Ask Jonathots… October 6th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I have a friend who is often depressed and sometimes mentions suicide. What can I say to him to get him out of this?

Stop feeling so guilty.

It is highly unlikely that your words will have sway.

When people are clinically depressed, they need medical attention. If they are mentally, emotionally or spiritually depressed, they need a sense of inclusion.

What does that require?

Unless your friend wants to talk about his problems with you, the more you can create productive links to him–of events, causes, entertainment or just personal exchange, like having a meal–the better off you will be.

When there is no medical reason for the depression, there is always an emotional devastation which has spread mayhem to the spirit and mind. In that case, the only way to encourage him to escape his own sense of doom is to offer a mutual mission or purpose.

I would suggest, if you know your friend is interested in antiques, to plan every week to go  antiquing with him, followed by lunch. Give him something to look forward to.

It also makes you a student to your friend’s expertise. Let’s be candid–everyone likes to be the “smartie” in the room.

If people just need to feel important, they need to repent.

When people need to feel valuable, we should include them.

Always take a suicide threat seriously.

Keep an eye on your friend. But when you are with him, place yourself in the position of being the instructed instead of the instructor. Let him feel dominant.

In doing so, he will look forward to seeing you because you empower him–and just possibly, he will take steps to feel that sense of energy in other aspects of his life.

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Untotaled: Stepping 27 (June 15th, 1966) Piano Boy … August 16, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

The Shelby Valley United Methodist Church tracked me down and invited our little quartet to come “two Sundays coming” to sing at their church during the morning service.

I almost swallowed my heart, which had leapt into my mouth. Without me knowing, we had become famous.

I was so thrilled that I ran and told my friends and were all jumping up and down over the prospect of becoming a “travelin’ band.”

Now, the Shelby Valley church was a tiny, white clapboard construction just south of town, sitting on the corner of Shelby Valley Road, thus giving it both its charm and name.

Our quartet was accompanied by a lovely young girl named Paula, who was always being hit on by the hormonally drugged young men singing next to her. She liked it. We liked it too because she never picked a favorite, but flirted with all of us.

Now, her father, Elder Kenneth from our church, found out about our performance opportunity. He became enraged because he wasn’t about to let his daughter go elsewhere on a Sunday morning, especially not to a United Methodist Church, where they ignorantly ignored immersion.

He raised such a fuss that I was brought before the pastor and elders of the church to explain the situation. Even though I waxed a bit eloquent with enthusiasm and received approval from the governing body, Kenneth still refused to let his daughter play piano for us, feeling that he had triumphed by removing the music from our singing.

Actually, all he succeeded in doing was pissing off this big, fat white boy.

I grabbed a young friend of mine from our church, the brother of one of our singers. We usually ignored him because he had the foolishness of being a year and a half younger than us. I said I was going to teach him to play piano. His name was Andy–and he was thrilled by the notion of becoming an ivory tickler, even though he had never taken a single lesson.

I, on the other hand, was the veteran of three years of both Shaum and Thompson book training, and so was thoroughly qualified to become his instructor.

We asked the Shelby Church if we could make it six weeks in advance instead of two, and I took that time to work with Andy. And would you believe that by the time we stepped in front of that congregation of “sprinklers” (their preferred baptism method) we had learned six songs with Andy, and he played them perfectly?  (Unfortunately, they asked for an encore, and we had to opt for a capella, which actually made us look quite diversified.)

Andy continued playing piano, within months becoming better than me, and when he graduated from school, played professionally for a while before settling into Illinois, to delight the Illini State with his talent.

What I learned from this experience is that the only way to defeat stupidity, ignorance and bigotry is by coming up with better ideas and proving to them that you really don’t need their help.

Unfortunately, Paula just cried.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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