G-Poppers … September 15th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Even though from time to time G-Pop has been known to offer social commentary on the world we habitate–sometimes biting–he is fully aware that the only truly effective criticism is that which he offers to his own deeds.

You can’t change the world if you can’t change yourself.

With that in mind, G-Pop would like to reflect back one day. Yesterday he presented a Dudley cartoon about the hurricane. It was pithy, cute–and a little dark. Although he doesn’t think there was anything particularly wrong with the approach, it did lack edification.

What is edification?

Edification is saying or doing what you feel needs to be said and done, never forgetting that the goal is to improve matters.

Comedy is funny if at the heart of the humor there is a desire to expose foolishness and welcome freshness.

G-Pop will never be politically correct, but if he has a passion to correct the political, he must make sure it comes from an abiding sense of hope and charity instead of dismal dismay.

So with that in mind, trying to be an example to his children, as of this morning, G-Pop is taking down yesterday’s Dudley cartoon.

No one complained. No one reacted unfavorably. But the comic was not worthy of the message G-Pop envisions imparting to the world around him at this time.

The lesson here is simple:

Is what you’re saying, thinking and doing coming from a place of vision for mankind?

Or are you jumping ship because you no longer believe in the voyage?

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Flawed and Blessed… September 25, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2017)

doctorA rather new phenomenon. At least, I think so.

I can’t remember a time in my four-decade career when people have led so persistently with their diagnoses.

Perhaps that’s a bit unclear. Here’s what I mean: when I meet new human beings, within a very short time they tell me what ails them, the name of their condition, their treatment, and sometimes even the conclusion.

Now, this is not limited to older people. Younger folks do the same thing, although sometimes it will be proffered from their parents standing nearby.

To a certain degree I think our society has become the victim of “diagnosis-hocus-pocus.” Rather than coming to the conclusion that we’re just human beings, and therefore an amazing collage of “flawed” and “blessed,” we are beginning to establish our distinction based upon the uniqueness of conditions.

I, too, received a diagnosis–actually, several of them–about eighteen years ago. I don’t share these. Why? Because pity in no way resembles respect, and sympathy is a horrible substitute for love. But if pity and sympathy are what you want, then having a nearly unpronounceable illness might be valuable.

I know this could be misinterpreted as an attack against the medical field, or some sort of assertion on my part that “we should not be so concerned about our health.” I do believe in modern medicine and am quite aware that ailments exist, even to the point of tormenting my brothers and sisters.

But I just think that how we feel cannot be the impetus for what we are.

We are all flawed–and if we develop a sense of joy about being alive, we can persevere and achieve blessing.

I, like all my fellow-travelers, could describe my aches and pains and keep you busy for a good hour and a half. But there’s a wonderful statement in the Good Book that says, “Let everything be done to the edification of all.”

I just don’t think anyone is edified by hearing me complain. I don’t think humanity grows by realizing my weaknesses.

Somewhere along the line, each one of us has to walk away from a diagnosis and move toward a prognosis of living on with a little hurt.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take treatment–but I am saying that when treatment overtakes your desire to excel, multiply your talents and love life and the folks around you, you’ve already put one foot in the grave.

  • Not every child who is hyperactive needs medication.
  • Not ever skin rash is a sign that we are allergic to forty-four different chemicals.
  • Not every headache is a brain tumor.
  • And not every sore knee means that you should be wheeled into surgery and turned into an android.

All of us are graciously flawed and blessed–flawed in order to truly appreciate the value of our blessing; and blessed so that we don’t spend so much time thinking about our flaws.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Deposit Yourself … February 7, 2013

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Bank of AmericaWithin the common folklore and tales of the life and times of Jonathan Richard Cring is the notion that I hate banks.

It probably sprang from my early years, when I was so poor that when I walked into one of these institutions, I always felt like everyone in the room knew that I was “weighed by my balance” and found wanting. Over the years I have moderated my feelings and generally speaking, I am fine to go to the drive-through window and put money in without too much fear possessing my soul.

Such was my mission yesterday. Arriving there, I discovered that two lanes were open at the drive-through, one labeled “commercial accounts only,” and the other  for us plebeians. In the lesser lane was a white mini van, which pulled in just in front of me. The driver reached for the magical tube, to begin the transaction. It was a woman. I pulled behind her (since I was not a “commercial account” customer).

And then it happened. As it turns out, she took the tube–not to place her deposit neatly inside, for a quick transaction–but instead to acquire a deposit ticket from the teller, which she would retrieve and sit in her minivan and make out her deposit while I waited behind her.

This is one of my pet peeves.

I thought about changing over to the commercial transaction lane. But you see, that’s where we get in trouble. We get frustrated with our present circumstances, caused by someone breaking the rules, we decide to break the rules ourselves. Then we either get caught doing it or we frustrate somebody else, who comes in, observing us breaking the rules.

I realized I had two choices. I could sit there, staring at her rear end intensely, with its “Baby On Board” bumper sticker (I assume a personal confession to her emotional status).  If I did this, I would discover that fifteen seconds would seem like ten minutes. In no time at all I would be convinced I had sat there for half an hour and would reach for my horn, to blare at the surrounding world, only to receive the edification of the lady’s middle finger.

My second choice was to turn off my engine, totally ignore the situation and do something I was planning to do after I left the bank–out-of-order from my Things to Do Today list. But after all, those little notes I jotted down for myself, to give guidance for my day, aren’t exactly the Ten Commandments.

So I turned off my engine, grabbed a book nearby that I was supposed to peruse, and became deeply engrossed in reviewing the material. So involved was I that upon finishing about eight pages, I looked up and the van had disappeared. The lane was open for my entrance.

As I started my van, from my rear came the honking of a horn. Somebody behind me had selected Choice 1.

I just laughed. “I know how you feel, fella,” I said as I rolled forward to make my deposit.

Here’s the truth–I can’t change the world. Let me go further. I can’t improve the world. What I can do is find a way to make my journey as pleasant, free of tension and forgiving as possible. In doing so, it will appear that the world directly around me has changed. If I can get several friends to join me in that quest, we can generate buffer “safe zones,” where other humans can come and not feel that they need to make excuses, lie, cheat and become angry.

This may be the best we can do. Each one of needs to deposit ourselves in an environment of our own creation, where we select to be who we want to be–no matter how frustrating the circumstances become.

Turn off your engine. Grab a book. And ignore all “babies on board.” This, too, will pass.

Then all you have to deal with … is the terror of going to the bank.

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

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