Moratorium… December 18, 2012

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Jon Signing

It worked with littering.

There was a time in our society when it was commonplace to dump your trash exactly where you were, even if it was on the street. It sounds bizarre today, but it’s true. Our country was becoming overridden with all sorts of teeming refuse. So what did we do?

We made it unpopular to litter.crying Indian

In like manner, there was a season in our history when being prejudiced against people with color in their skin was not only deemed normal, but rational. We mock that kind of bigotry in this day and age. But how did we change it? We made hating people of different color stupid.

Take the case of abortion. There are not nearly as many abortions as there were at one time. I attribute that drop in the number of terminated pregnancies to a very simple statement that was uttered about two decades ago. It was a slogan which stated that “abortion should be legal, but rare.”

We are a people of great intuition when we actually decide to call out our foolishness instead of hiding behind civil liberties, individual choices, state’s rights and fear of admitting our wrongs. Here are some easy statements:

  • Littering isn’t good because it makes a mess.
  • Bigotry is a negative force because it alienates people who could be productive.
  • Abortion needs to be guided in such a manner that human life is given the greatest respect possible.

Likewise, guns and violence need to be showcased for what they truly are and not what they are glamorized to be in order to generate the next blockbuster or promote an arcane freedom that is no longer useful to the common man.

I am declaring a moratorium.

For those of you who do not know what a moratorium is, it is a cease and desist order from my soul to the world around me, to proclaim that I will no longer indulge in a certain activity.

And what is that activity? Viewing, playing around with or musing over violence against human beings.

For instance, if we treated the car the same way as the gun, we would raise our children to believe that when they received their driver’s license, they should go out and drive as fast as they could, hit as many people as possible and dramatically crash into the side of a wall, leaping from the vehicle, giggling over surviving the ordeal.

After all, we don’t show guns being used to hunt deer. Nobody’s making a movie about the great fun one has at a target range. There are no documentaries presently being filmed about the various ways to clean a gun to make it look more presentable or work better. Every depiction of the gun in entertainment, news reports, warfare and even literature shows it as an implement to destroy, mutilate and murder human flesh.

Even within my own circle of friends and family, there are people who enjoy shows like Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, True Blood, Dexter, CSI and other programming for which sole purpose is to show the decapitation, destruction and decimation of the human body. I know people who would insist they are peace-loving individuals who sit for hours with a video game, becoming mass murderers via a push of the button.

It’s time for a moratorium How would you enact that? I plan on fasting violence. I have no intentions of watching  shows that are geared to expelling blood from the body of human beings to kill them off for the purpose of entertainment. I am declaring it disgusting. I am tired of having our society littered with the belief that human beings are cattle which can be slaughtered and turned into hamburger Mine will be a three-step process:

  1.  Fast violence. Stop watching death and destruction.
  2. Cease to accept violence as legitimate entertainment, but rather, proclaim it to be what it is: genocide pornography.
  3. Confront those who continue to watch it and ask them for their motivation.

I challenge my own children to join me in this endeavor. We cannot sit around and pretend we are appalled by what happend in our country as our children were gunned down in their school, and then pop in video games and movies that duplicate the same insane butchery.

I am not connoting that limiting violence in entertainment will eliminate these heinous acts. I am just saying that as sane people, when it is in our power to address a portion of the problem simply by dispelling the barbarian actions and irresponsible presentation of bloodshed, that we have a duty to stop littering our own minds and cease to encourage others who are weaker in spirit and character, to be tempted by the visions.

Violence is wrong. If you’ve ever been in a room when somebody cut their finger while dicing onions and you saw the horror on their face over a simple one-inch nick, you will grasp exactly how unnatural it truly feels for blood to leave our bodies.

So how can you watch the foul play as blood is sprayed everywhere across the screen, and think you’re doing anything but promoting a piece of insanity which will certainly eventually have to be tempered–or will be duplicated by the weak-minded.

I am declaring a moratorium. Today is my birthday and I am taking the license as a human being of maturity and experience to declare that I, for one, am going to fast violence. You want a place to begin? There you go.

And I will tell you that if enough people do this, entertainment will change, society will shift and gun use will be legal, but rare.

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

Moment-O … July 14, 2012

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I think I finally understand.

Sometimes it’s not so much that I’m dense or lacking intelligence, but rather that I have a pernicious unwillingness to come to logical conclusions. You too?

Yet I do finally understand why they refer to alcoholic beverages as “spirits.” There is something inside every human being that knows that we need to be prodded by, if you will, these “spirits”–to foster the better parts of ourselves which energize us instead of leaving us forlorn and bedraggled.

I came to this conclusion last night while sitting in the home of my son, having come to meet and visit my new grandson, Johann Luther Cring.  I brought a little oil along with me so we could anoint and christen the fine young man and welcome him into our family as one of us and also as a member of the noble human race.

It was rife with spirit. Because it was already rich with spirit, there was no need for alcoholic spirits to be introduced into the event. Teetotalers are often critical of those who imbibe, thinking these people are weak of character or just have some sort of desire to turn life into a party. Not so. Deeply ingrained in our genetics is the knowledge that we require emotional explosions to keep us from being overcome by circumstances–or just bored. So if you’re not going to tap one spirit, you end up untapping another.

Last night this just made sense to me–because after all, it IS about grabbing the moment to justify the journey. There is no explanation for a creature of our intellect and potential to live for less than a century and then disappear–unless that life is saturated with living. For that to happen, we need spirit. And to gain spirit, we must allow our emotions to be released from their cage of captivity, to be freed to roam, unleashed and permitted the opportunity to express true heart.

Yes, I am saying it aloud–you can’t touch the spirit of a human being unless you first unlock the emotions. To use spirituality to merely promote prayer, foster fasting, generate giving or wiggle out worship is wasting the mission and worthiness of the quest for God. And unfortunately, most people can’t unlock their emotions unless they’re a little inebriated. So you can either be drunk on spirits from a bottle or uncork the Holy Spirit that’s bottled up inside you and let it take you on its “magical mystery tour.”

Last night was immense. It’s because the process of human expression was honored. Everyone in the room was emotionally invested in the birth of a new son and the joy of knowing that the precarious process, although very natural, was pulled off without tragedy. Because we were emotionally invested, the room was engorged with spirit. We just talked a little better. Our thoughts escaped fiscal responsibility and fears of pending doom, and for a few moments we allowed ourselves to revive and believe again in our dreams. And because the atmosphere was enlivened by spirit, everyone felt mentally renewed. It was like our brains had been cleansed from all the unrighteousness of worry, naughtiness and apprehension.

We were thinking better. And you know what happens when you think better? You actually become thoughtful. And once the brain has a chance to rejuvenate ideas instead of merely falling into a default position, all the participants are physically challenged to be healthier, wealthier and wiser–so that we can be around for a long time to enjoy the company of young Johann.

It was a moment–one that should never be isolated as unique–as long as we know how to pull the fine wine of the spirit from the cellar of our existence and use our emotions to drain the cup of all its sweetness and delight.

You WILL be involved with the Spirit. You can do it by pressing in on the breath of life granted to you by your Creator and becoming emotionally invested in your own pursuits, or you can drink a few glasses of wine until you let your guard down and allow your heart to feel.

I just don’t want to be drunk on anything but life. That’s my choice. I’m not being judgmental of others, but as long as there are opportunities to toast the initiation of those who are born–OR born again–I will use the Spirit that is in me rather than the spirits that merely dribble down my gullet.

I am grateful for this. Now I know this may sound trivial, but I will tell you–the more you allow yourself to be emotionally invested, the opportunity to be “spirited” will suddenly flourish in your soul and you will be mentally renewed and physically challenged to live out a better life.

Although the old saying is “seize the day,” the truth of the matter is, there are too many moments to wait for a whole day to pass.

Leap in.

Bring your heart.

And taste the spirit.

   

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

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