Sit Down Comedy … June 5th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4431)

Sit Down Comedy

Mary of Moncrief, Michigan.

A triple threat in alliteration.

She is forty-six years old, the mother of three children who range in age from twenty-one down to a precocious ten.

She is the assistant manager at the local Nordstroms, where she has been employed for twenty years, ascending in the ranks, and well-respected.

The date is November 8th, 2016.

Mary was awake early that morning. She had lost her battle with insomnia hours earlier, trying to remain still as a mouse, hoping that sleep would be merciful to her fatigue. Giving up, she rose, made coffee and cinnamon toast—one of her favorites—and prepared for the day in the quiet of a very chilly pre-dawn kitchen.

She had one thought on her mind: should she go vote before work, or wait until afterwards and possibly face long lines?

Actually, that wasn’t the primary question. What had been haunting her mind for weeks was whether she could cast a vote in good conscience either way.

Politically, Mary was a moderate.

At least, moderate for Michigan.

She had voted for her share of Democrats and a similar array of Republicans. She felt she was informed and believed herself to be open-minded to opportunities offered by both parties. But the past few months had left her in a whirl, dizzy from disjointed facts and accusations.

Donald Trump seemed unqualified to be President, but his journey as a mature man of business seemed respectable.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, seemed more prepared for the position, but less sure-footed in the midst of entanglements.

But still, that wasn’t the real problem.

Deep in her heart, Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, felt that everything was just moving too fast.

She wasn’t against progress–she was upset about the speed being used to achieve it.

So many issues.

Abortion, for instance.

Mary believed a woman should have the right to choose the conclusions of her life, but she was uncomfortable about how the subject of abortion—the termination of a fetus—had become so cavalier. She especially hated the phrase, “abortion on demand.”

Wasn’t a little more humility in order?

Mary also knew she didn’t hate gay people. She was one of the first ones in her local church to rally behind the idea of civil unions.

But lickety-split, she was expected to not only honor gay marriage, but to be supportive of it whenever it was brought up, so she wouldn’t come across as a homophobe.

It felt unfair.

After all, the world of psychology and psychiatry had, for decades if not centuries, contended that homosexuality was aberrant behavior which required treatment.

Now, since that diagnosis had been recently abandoned, they expected Mary and all the American people to quickly shed several generation’s worth of comprehension and join the parade.

It was fast.

Mary wanted equal pay for women in the workplace, but when she rallied with those struggling to achieve this worthy goal, she found herself in the midst of some who decried motherhood and made fun of the simpler values Mary held dear.

Mary was especially troubled by the spiritual indifference, which seemed to reject any soul who believed in God, deeming such a person irrational or uneducated.

Everything was so quick.

Marijuana becoming legal. If marijuana was so safe, why did the people who smoked it always portray it in their movies as a brain-staller—and a pathway leading to no motivation?

And then—the candidates themselves.

Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, was very worried about a man who mocked women, weaker folks and other nationalities with a sneer. But on the other hand, how could she support a woman like Hillary Clinton, who defended her husband’s mistreatment of a twenty-one-year-old intern in the White House, and even to this day, joined into the attacks against poor Monica?

As Mary sipped her coffee in the kitchen, she heard rumblings from the bedrooms above.

Soon her family would join her. Her thoughts would be blended with their desires.

Realizing how important her decision was, she scurried around, deciding to leave for work, going to the polls early to beat the rush.

She called out her good-byes and best wishes for the day, jogged to her car, got in and drove off.

She was nearly to the polling station when she veered off at a graveyard. She sat, staring at the frosty granite stones. Still they were—and at peace.

In a moment of deep reflection, she asked herself what all these people who had once lived would want her to do.

Who would they want her to vote for?

Mary just wished that one of those who wanted to be President of the United States would acknowledge that affairs, nations, wars and social revisions were happening at such a rapid pace that we all needed a deep breath—just to appreciate where we are, who we are and what we’re about to undertake.

Was there an order in it?

Did civil rights come before women’s rights or abortion rights?

It all seemed to be happening at the same time.

Was she supposed to feel some beckoning or even a requirement to vote for a woman since she was a woman herself? Maybe she would have felt differently if Hillary had even visited Michigan—instead of assuming that the unions and the black vote “had it in the bag.”

The Democrats took too much for granted, and the Republicans granted so very little.

Time was passing.

She had a tiny window—about twenty minutes—to go vote and still get to Nordstroms for her shift.

But after weeks—perhaps months—of deliberation, she was no further along.

So she made a very quick decision in her troubled mind.

That night, as Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, watched the election returns, she was so troubled that she felt a chill go down her spine.

Donald Trump was winning. Would he rise to the occasion and be a great President?

Should Hillary have been the one?

Even though the campaign had drug on for more than a year-and-a-half, now it all seemed to be too quick. Too speedy.

Mary was not a bigot.

Mary was not conservative.

Mary was certainly not liberal either—not by present standards.

Mary didn’t hate anyone.

But Mary also didn’t favor people just because they were of a certain color or even just because they were victimized.

As the night wore on, it gradually became more obvious and then official.

Donald J. Trump would be the President of the United States.

Mary didn’t know what to feel.

Maybe she was a little relieved that there wouldn’t be any more Clintons in Washington, but also a bit frightened that a real estate developer would be leading the greatest nation on Earth.

But most of all, she was in turmoil about herself.

For she had gone to work—and didn’t vote.

1 Thing You Can Count On

It Will Never Be Safe Enough to Try

Even though counting the cost, checking over your options, planning ahead and troubleshooting are all noble pursuits, there is always some sort of shortage that leaves us wondering if any project is going to succeed.

This is the portion that’s bridged by faith.

As long as we understand that faith is not foolish, nor a replacement for study (we’re supposed to study to show ourselves approved) and faith is not a way to avoid involving ourselves in the process, then each one of us will have to prove his or her own work and at the end we can rejoice in what we’ve accomplished instead of waiting around for the Universal Tow Truck to come and pick up our mess.

Also, faith is not a way to pretend that God is “backing what we’re doing.”

God has systems He wants us to learn.  He’s not an employee, learning our system.

It will never be safe enough to try.

At some point, we will have to launch our project, our dreams or even our rehabilitation—without guarantee.

It is another part of the universal system that makes things even, causing us to be equally challenged.

If you’ve done it in the sunshine, you will eventually have to do it in the rain.

Otherwise, you are a person who can only provide sunny-day solutions.

It is a positive part of the human race.

It keeps us from being puffed up with some claim that we are supernatural, or that the supernatural is at our beck and call.

It is what allows humility to stream through us—making us desirable not just for our achievements, but also for our kindness.

1 Thing You Can Do That Always Works–Any Day, Any Way and Any Time

Find a Way to Make Fun of Yourself

Yes—in a good-natured, good-hearted and jovial way, point out one of your flaws before it becomes completely evident to the entire room.

And if such a foible is not a foregone conclusion, then surprise people with something they didn’t know about you and demonstrate your fearlessness about being candid concerning your status.

For in a world of touting accomplishments, making promises and trying to one-up the competition, such a piece of farce and revelation will always give you the attention of the room.

I will tell you why.

There are three possible reactions to your self-deprecation and all of them are good. (Can you beat that?)

Reaction One After You Make Fun of Yourself

“That person is really funny—and on top of that, humble.”

It is difficult to fail if you can find the good cheer in life while maintaining your own humility.

Reaction Two After Making Fun of Yourself

“Don’t put yourself down like that. You must have trouble with self-esteem—because you look great!”

They may think they’re rebuking you, but actually, they’re praising you. Also, they’re saying the words out loud that you want them to think.

Final Reaction After You Make Fun of Yourself

“Look at how people are beaming, just because he made a joke on himself. I’m jealous. Maybe I should be more forthcoming.”

Yes, you will discover that poking fun at yourself will lead to a competition of other people to make fun of their weaknesses.

For after all, I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to “blow your own horn.”

But since there’s always a chance you might hit some sour notes, you might be wise to warn the audience that you don’t play all that well.

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1 Thing That Gives People Permission to Respect You

 

Confidence is humility with a provable resume.

Many times when I listen to political candidates struggle to make a case, their speeches are filled with “I did this” and “I did that” and “I passed this” and “I promoted that” and “I was the first one” or “I was the last one.”

Very few things in our lives are accomplished without the generosity of outside influence.

I learned early in my career that I write the song, but he signs it, she records it, we promote it and they buy it.

It leaves very little room for conceit.

This is a good thing.

Because being sure of your own ability only causes others to privately and quietly root against you.

Yes, I do it.

I see some athlete or popular artist brag about their accomplishments and I immediately want to see them fall on their faces.

Shame on me. Yet, I don’t think I’m alone. Considering the fact that the human race mostly admires those who are members of the band, instead of those on a street corner blowing their own horn, we should learn the power of humility.

Humility does not diminish your worth.

On the other hand, confidence that ends up being false makes you look like a fool.

Humility does not diminish your opportunity.

Yet confidence that cannot follow through and deliver thrusts you to the back of the line.

Humility just walks around carrying a provable resume in its briefcase.

Then, when opportunity decides where to knock, confidence is prepared to demonstrate its wares, pass the audition, or if necessary, open the briefcase and display the evidence.

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3 Things … September 5th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4158)

That Make You Seem Educated

 1. You never bring up your education.

 

2. You purposefully, by design, spend 51% of your time listening.

 

3. You aren’t sure about anything.

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3 Things … June 13th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4075)

That Line Up to Form a Well-Balanced Life

Before I share this triplet with you, let me tell you that the order is important. Although I do not want to come across as picky, and certainly never self-righteous, the priorities of our pursuits either feed off one another or starve us of the attention and peace of mind we desire.

The elements are humility, intelligence and passion.

These are the three things. But if they’re not pursued in a correct format, you will get erratic results.

For instance, if you begin with humility, moving to intelligence and ending in passion, you normally will be too timid to seek the intelligence and the passion to a full conclusion.

If you begin with passion and move to intelligence and end in humility, your eagerness may cause you to ignore some intelligence and leave you humiliated instead of in humility.

Yet to begin with intelligence and go to humility may cause a lack of passion to execute your desires.

The order is very pragmatic:

1. Intelligence

2. Passion

3. Humility

For if you don’t have the truth—which is intelligence—you will not have the energy to want to make something, which is passion, while still celebrating your weakness, which causes you to appear free of entanglements.


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3 Things … June 6th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4068)

That Are Very Sexy

 

1.   A confident humility

 

2.   Leading with heart and soul instead of body and mind

 

3.   Turning your weakness into a strength


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