Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4036)

Sitting Eighteen

Iz was still bewitched and bedazzled by his night vision. Charged with energy, he surged past Pal’s proclamation, yearning to speak of his own experience. “I must tell you about my dream,” he said. “Pal, I must tell you before I forget it.”

Pal was instantly sullen. Although he loved his young friend dearly and the relationship was very new, he already realized that he was losing the lion’s share of arguments—being pushed to the side by the manic energy of Iz. But this time Pal was so enraptured in his vision that he chanced speaking up to his overbearing friend. “I want you to listen to mine first,” he insisted. “Then I promise to listen to yours. But I think if we start with yours, there won’t be time to tell you what I saw.”

Pal didn’t hesitate further. Before Iz could object, he launched dramatically:

My brother stole my hat and began to run through the streets. I chased him, all the while knowing he would be too fast for me—that I would never be able to catch him. Meanwhile, the streets grew more narrow. I heard laughter coming from the walls of each home, as if unseen people, were making fun of me—of my weakness because I could not keep up with my brother. I was too slow. The streets kept narrowing until finally, the path closed in on me. All at once I ran into a wall, and fell on my back, splashing into a pool of water.

Well, I thought it was water, but it was green and sticky, and it really stunk. It got on my skin and turned it red and made it bumpy. Alarmed, I tried to scream but nothing came out of my mouth. My pleas were blocked. I tried to rise to my feet, but the green tide pulled me back down, deeper and deeper, into a puddle. I was terrified. I fell, until just my head, and then my lips, and finally, my nose was all that was exposed to the outside air. And then, like with one gigantic push, I was thrust underneath the scum. I looked around, trying to see what I could perceive, as the current gradually became a golden yellow.

The next thing I knew, I was in what seemed to be a small box, being rolled up and down the hills. I had an upset stomach and became sick. I begged for release but the box wouldn’t stop rolling. I heard cheering, clapping and yelling.

Then, deep within me, I stopped being afraid. It was so weird. I was still sick, but I wasn’t terrified.

Now listen. Finally the scene changed, and I was sitting in front of a thousand tents, filled with the smells of great food, with people standing outside calling to me, saying, “Here, Pal! Try this! Here, Pal! Eat this!”

I looked at the array of treats before my eyes. I didn’t know where to start. But I had no fear. Iz, I really wasn’t afraid.

Pal stopped his story, nearly breathless.

Two boys sat by the light of a single candle. They were still. They were thinking. Occasionally they would glance at one another.

Sweet fellowship. Neither one understood his dream. Neither one could interpret the other’s.

But they weren’t afraid.

No. Iz and Pal were unafraid.

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3 Things … April 11th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4012)


You Should Never Take For Granted

1.  The honesty of your fellow humans

 

2.  The grace of God and the mercy of friends

 

3.  Tomorrow 


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Sit Down Comedy …March 8th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3978)


I recently moved, abandoning my old fortress of solitude for new digs, which I now comfortably call home.

In my whole life I have done this process twelve times. I was a little surprised to discover that this is statistically average.

Whenever I move, the first thing I do is go out and buy a box of garbage bags. Why? Because I’m going to give away a whole lot of stuff. These are the materials that crept into my life, were used temporarily, and ended up being stored in my closet or corners, where I intentionally forgot them.

It’s a very easy evaluation process. As I begin to pack things, I look at each item and ask myself the following three questions:

  1. Have I used this in the past three months?
  2. Will I use it a lot in the next three months?
  3. Is there someone who would really like to use it right now?

It makes things so easy. I not only end up moving but am able to bless a whole bunch of people who get the rejects I’ve been keeping around out of sentimentality mingled with laziness.

But you see, likewise, every once in a while, when something in my life needs to be moved, shifted or rearranged, I will dare to enter my closet of emotions and see what might be in there that is unnecessary.

There are three main culprits:

A. Worry

It gets shuffled to the rear and pretends it’s not there until you glance at it and then, the apprehension surfaces.

B. Pride

It always likes to be hung up high where it can be seen but does nothing to enhance my being except puff up my ego and is quickly deflated by reality.

C. And finally, self-pity

This one really likes to hide, like a cockroach surprised by turning on the light in the middle of the night. It likes to pretend it doesn’t exist, but self-pity literally “bugs me.”

When I look at these emotions—worry, pride and self-pity—I know deep in my heart that they’re worthless, but I keep them around for those times when others are not concerned, praising me—or they might even be ignoring me.

They suck. Yes, these fretting emotions literally suck the life out of me.

Because when I pose the three questions to them, which need to be asked of any emotion, they always fail. The three questions are:

  • Is this emotion making me money?
  • Is this emotion making me friends?
  • Is this emotion making me smarter?

Honestly, I do not feel old, but I am too ancient to waste time worrying pridefully in a puddle of self-pity. I need things in my life that make me money, friends and turn me into a smarter being.

So will you join me in grabbing a sack, finding your worry, your pride and your self-pity, bagging it up and giving it away for Goodwill?

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Sit Down Comedy …February 22nd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3964)


For the sake of our “Sit Down Comedy” today, I shall refer to this as my Mull-it-Over Report. It is the ongoing investigation done on my life by the people around me, who constantly draw conclusions about my veracity and authenticity.

There is also a Mull-it-Over Report on you. You may not be aware of it yet it persists.

For even though human beings are not supposed to judge, it truthfully ends up being one of our favorite pastimes. We love to consider, reveal and scrutinize the lives of other folks, secretly convincing ourselves that we are in much better shape than them.

This is not limited to strangers you meet, but actually more prevalent among those you consider to be friends and family. Matter of fact, some people discover this Mull-it-Over Report being prepared by friends and loved ones and become so offended that they begin grudges which may last decades, or even until such time as death does its part.

It would be ridiculous for me to turn to humanity and say, “Listen, I know you’re doing a Mull-it-Over Report on me, but I want you to give me the results of that investigation and let me boil it down to a summary before you pass it along to the masses.”

Even if I told everyone I had an attorney-in-general who was going to be my reviewer of the final conclusions, I would never be allowed to tamper with what other people have decided to testify about me or against me.

I have two options:

A. Make it a moot point by living a solid, honest life.

B. Or make it a moot point by letting everybody know I don’t give a damn.

I do not have the possibility of controlling the thinking, reactions or determinations of those around me who have decided, for whatever reason, to investigate my doings and come up with the Mull-it-Over Report.

It would be similar to having children in school and waiting for their six- or eight-week report card, and then discovering that the school had allowed the students to take the tally of their grades and rewrite it into a summary which they would present to their parents. Although it would be popular with the young ones, the school system would be errant in allowing it, and the parents, daft in permitting it.

No, even though I may be nervous by the notion of a Mull-it-Over Report on my life, it is ongoing, irreversible and definitely without edit.

What is even more frightening is that the story goes that God, Himself, is keeping such a record on each and every one of us. (I don’t know about you, but I just got a chill down my spine.)

Since I can do nothing to avoid the Mull-it-Over Report being completed and passed along about me, it may be a bit ridiculous to think that anyone who is a public servant of the United States, entrusted with the care of the Constitution, should have the right to appoint an individual who is commissioned to write the Cliff Notes on a government report about him and his associates.

Here’s what we know. If you are working with several people who were in your business who are indicted, convicted and sent to jail, there are only two possibilities:

1. These people are working at your behest, with your blessing and your orders, since you are their honcho.

2. Or, you have a benevolent spirit which causes you to look on your business as a ministry to help those who are criminally minded—to rehabilitate.

 

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3931)

Sitting Three

It was nearly sunset before Jubal and Amir’s fathers became concerned that there was anything extraordinary about the absence of their sons. It was not unusual for the boys to be busy at chores and play, but night is the time to be home. Except now, minus two young men. Some inquiring was done, but frantic energy came with the morning.

Meanwhile, two friends sat at the crest of a hill in the sand, talking, fiddling, playing and laughing.

“I don’t like my name,” said Jubal.

“I like yours better than mine,” Amir inserted.

“Jubal is just so old and religious.”

“Amir sucks.”

Jubal objected. “I like Amir better than Jubal.”

“That’s because it’s not your name,” Amir said, lightly punching him in the arm.

“We need new names,” decided Jubal.

Amir nodded his head. “We’re starting new lives—might as well have new names.”

Jubal giggled. “Maybe I could be Frank and you could be Bob.”

Amir clapped his hands. “Where did you get Frank and Bob?” he asked.

Jubal peered around as if wondering if someone were listening in. “My uncle has cable television,” he explained. “It’s illegal. And sometimes I watch the American shows.”

Amir sat straight up. “What are they like? I mean, our television is so…you know. Boring. Everything in Farsi.”

Jubal leaned forward, whispering. “I have seen women without coverings.”

Amir’s eyes widened. “You mean…?”

Jubal interrupted. “Yes. I mean their tops.”

Amir was impressed to the point of speechless. On and on they talked—about American television, dreams, women, parents and even hot sand.

“I have a new name for you,” Jubal said with a flair of inspiration.

“Oh. What is it?” inquired Amir.

“I think I will call you Pal.”

“Pal?” asked Amir with a squint.

“Yes, it’s short for Palestinian,” said Jubal.

Amir leaped to his feet, and with one arm extended in the air, proclaimed, “Then I shall call you Iz.”

Jubal jumped to his feet, too, asking, “What’s Iz?”

Amir danced around in a little circle and replied, “It is very short—for Israeli.”

This exchange welcomed great laughter. They giggled and danced and wiggled, which deteriorated into a fake boxing match.

Finally, Amir took a breath and spoke. “So is our new little country called Paliz? Or Izpal?”

Jubal firmly shook his head. “Let’s not get started with that. That’s how our people ended up killing each other.”

Now, the word “killing” doesn’t normally invoke laughter, but on a hot day, silly friends will find almost anything hilarious. They giggled, stopped and started again because stopping seemed so ridiculous. At length, Jubal ceased laughing and said, “I have something to show you.”

“All right.” Amir was a bit bewildered by the solemn transition. Jubal walked over to the small tent they had pitched and returned, gingerly cupping an object in his hands.

“What is it?” asked Amir.

Jubal paused. “It’s a hand grenade.”

Amir scooted away. “What do you have that for?”

Jubal rebuked him. “Don’t be foolish. Do you really think they won’t find us here? Do you think they’ll let us stay? Do you think they’re going to pat us on the back and say, ‘Great job, boys.’ They’re all crazy with hate, so they want us to be crazy, too. So I needed something to convince them we are serious—and we’ll never return to being just Arab and Jewish little boys again”

Amir was impressed. “Where did you get it?” he challenged.

“A patrol of Israeli troops came into our town, and it fell out of one of their bags,” Jubal explained. “Before I could think, I grabbed it and took it back to the soldier. He thanked me and gave me some chocolate. Then I thought about us—if we were going to be together—how we needed something. So I cautiously followed the troops, until they rested next to a well. When the young soldier went over to draw some water to drink, I stole the grenade from his pack.”

Amir was frightened. “What are you going to do with it?”

“I don’t know,” said Jubal, with a tear in his voice. “I didn’t think that through. I just don’t want to go back to any place where you cannot be my friend.”

Iz and Pal shook hands, very careful to set the grenade to the side. It was nearly midday.

They would soon be discovered.

 

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Begin the New Year Right)


 

UNTANGLE

You must be honest with yourself and realize that you’ve taken this whole year to tangle yourself up in relationships, causes, theologies, politics and negativity that has every intention of bumbling its way into the month of January.

We do not engage. We tangle. And the reason we tangle is that we lack the confidence to believe we have the ability to do things with our own talent, and we cautiously collaborate with those who have less ability and we end up achieving only as much as they are able to accomplish.

  • We become sentimental when we actually need to be revolutionary.
  • We become revolutionary when what is required is wisdom.
  • And we try to act wise and often end up with arrogance.

Untangle:

  1. Your relationships

Get a piece of paper and write down the names of your friends. Then consider the number of times they were friendly to you as opposed to the number of times you were friendly to them. Don’t offend them but adjust your contact with them based upon this ratio.

If you were friendly five times and they were friendly three, then include them in your life accordingly. Your time is valuable. You don’t want to hurt anyone, but you don’t help anyone by letting them hurt you.

  1. Your goals.

Are they realistic? Have you ever achieved them? Has there ever been a hint that progress has been made? Don’t be stubborn. If you made no progress on your goals this year, then the problem is probably your goals, not your progress.

  1. Your clothes.

Go in your closet and inventory your wardrobe. If you have garments you haven’t worn for six months which aren’t seasonal, take them down and find homes for them. There are people out there who will rejoice over your rejects.

And finally,

  1. Untangle yourself from your failures.

If you have found the root cause of what precipitated your defeats and you’ve made adjustments, then don’t nervously wonder if the same things will happen again. They can’t because you’ve changed the playing field.

Untangle.

Because situations in our lives which are not useful or helpful will eventually wrap around our throats and strangle our life force.

 

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Cracked 5 … August 1st, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3385)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Creepy Things Your Mom and Dad Say When They Walk Up, Trying to Be Cool, and You’re Hanging Out With Your Friends

A. “Had a bowel dissected last week. Went well, though.”

 

B. “They said the clog in the tube was the largest one they’d ever seen–dark and gritty.”

 

C. “Funny thing–the nurse had the same operation last year, but they had to pump her for an hour.”

 

D. “I watched so much television I finally caught an interview with Kim Kardashian. She really does have a big butt. Smart–but a whopper backside.”

 

E. “Listen, kids–eat more fiber. My doctor said it will save you from walkin’ around with a bag hangin’ off your belt.”

 

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