, which seems to require expansion, while I would like to remain “status in my quo.”

Young or old, if you take this position, you will maintain an adolescent immaturity. It’s that four-year-old face on a seventy-two-year-old woman, communicating, “I don’t like broccoli.”

2. I avoid.

Once fear has taken root in your heart, you become quite good at politely refusing to try new things, indulge in new things, consider new things, accept new things or tolerate the notion that new things are even necessary.

There are many people we consider to be kind, but actually are entrenched in trepidation about moving forward. They avoid all atmospheres where such stimulation would be promoted.

3. I learn.

Now, this connotes that you are willing to attempt things that kick you in the butt from time to time. You also will need to pick yourself up, garner available data and grow.

As you can see, this concept is not bound by the accumulation of years, but rather, is a state of mind which hungers and thirsts for righteousness.

When I sit in front of an audience of people and share my feelings, I am not segmenting the folks into various demographics and age groups. I am looking for a light in their eyes which has not been doused by rejection and avoidance.

Age does not give us wisdom.

What gives us wisdom is losing our fear of knowledge, and beginning to understand that what is emotional, spiritual and mentally stimulating in our lives is in progress–not a one-time infusion.

Without desiring these fresh-bread experiences, we all eventually fall into the repetition of our upbringing, and end up imitating those who gave us birth and hearth.

So let us address the populie by saying that wisdom is not a by-product of passing years, but rather, an openness to one another and God.

If you want to gain that wisdom, you should find what you have that works, joyously learn what works that you don’t have, and then be “journey-wise” by keeping the door open.

 

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Come… June 21, 2012

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In the fall of 1971 I traveled around small towns in Ohio, playing piano and singing in coffee houses where young humans were attending to sip watered-down Pepsi, munch on stale popcorn and listen to amateurs sing, speak, recite poetry and just postulate on the issues of the day. I did this activity, never wondering if anyone was actually going to show up, because there was a climate of curiosity in our country.

It would be a mistake for anyone to surmise that the children of the 60’s were less sophisticated than today’s I-pod grandchildren. After all, they came up with rock and roll; they planned and executed Woodstock, and they protested and basically stopped the war in Vietnam. They were active. Somehow or another, they were able to mingle the silliness and lovelorn nature of the Monkees with anti-war demonstrations, and in their spare time, start Earth Day. They weren’t better or worse than the kids today, they just believed that nothing happens until we come.

You can’t sit behind a computer or a television set, watching the world go by, and shake your head as you jump on the Internet to look at the next crazy YouTube and think that you’ve made your daily contribution to planet life. It doesn’t make you bad, but it does show that you’re masking a silent anger. Yes. That is the fourth silent killer infecting our society.

As I was planning my fall schedule, I realized I needed to do more concerts to welcome people to join together to laugh, reason and believe again. I have dubbed this series of events the Really Rally–a chance to get together and find out what’s really important–so we can rally around it. As I have shared the idea with various individuals, I discover that I am immediately greeted with cynicism and pity that I still have an idea that people will actually come out from their homes and join together instead of just sitting behind their keyboard and downloading.

We’ve given up on the idea of congregating. This is why some people say that books will soon be a thing of the past. After all, books demand that you either go to a store, visit a library, or talk to someone at a publishing house and order a volume which you actually place your hands upon and read. I was told the same thing in the 1970’s, when cassettes first came out. Everybody was making fun of vinyl records because they were a thing of the past, but as you well know, they’ve never really gone out of style. There will always be someone who wants to put a needle down on a whirling disk to hear music, as likewise, there will always be people who like to get their inspiration flesh to flesh instead of merely checking out the headlines on Yahoo.

But the reason we don’t want to come is because there is a silent anger in this country. Yes, we are angry. What are we angry about? We’re angry because it’s not working and no one has any idea how to fix it. “It” can be anything from politics to religion, and “fixing it” could be something as simple as someone admitting that we are at a loss about what to do. But no one’s going to do that, so a silent anger fills our culture and keeps people from coming together to feel the warmth of each other and be infused with new ideas.

So the invitation from God to “come let us reason together, saith the Lord” is being ignored in favor of hiding out in our homes and pretending that we’re self-sufficient. We are not. No matter how many talents, abilities or financial blessings we may procure, there will always be just enough lack in us that we will feel a sense of frustration that breeds a silent anger.

We need each other. This silent anger is keeping us from achieving our full potential and causing us to boast about past achievements instead of working for the future.

Let’s put it together:

Whosoeverthere is a silent prejudice in our society that will not allow us to embrace other people for fear of changing our minds and becoming more open to new ideas.

Willthere is a silent surrender that has swept across the soul of America, which keeps us from being creative out of a great apprehension that failure would be possible, and that failure would demand that we evolve, and then, that evolution would require that we admit our weakness.

Maysilent doubt. We seem more ashamed of what we don’t know than interested in learning more. So it seems prudent to just remain silent and stop believing.

Comesilent anger traps us in a prison of our own making, keeping us from interacting with one another and discovering little pieces of truth about ourselves in the process.

“Whosoever will may come.” What a brilliant invitation. But it demands that we expose our silent prejudice, our silent surrender, our silent doubt and our silent anger–and allow ourselves the opportunity to leave our houses and arrive at a place where we do not control all the circumstances, but instead, trust that a bit of inspiration might just fill our souls.

It may be the only reason for the church to still be around. Even though the religious system is flawed with many excesses and errors, it still maintains the premise that we’re just better when we’re together.

  • I will not give up on people.
  • I will not believe that technology is a replacement for fellowship.
  • I will not consider myself to be old-fashioned simply because I want more of humanity and less of contrivance.

Whosoever will may come. It is the only worthy invitation.

It is the only way to find a better path … to survive.

   

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