Cracked 5 … April 25th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Startling Revelations About the Bluebird of Happiness

A. Recently humiliated during a “60 Minutes” interview because he couldn’t define happiness.

 

B. Changing gender, hoping to become the Pink Bird of Happiness

 

C. No one under 50 knows who he is

 

D. Turns out he’s not blue, just hasn’t bathed for a while

 

E. Not happy–just drunk

 

 

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Good News and Better News … June 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good News Walkersville

I have spent the last week in Maryland, “habitating” on Mason Dixon Road.

If you’re unacquainted with the significance of “Mason Dixon,” simply explained, it is the contrived boundary line which was drawn to distinguish the North from the South, and therefore, the free states from the slave states. It was another one of those man-made solutions that seemed brilliant at the time because it appeased an acceptable insanity.

As I thought about it this week, I realized that every time we try to divide one from another–be it by race, gender, culture, sexual preference, or denomination–we take a big slather of glue and try to repair a major crack in the rock.

It never works. It never holds. And eventually, the action of trying to achieve a temporary solution seems ludicrous.

If we would simply start with the principle that there are no divisions unless we’re trying to be superior, then we would be on our way to understanding human life as it was meant to be on Planet Earth.

Enjoying the fine souls at Walkersville United Methodist Church, I realized that there was no greater message to share with them than the removal of all the “Mason Dixon Lines” that keep us apart.

I don’t care if it’s some politician portraying that the one percent is battling the ninety-nine percent, or another chap who insists on constructing a wall to keep the immigrants from the “permanents”–we are merely pretending to address a situation which can only be achieved by submitting to the wisdom of four immutable axioms.

Whenever there are two people gathered, each must realize:

1. We’re both wrong.

If life were as limited as our understanding, then it could never include everyone alive. So in some way, we’re both wrong.

2. We’re both right.

Yes, there is something good at the core of almost every philosophy or religion which can be included in the ultimate solution.

3. The Spirit knows the difference.

As long as we are in our flesh or living in our minds, we will never be able to surrender to the ultimate wisdom that keeps us from constructing barriers between one another.

  • We need the spirit of history
  • We need the spirit of science
  • We need the spirit of wisdom
  • We need the spirit of creativity.

And this is all encapsulated in our Father in Heaven.

4. Stay in the Spirit.

Since it is the Spirit that will lead us to deeper acceptance, the more we laugh at our prejudices as we chase them out the door, the greater the chance that we will achieve comprehension.

So that’s the good news. Because we’re both wrong and we’re both right, and the Spirit knows the difference, we should stay in the Spirit.

And here’s the better news:

It’s fun being wrong, as long as you believe in your heart that it is possible.

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Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … May 14th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: If I remember correctly, I was eleven years old, in middle school, during gym class, and Miss Pontier shared with us girls. It was a rainy day and we were supposed to be playing softball. We were forced inside, and for some reason, our teacher decided to wax poetic about men.

 

Dear Woman: Really? What did she say?

 

Dear Man: As I look back on it, I realize that she was probably going through a hard time in a relationship, but she quickly–and kind of comically–explained to us the three things that men don’t do.

 

Dear Woman: This is interesting. What were her findings?

 

Dear Man: She said men don’t emotionally care about much of anything. Secondly, men find it difficult to carry on a meaningful conversation, and third–men don’t remember anything if it’s more than a week away and doesn’t involve food and beer.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. That’s pretty jaded. So what did you think at the time?

 

Dear Man: I thought she was the goddess of wisdom. Who was I to question her?

 

Dear Woman: I had a similar thing happen when I was playing junior high football. We were on the bus on the way to a game and the coach talked to us about girls. We were not just a captive audience, but captivated by the subject. He said that girls don’t like sports, they don’t like to be ignored, and they don’t ever want to be wrong.

 

Dear Man: I would assume you agreed.

 

Dear Woman: Well, from my lack of experience I decided to accept his insight.

 

Dear Man: You see–that’s the problem in our society. People think it’s funny to portray the other gender as ridiculous, stubborn or stupid. But once we think that they don’t do something, it colors our efforts, and pretty soon we translate it to “they won’t.

 

Dear Woman: In other words, we take it personally.

 

Dear Man: Absolutely. So even though we feel the need to pair off and mate, we establish our main relationships within our gender, insisting that it’s impossible for a man and woman to get along completely.

 

Dear Woman: So let me get this straight. Because somebody tells us, for instance, that “women don’t do something,” we go out and confirm through our experiences, which are now prejudiced, that they won’t.

 

Dear Man: And it doesn’t stop there. Once we’re convinced they don’t and they won’t, we start believing they can’t. Despair sets in, disappointment, and a nagging resignation to having a relationship that is less than fulfilling.

 

Dear Woman: So we do a disservice to our children by telling them that the opposite sex doesn’t do things–because they will begin to believe they won’t, which makes them conclude that they can’t.

 

Dear Man: Yes. That’s why we have so much prejudice. Because if I believe you don’t do something, and I conclude you won’t, I disrespect you by thinking you can’t.

 

Dear Woman: So what can we do?

 

Dear Man: I think we can stop generalizing that men and women react as genders instead of individuals. It will block that deadly process that ends up with us thinking that the opposite sex is incapable of addressing our feelings.

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G-Poppers … February 5th, 2016

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On any given Sunday, G-Pop has the honor of sitting and sharing in front of an audience that mingles Republicans and Democrats indiscriminately.

Matter of fact, the Sunday morning church service may be the last location in our great country where conservatives and liberals have to sit side-by-side and crack open a common hymn book and sing harmoniously.

One of G-Pop’s sons suggested that such an environment demands too much compromise to be of use in the “kingdom of truth.”

Not so.

In the realm of reconciliation and the pursuit of being a peacemaker, there are only two enemies, and only one true danger.

Separating these two enemies is the job of every good-thinking man and woman. The two enemies are arrogance and ignorance:

  • Arrogance contends, “I am smarter than you.”
  • And ignorance insists, “I am better than you.

Every tragedy which has befallen our species has occurred when the statesmen and spiritual leaders of our time became too busy with politics and religion, allowing arrogance and ignorance to coalesce.

As long as we keep them separated, we can address the insecurities they possess individually.

Case in point:

Racism is the merging of arrogance and ignorance–people who think they’re smarter than other people, who also have decreed that they’re better.

It happened with the Nazis–the arrogance of Germanic tribes who thought they were smarter led to the conclusion that they were better–a Super Race.

It is what festers in the Middle East.

And it is what causes us–a supposedly enlightened people–to still be struggling over issues of color, sexuality and gender, far beyond the time of reasonability.

G-Pop teaches a simple message.

He tells people clearly, “If I am smarter than you in some areas, you are certainly smarter than me in others.”

And … no one is better than anyone else.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: A couple of days ago I read an article in a magazine…

 

Dear Man: You’re just trying to impress me with the fact that you can read.

 

Dear Woman: Actually, I’m trying to impress you with the fact that I read something and retained enough to have a discussion. Anyway, in this article it said that men and women should appreciate their differences because it grants each of them a “unique perspective.”

 

Dear Man: A unique perspective?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, that’s what I geared in on too. What does that mean?

 

Dear Man: That means I have a way of looking at things that’s different from you, and you would garner great insight by listening to my feelings on the issue.

 

Dear Woman: Do you think that’s true?

 

Dear Man: I was taught it was true. Matter of fact, I grew up believing that relationships were 50-50. Somewhere along the line, that got pooh-poohed, and now we believe that it’s gotta be 100% and 100%. It’s the me plus me equals us.

 

Dear Woman: We don’t believe that. It’s a war with an unsettling truce. Men pretend that women are smarter while still retaining the power.

 

Dear Man: Well, how do they do that?

 

Dear Woman: By telling you that you have a “unique perspective” which they value hearing and enjoy ignoring.

 

Dear Man: So what you’re saying is that telling someone they have a unique perspective is not a positive?

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely not. It’s never positive. Saying that someone has a unique perspective is only two argument points away from the classic, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

 

Dear Man: So you believe that’s why we have so many stalemates in discussions between men and women?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. Every idea has a genesis and an exodus.

 

Dear Man: Explain.

 

Dear Woman: That wasn’t very clear, was it? What I’m saying is that the word “unique” is a genesis, but as the word “unique” goes through the human experience, it changes to other words. And by the time it evolves, our emotions interpret it in a much different way.

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying that “unique” doesn’t really mean “unique” to us?

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. “Unique” is translated in our brain as “different.” And different is not something we enjoy. It’s something we tolerate. And we always tell people they need more tolerance.

 

Dear Man: So how do you build a relationship on tolerance?

 

Dear Woman: You can’t. You kind of end up faking it.

 

Dear Man: So let me try my hand at it. After “unique” becomes “different” in our heads, “different” can quickly become “alien.” In other words, people from Mexico have different customs than we do, so therefore we view them as aliens.

 

Dear Woman: Very well said. And of course, once something is alien, we stick it in Outer Space. It’s not really allowed past our borders, is it?

 

Dear Man: So if I convince myself that your feelings are unique and therefore different, which makes them alien, it’s very easy for me to turn a deaf ear and view them as intrusive.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. I’m an intruder on your girl power.

 

Dear Man: And I’m an intruder on your macho.

 

Dear Woman: So we end up tolerating each other to get what we want.

 

Dear Man: And when we don’t want it so much any more, we decide to get rid of the intruder.

 

Dear Woman: So as long as we look at each other as unique, instead of finding common ground, we will focus on the differences, become alien to one another and eventually, in a bit of disgust, consider each other intrusive.

 

Dear Man: It’s kind of funny. Because if either one of us found ourselves stuck in the jungle, we would quickly learn to adapt–find our inner monkey–instead of insisting that the monkeys have a “unique perspective.”

 

Dear Woman: You should never consider yourself a monkey.

 

Dear Man: You know what I’m saying. To survive, we find commonality. To fail, we focus on differences. That’s just life.

 

Dear Woman: Except when it comes to men and women, right? Then we think we’re so damn clever by highlighting the uniqueness.

 

Dear Man: So you don’t think I have any uniqueness?

 

Dear Woman: Yes, I do. But it has nothing to do with you being a woman. It has to do with your experience. Your faith. Your charity. Your hope. Your sense of humor. That’s what makes you fresh to me.

 

Dear Man: So how did it get all screwed up?

 

Dear Woman: I guess the way it always gets screwed up. One night, one member of the sexes didn’t want to listen to the other one, so he or she decided that the other gender was unique, and therefore incomprehensible.

 

Dear Man: So I am going to give you a blessing. You are not unique. You are not different. You are not alien to me. And you are not an intruder. It’s my job to figure out how the culture screwed us up … and how we can get back to the Garden.

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Corn on the Cob… April 12, 2013

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cornOn Sunday morning, I will journey to Helotes Hills United Methodist Church in Helotes, Texas. Please understand how delighted I was to discover that the word “helotes” translates as corn on the cob.”

How perfect for me.

Because bluntly, by today’s standards–I’m corny. I don’t pursue macho things in order to be a man, nor do I favor feminine things, to make my sexuality ambiguous. I like things that are real and touch human beings as a whole, instead of segmenting us off into color, size, sexuality or gender.

I’m corny.

Unashamedly, I cry when I run across something that is moving to my soul. I like to love my country, even though there are those who overdo it and those who under-do it. I am not ashamed of my faith in God, although I don’t wear it as a badge to make myself a policeman over other people’s morality, or as a means of establishing my supremacy in traveling first class on the Good Ship Lollipop to heaven.

I’m corny. But what exactly does that mean?

1. I lead with my heart. I will not arrive in Helotes Hills desiring to maintain a healthy distance from these dear folks so as to qualify myself as an artist or a theologian. I want to shake their hands. I want to hug their necks if they’ll let me. I want to laugh with them and I want to cry. Nothing any good happens in the human family if we’re not ready to feel.

2. Once I feel, it opens my spirit. That’s right–faith is when we allow God to speak to us through the feelings of our hearts. Nothing registers in us as people simply because it’s read from the Bible. It has to come with some emotion: a story or some way to stimulate our innards. Then we open up our spirits and faith happens.

3. Once my spirit opens, my mind can be renewed. Yes, that means I can get a little fervor in my thinking. My brain actually lays there like a big pile of mush if I don’t give it some shocking new revelation that gets me thinking again. I want to have fervor. I want my reasoning to grow to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Jesus. I know that sounds corny. So be it.

4. And finally, I want my strength to be empowered. I want to give my body some focus about the best things to do instead of floating from one mishap to another, trying to pretend that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

I want feeling, faith, fervor and focus–so I am going to involve my heart, soul, mind and strength in the experience I will enjoy with the good folks at Helotes Hills.

After all, this is the corn–and I guess that would make me … the cob.

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The Caper Continues… September 30, 2012

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I did it again last night.

I sat down in front of a roomful of strangers and spent an hour convincing them we weren’t strange at all, just very human and common. All in all, though, my voice is very small. My lack of fame and fortune can make those who hear my witness believe in my insignificance. Because the big money, the large promotion and the overriding messaging in our society lies to the public by telling each and every one of us how absolutely unique we are.

It establishes an arrogance without the foundation of even five minutes worth of confirming proof. It makes us try to clot together in blood lines rather than for reasons to grope in the darkness for the light switch to avoid cursing our bleakness.

It tells us that we have a unique difference. Actually, all temptation is common to all men. What makes us special is how much we share in common with each other.

This propaganda flowing from the world’s view also tells us that we have unique values–but the values you revere are meaningless if you’re not bearing fruit in your life, especially showing up with a tinge of friendliness on your face.

Then there’s the concept of a unique birthright. “These people over here are better than those people over there because …” Well, often we’ve forgotten why. But God is the Maker and as the Creator, He tells us bluntly that He’s no respecter of persons and strongly suggests that we follow suit.

Then religion steps in a offers the precept that many of us have a unique salvation. The truth of the matter is, we all need to repent from time to time or we will find ourselves perishing just like the people we criticize.

Those same religious people suggest that Jesus was a unique human–but we’re told in the Bible that he was tempted in every way just like us, that he was touched by our infirmities and that he learned. Sounds pretty doggone human to me.

The scientific community energizes the theorem that there are unique species–preferred, if you will, by nature. Here’s the truth about that: whatever does not evolve will dissolve. That goes for organizations, ideas, fashions, spirituality and bio-chemical reactions.

Lots of folks believe in the doctrine of unique ability, but for everything I do well, there is a parcel of activities that I am very poor at achieving. Facts are, we all take our turn as weaker brothers. It’s what makes us feel empathy towards each other–compassion for other human beings. Without it, we start doing a bunch of speeches about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and wondering why the “bums on the street don’t get jobs.”

We also begin to promote the notion of a unique prosperity. “Some people just have the knack for making money.” But we forget–riches are a doorway to generosity, or else they’re a trap door to destruction. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. What a powerful thought! Everyone needs to learn generosity–whether you have five dollars or five billion, it’s the same lesson. Find out what you need, and then give as much of the rest of it away as you possibly can before you depart the planet.

Of course,  one of the more popular ones is the comical presentation of the unique gender. “Men are better than women; women are better than men…” How powerful do you think we can be as a race when one half is fighting the other? That’s why the Bible says that “in the kingdom of God there is neither male nor female,” and since the kingdom of God is within us, all of those things occupy our human space and should give us a license to understand one another instead of pretending we have to travel from Venus to Mars.

And finally, there is a great patriotic shout, especially in our country, that we have a unique freedom. But it is the truth that makes you free. It’s not freedom that brings the truth. And the truth of the matter is: NoOne is better than anyone else. When you finally grasp that, your freedom allows liberty for others, granting you permission to have it yourself.

Do I think we’ll ever get over the fantasy of unique and embrace our commonality, develop a sense of humor about our journey and enjoy one another? I don’t know. But I do believe it is the only worthy pursuit for anyone who would want to repair the breach in our world instead of widening it.

So my caper will continue. I will traverse the country, sharing that “NoOne is better than anyone else,” and field these objections from my brothers and sisters, who are frightened that if they become too accepting, they will lose their power to be superior.

It is my mission. I don’t know if it will ever gain the wings to get off the ground, or whether it will just be simple, thought-provoking idea shared in a gathering of the local citizens. But I do know this–I have gained true humanity, power, intelligence, wit and spirituality by denying my uniqueness and accepting my portion in the human family.

It’s what Jesus did. He became totally and completely one of us so as to leave no doubt about the importance of common ground.

NoOne is better than anyone else.

Are you ready to sign up for the team? Or are you looking for your own unique way to be unique?

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