Sensitize … July 16th, 2020

SENSITIZE 48

Every morning, Mr. Cring takes a personal moment with his friends.

Today: Good cheer–the only way humans find COMMON solutions SINCE we have common problems.

Click the picture below to see the video

Sit Down Comedy … May 22nd, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

I was a fully grown, on-my-own 34-year-old man before I held three thousand dollars in my hands that was mine and mine alone.

I mean, ours and ours alone. For the entire family had traveled for a year all across the nation—sharing our talent, our hearts and our simple message of common sense, to land in the month of December with a nest egg which we were about to crack open and turn into individual omelets.

But before we did, I decided to take my young sons to a halfway house for recovering alcoholics, where those whose “down and out” had finally brought them to the point that they needed human care.

I let my kids sit with these gentlemen and listen to their stories, messages of redemption. I was hoping my sons would understand how blessed they were to surpass survival and be granted bounty. It was an amazing experience.

Everyone was thrilled because one of the occupants, who had been hooked on liquor for years, was finally going to get to go home to Mississippi to see his family. It had been five years.

His name was Herbie.

He was mentally challenged—but still able to maintain a conversation and make sense.

I shared. I told the whole room about our magnificent year and how much God had sustained us and endowed us.

Unfortunately, I was carrying our whole financial bonanza in my wallet, simply because it made me feel good and I was obviously not cleared for prosperity.

So when I went to the bathroom, my wallet slipped out the back end of my pants, and one of the inhabitants of the house found it and brought it back to me. He was praised for his honesty, and I gave him twenty dollars for retrieving my wallet.

That was before I counted the money inside.

I knew exactly how much money I had. So when I counted it, and it was $810 light, I faced a problem. Aggravating the situation was that my nine-year-old son overheard a conversation between Herbie and his buddy, in which it was made clear that Herbie was our thief.  My boy had found a corner where he was unnoticed and happened to listen in on Herbie bragging to his bunk-mate.

I didn’t know what to do. I am much more comfortable being human than trying for sainthood.

I was pissed off that I had been pilfered.

I didn’t want to attack Herbie or hurt him in any way. He had much work to do on his journey, escaping addiction. I didn’t want to be the reason he returned to the bottle, but I also didn’t want this fellow to think he could receive kindness and give back evil.

So I asked Herbie to join me in a room—just the two of us. I talked to him for a good half-hour, opening the door for him to admit what he had done. I even offered to pay for his bus ticket to Mississippi and give him a hundred dollars to buy presents for his family.

Never have I seen a man so totally divided between purity and holding onto what he had stolen.

By the end of the half-hour, he had wiggled and squirmed all the way down into the “hog-squaller,” where repentance usually brings about mercy.

But he just couldn’t do it.

I have heard rumors that in hours of confusion, God will provide the grace to be gracious. Apparently, this applies to everyone but me.

I was infuriated. I was defensive.

I took every one of my childhood prejudices against the poor and spilled them out in my heart, trying to decide what accusation to pursue next.

The worst part? $2,160 is not $3,000.

Yes—the numbers bothered me. I was enraged that this fellow was going to get away with his crime simply because he appeared to be helpless, weak and beaten up.

We finished our visit at the mission by singing a song. Before we sang, I commented, “This was an amazing day. Amazing because I got to meet all of you. But also amazing because one of you stole money from me.”

There was a gasp. The chaplain of all the chaps turned white in horror.

It was a cruel thing I did.

It could have been done differently, and I suppose the next time (or at least the time after) when I have eight hundred dollars snatched, I will be more polished and organized.

But on this day, I was deflated and out to hurt someone.

It was three days later, when I was wrapping presents for my children, that I realized how much we had and how comfortable we were. I finally gave myself permission to consider a different ending for my story.

For the truth is, having good cheer means sometimes maintaining the cheer when the good runs away.

I’ve told this tale many times.

I’ve never lied and said I believed it was God’s will or that there was some good done with the money that was better than what our family would have chosen to pursue.

I don’t believe any of that.

But each time I’ve shared, the spirit of hope lights up a different part of the tale, making me think deeper about myself, money and Herbie.

Today’s revelation was that my son, who must have been terrified to hear the man confess to the thievery, trusted me enough to report instead of nervously hiding the truth for fear of being wrong.

Everything doesn’t work out.

Everything certainly doesn’t work out to the good.

But everything, in its own way, does work out.

Sit Down Comedy … March 20th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

The natural order did not feel that plaguing us with a Presidential election was enough. Apparently, what was needed was a virus, which has scared us all into our corners to ruminate. I don’t know about you, but I have found that rumination is a skill that demands tremendous effort, patience and a certain degree of intelligence.

So it will be difficult to assess how long we will all be able to sustain our positions—until, like all creatures great and small, we try to fight our way free because we’ve been cornered.

I rely on a practice which I’ve used daily for many years. It seems on point for this situation. I call it:

“The Ten Questions I Ask Myself Every Day.”

Honestly, on some occasions, I don’t spend much time musing over them. But I do have them written down, and I do take the space to respect the exercise, and at least afford some sort of answer.

I thought you might be interested in them, and if you aren’t, this is an excellent place to stop reading.

****

1.Why in the hell are you so afraid?

(Remember, I’m asking myself.)

Fear is one of those luxuries we afford ourselves, even though we know it has no value. After all, there are rumors that individuals have been scared to death, but never any reports of humans being scared to life.

2. Can you identify your prejudice?

This forces me to admit that I am still prejudiced, even though I’ve worked on it. But since my upbringing was mostly out of my control until my late teens, I accumulated a lot of misinformation that still needs to be rummaged through and placed in the garbage heap.

3. Can you work on your diet without cheating?

I’m a big, fat boy, so I am constantly dieting. But even if I were slender, I would still have to work on my diet to ensure I maintain my nutrition, so I could use my vitamins and minerals to fight off…viruses.

But can I do what I do without cheating? And by cheating, I mean making promises to myself that I know I will not keep.

4. Can you stop lying?

Of course I can.

Actually, when you boil down the hours, minutes and seconds it takes to maintain a life of lies, it is much more time-intensive to be a deceiver than a truth-teller. I guess the question is, can I finally convince myself that I’m always going to get caught in my lie.

5. Can you slow down without stopping?

I know this sounds a little weird, but often we feel we have two gears: a dead stop or a deadly speed. Sometimes it’s good to know how to do a little less but still make it look like it’s the same amount. It’s in the slow-downed times that we discover the things that are worth speeding up for.

6. Can you consider multiplying your talents?

The deadliest words that can come off anybody’s lips are, “I don’t have any talent.”

We all do. It’s just the difference between having a single stick and two sticks. One stick is usually a weapon. Two sticks can be rubbed together to make a fire.

Can I take my abilities to make more abilities, so I will have the ability to survive?

7. Are you always attempting to maintain good cheer?

It’s important to know what good cheer is. It’s not a facial expression, nor a giggle, nor a spate of silliness. Good cheer is honestly knowing that fear and bitching will get you nowhere. So you might as well manufacture a better outlook.

8. Can you avoid arguing with people and just live out your heart?

We argue because we want people to approve us.

I’m not going to argue with you. I know what’s in my heart. I know it’s not going to hurt anybody, and I have a pretty good idea how to live it out.

9. What does love look like today?

Love looks different every single day. Sometimes it’s stealing kisses. Other times it’s giving space. Frequently, it’s quietly respecting without inserting an opinion. And on occasion, it’s intervening.

Wisdom is knowing which love to use today.

10. And finally, did you murder, blame and shame?

I become completely useless when I blame the world around me for my circumstances. And I topple from useless into despair when I take all the shame upon myself.

I don’t care who’s to blame.

And I will not allow you to place the shame on me.

***

Now, I realize this is a lot of questions.

But the answers don’t have to be long, and when you finish, you will find yourself thoughtful.

And it is my experience that thoughtful never hurt anyone.

Thoughtless is the culprit.

 

 

Sit Down Comedy … January 17th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

There are many ways to win the immediate approval of an audience.

You can:

  • Compliment their city.
  • Tell them how beautiful they look.
  • Inform them you have two children, but parenting seems to “escape you.”
  • Say “God bless America.”
  • Make sure they know you support the troops.
  • Tell them how much you love your wife, and you know that she’s “the boss.”
  • And of course, you can always call them exceptional.

Or you can say “America is exceptional.”

Most of these methods work real well because they feed on a common misconception: We’re happier when someone panders to us. Actually, in the long run we’re happier when someone alerts us to our obvious flaws.

I, for one, have no problem saying that America is exceptional as long as we determine the definition of “exceptional.” At the heart of the word is another word, which is “except.”

Except means to leave something out, to delete or to rid yourself of it—making sure it is not attached to you in any way, shape or form.

Exceptional is when you live around “crazy” but insist on removing that temptation from your mission.

To be exceptional, you have to accept what needs to be excepted.

If you don’t, you just end up being mediocre.

I agree that America has flirted with being exceptional. There have been times when we have made a stand as a nation—against barbarism, fanaticism and bigotry.

Then again, there are times when we stood in line to imitate the insanity of the world around us.

But let us presume that we actually want to be exceptional.

Then we must realize that we can only have freedom of speech when those words do not attack the freedom of another.

We can worship—but we have no right whatsoever to hate people. We must decide that hating people, disincluding people and despising people has no religious profundity.

If we’re going to be exceptional, we have to state loud and clear that it’s okay to be a politician—except you can’t lie.

You can be a parent–except you can’t be a hypocrite.

You can be a man–except you can’t hurt women.

You can be a woman–except you can’t hate men.

You can be in business–except you can’t cheat your customers or fail to take care of your employees.

If we truly want to be an exceptional nation, we must accept what we have to except from our conduct.

You can be a leader, except you must not act like a master.

You can be intelligent, except you must use it and therefore prove it.

Let’s work on being exceptional.

Let’s find out what is causing this world to be so uncertain and filled with tribulation and use our good cheer to overcome that imbalance by being the exception, and therefore becoming exceptional.

Truly, may the exception prove the rule.

The B. S. M. G. Report


Jonathots Daily Blog

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As we depart this year

Let us leave behind some fear

2019 certainly weathered us with its conditions.

For we begin to believe that we are so susceptible to the climate of our times that it is beyond our control.

BAD

Too dry.

Yes, that was the problem this year.

In the pursuit of goals, or maybe even high ideals, we lost our humanity and became schoolmasters, instructing one another, incapable of maintaining a sense of humor about our own frailty.

Everything got really serious.

Even interactions we once took for granted—such as the give and take that happens between men and women in the attempt to discover romance and propagate our species—was isolated into tiny danger zones, so that eventually it just became safer not to talk to one another.

Our politicians are as dry as dust. One group hates poor people and the other despises the rich. Unfortunately, both parties believe themselves to be the messengers of truth.

We need to listen to the Earth.

We need to understand our place.

And once we find our place, rather than falling into a sand dune and suffocating, we need to uncover good cheer.

Good cheer is the by-product of a simple principle:

Since I am not the first person this has ever happened to, there apparently is a solution, or at least a reprieve, so while pursuing this, I will keep myself free from all despair.

We are presently too dry. It’s a bad thing.

SAD

Then again, there are times when we seem too wet.

Soppy, sappy and silly.

We’ve begun to believe that things that don’t matter at all have great significance and consecration. And of course, we continue to contend that human sexuality is tied into the divine workings of angels instead of the pleasurable grunting and groaning of humans who are doing their best impersonations of Brother Gorilla and Sister Chimpanzee.

We listen to elaborate stories that people share to draw tears to our eyes, so that we will favor them in a singing contest.

The liberals are worried about the children and poverty and the mistreatment of the persecuted masses while the conservatives shed many tears over the loss of values, family and morality.

I find myself constantly soaked with the false emotion of those who are either bitching their way through life or have fallen apart and don’t seem to be able to be put back together again.

MAD

A case can be made that our whole society has become too hot. With the ability to go from zero to sixty degrees of viral intensity over the smallest matters, it now seems that our worst enemy is our own tongue, which lashes out without ever considering that those we attack might just pull out an automatic weapon and blow our heads off.

I find that temper is fed by two evils:

1. Pride in oneself

2. Pride in one’s God.

When these two are put together, intolerance is the result, which can easily lead to terrorism.

We need to turn down the heat.

Neither you nor I are as good as we think we are, and neither you nor I can guarantee God’s will.

So relax.

Sometimes things need to play out—and when they do, if you have kept your mind from flaming, you might be glad you when you don’t burn up.

GLAD

I guess the old-time phrase was “chill out.” Is it still around?

The reason church people are able to tolerate Christianity is that it’s been a long time since they’ve read the Gospels.

Merely standing in front of a congregation of believers, reading the Sermon on the Mount and offering a cursory explanation would empty the sanctuary within a month.

We are way too concerned about having our opinions taken into consideration. The idea that our conjectures don’t matter would tear at the fabric of an egomaniacal need to be valuable.

So we should chill out—if we can remember what that means.

It was best stated by an itinerant preacher thousands of years ago, who gave a three-word philosophical insight for life on Earth:

Take no thought.

He then produced a list of things we don’t need to think about, which included most of our ego-driven demands.

He closed it out by saying, “Take no thought for tomorrow, for today has enough.”

The greatest thing that you and I can do to make 2020 a perfect vision is to stop thinking about so much.

The really important shit lights up, letting you know when it needs consideration.

Everything else is dim, dull and has been around since Methuselah—whoever in the hell he is.

The B. S. M. G. Report


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Refusing to ever rest

From seeking what is best

BAD

You are not worthy of great opportunity unless you’ve counted the cost and decided you know how to lose.

Someone will lose.

Unlike what your third-grade teacher told you, not all of us are winners.

I saw something bad yesterday. Three or four grown men—college football coaches—turned into whiny, bitchy babies because their teams lost, and the reporters asked them questions they did not want to answer.

I’m sorry, gentlemen. You don’t get to do that. The minute you start taking millions of dollars in salary for running a football team, you lose all privilege of being snotty. If you can’t give a civil answer, cancel the press conference. Please, do not teach the younger generation that it’s perfectly acceptable to be so disappointed that you pour your poison out on everyone around you.

Play to win. Lose and survive.

That’s how it works.

SAD

Great full.

I thought it was a little sad this year that Thanksgiving was not nearly as punctuated with true gratitude as I have seen in the past. Maybe it was just me—perhaps I was at the wrong places. Could I have watched the bogus television shows?

Yet the message I heard was, “It is great that we are full.

Anybody can smile when their belly is satisfied, their house is warm and they’re doing good on their job.

Maybe it’s true that none of us learn how to be grateful until one or more of our wishes is absent and we still have to press on.

Yes, I think that’s it.

Gratitude is always better expressed by the souls who offer their appreciation, and those around them wonder how they can be so happy with so little.

MAD

I heard it again.

Somebody told me they have “faith in their doctor.”

I know why they said this. Medicine portrays itself as a religion. Everything is white, pristine and there are all sorts of gadgets, tons of explanations, and enough pomp and circumstance to march the Pope into the Vatican thirty times.

I don’t know why we can’t just deal with the truth:

Doctors and nurses are fabulous, and also ignorant.

  • We’re still doing more cutting than curing.
  • We still prescribe more medication than offer solutions.
  • We are still wrong much too often.

For instance, medicine has killed tens of thousands of people through opiate addiction and the misapplication of painkillers.

Everyone knows there are more infections in a hospital than there are in your kid’s sandbox.

I’m not asking the medical field to be diminished, nor am I criticizing them.

I am demanding some needful humility.

In the 1790’s, when doctors were treating President George Washington for pneumonia and they bled him with leeches, they were certainly convinced they were giving him expert treatment, and probably discussed among themselves how this particular breed of leech was ground-breaking.

All the chatter did not change the matter. And the matter was, their treatment was counterproductive. They had to learn their way out of it.

I think it’s important to go to the doctor and get checked over as best you can—as long as you realize that part of what you’ll experience is somewhat experimental, making you a temporary guinea pig.

So oink-oink. And let us encourage these people of science to grow instead of crow.

GLAD

I believe I saw it on a YouTube.

It was a little boy, about nine. So maybe not so little, but still young.

He was asked a question in his classroom by a teacher.

“What do you want your life to be?”

They filmed a couple of students talking about money, happiness, marriage, cars and such.

Then they came to this young man. It was as if he was suddenly possessed by an angel from heaven. He explained, “Life doesn’t show up fixed. You gotta put it together.”

I laughed and broke out in tears all at the same time.

Do any of us really believe that?

Even though the boy’s words were eternal, can we realize how powerful this idea truly is?

It makes me glad there is one small member of the human race out there who has it right. Maybe he’ll infect us. Here’s what we need to learn:

Inhale life. Exhale good cheer.

Then repeat the process.

Sit Down Comedy … November 29th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

I thought I would sit down and talk to you dear hearts about the It’s Fits. There are three of them.

It is a trio of common phrases uttered to relieve pressure, take away criticism and often to become overly optimistic.

If we begin to believe that these “it’s” have any capacity whatsoever to bring solution, we will certainly find ourselves in fits.

1. “It’s not fair.”

Whining is never attractive. We are completely repulsed by the fussy, teary and defeated profiles of others.

“It’s not fair” is like twirling around in every direction and pointing a finger at all the culprits who have prevented you from receiving your best.

Could it be your children? Maybe it’s your wife plotting. Your husband is nothing but a barking dog. Your company is insensitive to the needs of its employees. Or there must not be a God, because if there were a God, He would never have allowed this atrocity to occur.

Because we’ve been convinced that nurturing one another is the way to say “I love you,” we have babied all the human “house plants” into environments where they cannot stand to actually live outdoors in the sun.

Endurance

This word is necessary for human life: Without endurance, we give up, begin to blame others and become erratically annoying.

The truth is, it may not be fair, but it is learnable. The Earth has its ways and if you study them, you can change your whiny to win.

2. “It’s needing more time.”

Failure arrives to inform us that our direction is not favorable, but instead of learning from the correction, we decide that if more time were given—using the same plan—things would most certainly improve.

Sometimes the Earth speaks.

That’s why we need this second phrase in our journey:

Common sense

In other words, if it didn’t work, it didn’t work. Pressing harder or selling more doesn’t change anything.

The Earth is good to us by telling us quickly when something is shitty.

3. “It’s not my fault.”

Everyone has been in a meeting where a failure is dissected—all participants slicing at one another to be guilt free, punctuating their summary by saying, “It’s not my fault.”

Actually, the more quickly you take responsibility for your part in the failure, the sooner the pain goes away and the healing begins.

It leads us to a third word:

Responsibility

An irresponsible person is unstable in all his or her ways. Ultimately, such a person can get nothing accomplished.

So I realize you want to nurture your husband, your wife, your children and your closest friends, but the best way to do this is to encourage their endurance instead of accepting their excuses.

It is to praise their common sense instead of standing watch while they continue to hit their heads against the walls.

And finally, it is to demand responsibility instead of allowing people to slither away like snakes in the grass to hide in their holes.

  • It’s not fair.
  • It’s needing more time.
  • It’s not my fault.

These are the “It’s Fits”—which keep each one of us from the endurance, common sense and responsibility that allow the second go-round to be drenched in good cheer and fueled by wisdom.

 

 


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