Sit Down Comedy … March 20th, 2020

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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.

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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 … February 7th, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

It is so much easier to deal with humans if you treat them as if they were people instead of elevating them to the status of little gods or demeaning them as raging demons.

I can always tell when something is going to fail.

If it’s presented to mankind as too spiritual or too intellectual, it is doomed. People are not particularly spiritual and only use their more brain-oriented side when it’s absolutely necessary.

Let me explain it this way. If you’re going to tell any person about something, there are three immediate questions that come to his or her mind:

  1. Where is it?
  2. What is it like?
  3. Do you have a picture of it?

Please do not think I’m marginalizing the masses. I’m just saying that Joe Schmoe and Jane Doe are visual.

It doesn’t matter what the subject is. You could bring up unicorns.

Here come the questions.

“Where are they? “

“Well, uh, uh, ah…well, not in any particular place…”

“What are they like?”

They’re like…well, like a horse, with a horn in the middle of its head…”

“Do you have a picture?”

“By picture, do you mean photograph, or would you accept a third grader’s drawing?”

You see what I mean?

Now, it’s much simpler with some things.

Pizza, for instance.

“Where is it?”

“They make it at pizza places.”

“Ok—what is it like?”

“It’s got dough, sauce, cheese, and any topping you’d like.”

“Cool. Do you have a picture?”

“Yes. I actually do. We ordered a pizza last night, and it looked so delicious we took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram, trying to make our neighbors jealous.”

Now, if you’ve followed the premise so far, understand that if the answers to all three questions are reasonable, then what you have shared will be considered a reality.

But let’s say that two of the questions asked are answered well but one is not. In that case, most folks will consider it possible but not certain.

One question answered? Then unlikely.

Zero? We dub it stupid.

May I highlight this process with an example?

Santa Claus.

“Where is he?”

“Well…I know this is a little hard to believe but he’s at the North Pole.”

“So what is he like?”

“He’s fat, jolly and likes to give toys to all the girls and boys. He seems to rhyme all the time.”

“Okay. Do you have a picture?”

“Oh, yes. There are pictures, drawings, sketches—all over the place.”

Now you understand why Santa Claus still hangs around. To some people, he may be unlikely; to others, a great possibility—but he’s never stupid.

It’s the old principle of vaudeville:

  • See your audience
  • Know your audience.
  • Work your audience.

So whenever you’re trying to sell your ideas, please keep the three questions in mind—even if you’re talking about God. Because here comes the first question.

“Where is he?”

“Ah…umm…he’s somewhere in heaven.”

“Well, that’s not much help. What’s he like?”

“Some say mean. Others say violent. A whole bunch of people think he’s loving to most but pissed at others. And I think there’s even a religion that believes there’s a thousand gods.”

And the final question:

“Do you have a picture?”

“No, I don’t. Nobody does.”

This is why all of us sprout some doubt about the reality of God, and in moments of weakness, may think he’s unlikely, or even that the whole idea is stupid.

As with everything else on this journey, you have to decide if you’re going to be an asshole or humble.

An asshole is the person who demands that people believe things they don’t understand.

A humble person knows that he or she is also human, is fully aware of the three questions, and does his or her best to break new revelations down to simpler realizations.

 

 

3 Things … July 4th, 2019

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That Ben Franklin Did Not Know

 1. Black people and Natives are human beings

 

2. Guns can fire more than one bullet at a time

 

 3. Free speech is ugly when it’s anonymous, and the press would eventually try to impress and depress 

 

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3 Things … March 7th, 2019

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Which Can Strongly Impact Other Human Beings

1. Remember a personal detail about their present pursuit

 

2. Listen to them without giving opinion (sometimes even if they ask for one)

 

3. Protect them from roving critics

   

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Jonathots … January 29th, 2019

 


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handbook for touching

It’s touching.

I’m touched.

Touch me.

From the minute we plop out of the womb, we scream—not for food, not sight, or to hear comforting words—and not to smell chocolate chip cookies.

We scream for connection.

Goddamn it—put me back against my mother’s skin. Let me feel some touch.

Then society, our educational system, religious training and our entertainment industry attempt to make us overly dependent on what we merely see and hear.

Touch is removed except for obvious situations, when we require intimacy.

We are told that touch is dangerous. You can contract diseases. You can over-commit your emotions.

Therefore, we reserve touch and withhold it. Matter of fact, when we even hear the word touch, we associate it with sexuality instead of humanity.

Some ideas persist:

Shaking hands, for instance. But we’re changing that to a fast fist-bump.

Holding hands. Isn’t a high-five enough?

A pat on the back. “Come on! You know I support you.”

There’s a national pastime to make things that draw us closer together seem unnatural. As a result, we cloister into smaller and smaller units, only allowing for fellowship in the catacombs of our own understanding.

I see you. I see what you’re doing. I want to let you know I appreciate it. I touch you.

I hear you. I love the sound. It makes me what to touch you.

I smell your human odor—your fragrance. Yes, I wouldn’t mind being close.

And certainly, I taste you. We are intimate. It makes me yearn to caress you.

It is impossible to foster human progress without touch.

Even as we argue about people coming to our country from other nations, is it not possible for us to honor those who emigrate while still being careful about their immigration? Can’t we be touched by their journey, and still ask them to stand in line and fill out an application? Why must we portray them as evil, nasty, rotten and devious?

When you remove touch, you hamper the hands, and when the hands retreat, the ability to assist evaporates.

Being touched is not a feminine thing, nor is it a masculine no-no. It is the only way that we’re sure we’re alive…and it means something.

 

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Jonathots … January 22nd, 2019

 


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handbook for touching

Thinking that something which is not real is going to happen is called crazy.

Believing that something that is not real is going to happen is called faith.

Faith and crazy have a lot in common.

This is why, over the centuries, many who thought they were moving in faith ended up looking crazy—and there were those deemed crazy who historically are proclaimed people of faith.

The difference between faith and crazy is what energizes them.

Crazy is energized by fear—fear of rejection, fear of the future, fear of other human beings, or fear of responsibility.

Faith works by love—an appreciation for opportunity, a deep respect for other humans, and a desire to take what is given and work with it.

So how do I know I have the hands of faith instead of the mitts of crazy?

It’s the energy that comes off me, which will tell you whether I’m being controlled by fear or motivated by love.

There’s a story in the Good Book which says a woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed because “virtue came forth from him.” There was so much energy of love, hope and faith that it literally radiated from him into her body.

Sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? But we actually refer to it all the time:

  • “I pick up a good vibe from you.”
  • “You have a great aura.”
  • “When you’re in the room, I feel like everything is possible.”
  • “You make things pleasant.”
  • “You make things work.”
  • “You help me believe.”

The power of touch includes the ability to generate the energy of love, which is able to be transferred from one person to another.

Yes—we can infuse our authority and power into another human being.

Yes—faith and love can be passed along, just as we know that craziness and fear can ricochet through mob, turning them into killers.

I’m on a journey to make sure that my faith is not crazy by confirming every day that it is fed by love instead of fear.

 

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Jesonian … September 4th, 2018

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The religious system: a baffling, befuddled, faulted and failing attempt to turn the beauty of faith into a well-funded organization.

It contains two erroneous, if not evil, ideas:

1. Material that was written four thousand years ago doesn’t require any updating in the Spirit whatsoever.

2. The Spirit of God and the lives of believers can be capsulized into a corporate worship experience.

It is restrictive.

It is selfish.

It denies individuality in favor of blind compliance.

It turns Jesus into the sacrificial lamb instead of extolling his true measure as a Good Shepherd.

It wants its children to become advocates for printed material which comes out of old-fashioned boardrooms, ushered forth by spiritually vacant suits.

They envision their young children having a conversation similar to this:

 

Yet truthfully, children were never meant to contemplate the actions of impotent, aged patriarchs. They were intended to have life and it more abundantly. So actually, Sunday morning in America more resembles the following:

Although it would be impossible to limit the message of Jesus of Nazareth to one strain of thought or one stream of consciousness, it is undoubtedly true that he was the champion of children and the Great Equalizer when it came to women.

Because his message was visual and filled with stories, the children flocked to him. And because he refused to teach a Gospel that was just for men, the ladies came his way, bringing their money to support his work. That’s what it says in the gospel of Luke.

How will we know that we’ve escaped the religious system and have begun to be a household of faith once again?

When the children eagerly gather and the women are given their full rights as human beings.

*****

If you like the mind of Jesus without religion, buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

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