Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Premise: Six couples on a ship, cruising through the Caribbean, participating in a couple’s retreat…

 

Dear Man: What are you talking about?

 

Dear Woman: Just be patient. Follow the premise. Do you see the six couples?

 

Dear Man: Are they squabbling?

 

Dear Woman: Each one on the verge of divorce. So they have all decided to take this last step in an attempt to save their marriages, even though all six are pretty well convinced it’s over.

 

Dear Man: So why are they on the cruise?

 

Dear Woman: Propriety. Maybe it just sounds fun to go on a cruise. Who knows? But they’ve agreed to do the therapy for three days, mingled with daiquiris and fresh crab.

 

Dear Man: OK. I can see it. So what’s the point?

 

Dear Woman: In the midst of the journey, the ship, although a pretty large yacht, is struck by a tsunami.

 

Dear Man: Wait. There are no tsunamis in the Caribbean.

 

Dear Woman: Work with me here. Let’s say there are. It’s huge. The tsunami, I mean. It destroys the ship and all the crew and counselors are lost except for these six couples, who wash on the shore of a desert island.

 

Dear Man: Is one of them named Gilligan?

 

Dear Woman: No. There’s no Professor or Mary Ann, either. Just six couples who went on a trip in an attempt to save their marriages–kind of.

 

Dear Man: You got my interest. So what happens next?

 

Dear Woman: That’s the point. Suddenly six couples who were fighting and arguing discover that they are marooned and in need of cooperation.

 

Dear Man: Don’t you think they would just keep fighting?

 

Dear Woman: Not if they want to survive. You see, I think that’s what keeps the gender wars alive in America–the luxury of laziness. Because we have so much time on our hands, and we’re not trying to raise crops and fight off Indians, and keep the drought from destroying the cattle, we have all this extra energy that we spend finding reasons to dislike each other.

 

Dear Man: That’s a little weird.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But think about it. If six quarreling couples suddenly found themselves trapped on a desert island, needing to interact to live, would there even be any discussion about who’s spending too much time at work or who needs more space?

 

Dear Man: Of course not. They wouldn’t even talk about man and woman issues at all.

 

Dear Woman: Here’s where it gets exciting. I think four things would immediately come to play. First, what do we really need? Not “what do we want?” or “what can we complain about?” What do we really need to make it through this day and maybe tomorrow?

 

Dear Man: I get it. Can I do a second one? I would want to know what you can do. After all, we have suddenly gone from being six couples to twelve people. So what can you do?

 

Dear Woman: And you would want to know about yourself–“what can I do?” Which leads to the fourth point: “What can we do together?”

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying, as men and women, we are much better off when we’re in survival mode instead of arguing about Netflix and PTA meetings.

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely. If our lives revolved around “what do we really need, what can you do, what can I do and what can we do together?”–we would embrace compliance.

 

Dear Man: Because on a desert island there is neither male or female. You are either a contributor or you are a drain on resources.

 

Dear Woman: Well said. So what happens if we simulate this in our everyday lives and look at each other as contributors instead of competitors?

 

Dear Man: That could be truly amazing.

 

Dear Woman: And amazing is exactly what we need to survive.

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Ask Jonathots … June 2nd, 2016

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ask jonathots bigger

I keep hearing from pundits that “Americans are angry.” Do you think this is true? If so, what do you think is the source of this frustration?

Every coin has two sides. The problem with America today is a two-sided coin.

This is the source of what most people are referring to as “anger,” which really is nothing more than a tantrum.

Here’s the two-sided coin:

  1. “It’s not my fault.”
  2. “God will take care of it.”

Both of these statements are inherently flawed, and therefore often lead to unsatisfactory conclusions, which can cause people to develop a childish rant.

Let’s start with the first one.

The problems in our lives to some degree always involve our own lacking, procrastination, indifference, laziness or bigotry. If you can convince someone that “it’s not their fault,” then they can start looking for an enemy.

On the other hand, the second assertion–that God will take care of everything–has generated false hope. God did not create anything that does not have to participate in life. Humans are no different.

So it’s not so much that people are angry, but rather, that they’re experiencing the symptoms of seven-year-old tantrums, brought on by the fear of being held responsible or the errant promise of God taking care of everything. When these fail, frustration sets in.

So what can be done about this?

First, we have to stop legitimizing childish behavior. We have to take authority over our lives by admitting our part in the problem.

Then I think we need to teach those who seek a spiritual aspect that God is always prepared to give us wisdom, but rarely offers free checks in the mail.

Just enacting these two simple ideas would remove most of the attitude in this country which we have dubbed “anger,” and would replace it with a new feeling of good cheer, because we would be empowered to negotiate in our own lives instead of always looking for someone to blame or some heavenly being to take over our mess.

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Populie: The Battle Between Good and Evil … October 22, 2014

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Jesus and the devil

Sometimes I believe that the promotion of “good” is merely permission to be pious and the elevation of “evil” is just a bunch of geeks from high school, who think it’s neat to scare people with their darker side.

It ends up promoting this popular lie–populie–of “the battle between good and evil.”

Religion is enthralled with the concept because it allows for an all-powerful God to flex His muscle against a strong Luciferian army which is doomed to failure, but in the meantime frightens the world with all sorts of dastardly deeds.

Amazingly, entertainment is obsessed with the notion because it welcomes witches, demons, flying dragons and all sorts of apocalyptic paraphernalia, to keep the audience on the edge of its seat, wondering if any glimmer of goodness can survive.

Politics learned a long time ago that it’s a lot easier to motivate people by getting them to hate something than to love something.

So if we hate evil and those who perform the nefarious deeds, we can don the cloak of righteousness and represent purity to the world around us.

So the original Soviet Union was not deemed to be a dumb government complexity, but rather, must be referred to as “the evil empire” in order to create a devilish enemy.

I am weary of it all.

I am especially weary of those who tell me that I can’t believe in God unless I believe in Satan. They insist that because the Bible proclaims that this fallen angel exists as a real creature of festering fussiness, that I must embrace the ideology that surrounds him or else deny the validity of the Holy Book.

Yet when the storyline plays out in the Good Book, the saner writers tell me frankly that every temptation comes from my own lust.

I am told that God doesn’t tempt me, nor does He desire for me to be tempted.

Matter of fact, Jesus said, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

So what is evil?

Evil occurs when the good that humans could have accomplished is delayed or tabled in committee.

Good transpires when evil is stopped by humans who are thinking ahead.

To me it’s just that simple.

Every evil that has happened on the planet earth since the beginning of time has human fingerprints. There are no claw marks left behind, nor cloven hoofprints. It always has something to do with someone who just failed, in some way or another, to love his or her neighbor as themselves.

We are drawn away by our own lusts.

Love is available to us but it does not allow us to dominate or destroy, so instead, we pursue lust.

  • It is the source of all iniquity.
  • It is the source of all evil.

As long as we believe that we are the pawns in a gigantic chess game between God and Beelzebub, we will fail to take responsibility for our own deeds and instead, act helpless when we’ve been given the power of a sound mind instead of a spirit of fear.

I know there will be many people who disagree with me, and since I do not hold the golden key to universal truth in my hand, these detractors may be right.

But I don’t think we become better people by blaming an outside force for our own damned laziness.

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

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

 

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

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Untotaled: Stepping 36 (June 12th, 1967) Trimmings… October 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

All of our neighbors had already mowed their lawns twice.

I kept insisting that our grass was not in need of such a precaution or I was able to check the weather forecast and cite that there was rain coming and therefore dangerous to be out in the storm.

For you see, in my house it was my job to be the caretaker of “the green.”

I hated it.

I avoided it.

I even pretended I was sick to escape the arduous chore of pushing our power mower around the yard to guarantee my one dollar a week allowance.

Part of it was teenage rebellion. There is certainly a misunderstanding about the condition. Teenage rebellion is not a choice, like whether to wear a hat to the beach. It’s more like an emotional diarrhea, which attacks you when you least expect it, causing you to run out of the room screaming. And in addition, I was a fat boy, and the idea of walking around, back and forth, to simply receive the payoff which pleases your family for only about eight days, was not enough to motivate me to fire up the old “growler”–to give the yard a haircut.

I even listened to people’s suggestions on how to cut the lawn and make it enjoyable. I was never able to recapture their ecstasy.

But worst of all, my dad expected me to use the hand-trimmers after I finished mowing, and caretake the areas that were not able to be reached by the blades.

I refused.

Matter of fact, I can’t remember doing it more than two or three times–because it demanded two actions that every fat boy dreads.

Bend over or kneel down.

(My body type was more suited for standing, sitting or reclining.)

After a while, my dad was content when I actually did mow the lawn before a machete was needed–so much so that he completely dropped the trimming issue. He got tired of hearing me claim that the blades were too rusty to cut through the overgrowth.

Because my dad did not force me, it was a good ten years before I learned the importance of straining my will to do a little bit more than my whim dictated.

So when I raised sons, I learned that there are three purposes for discipline:

  1. To get your kid to confront his or her weakness.
  2. In the process, to address their fear.
  3. And maybe most important of all, to trap them into doing something they really don’t want to do.

If you consider this discipline to be cruel or unusual, you will probably give your children a pardon which will later haunt them as they continue the crime of laziness.

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

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

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

 

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

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Turning Kids Into Humans–Part 7 (Age 12-15) “Show” Business … September 29, 2014

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Humanating

It itches.

Even though no hives or rash sprout on the skin, adolescence produces an aggravation in the emotions, spirit and mind that makes you want to scratch. It is frustrating and without remedy.

Stop being teachers and instead, become shining examples and show what you desire instead of incessantly explaining it.

Children are not teachable between the ages of twelve and fifteen. Their ears have grown dull through years of public education, inundated by often-meaningless media, and are so accustomed to your voice that they hear a “Peanuts-cartoon honking” instead of actual words.

A quiet rebellion has begun. It will sprout external symptoms if you do not address that festering within.

Your children are questioning three things:

  1. Authority. Who are you to tell me what to do?
  2. Spirituality. Where is this person you call God?
  3. Individuality. Why should I be different from anybody else?

No seminar or book will address this brewing storm. They need you to show them something.

First, show them empathy and gratitude. Avoid becoming defensive. They are questioning authority–therefore, show them how the power of the human voice and the good will of hard work can overcome stupidity and laziness.

The purpose of authority is to get things done. It is not to establish a power base. Once you show them that, it will begin to resound in their beings.

Secondly, please don’t tell your children to go to church because “God requires their worship.” Show them that God is a Father, interested in everything they do.

If you do not teach your children that God is their Father, they will turn Him into a banker. In other words, when they need something, they will ask for a loan, but most of the time they’ll avoid Him because they’re behind on their payments.

And finally, instill in them the power of individuality. Show them how empathy and gratitude are easier than trying to solve impossible problems because we failed to recognize human need or we have denied the opportunity to be grateful for the kindness bestowed upon us.

Warning: you will have the inclination to lecture or have “sit-downs” with your child at this age.

It is a horrible mistake. Don’t be authoritative. Show them the value of good planning.

Don’t be religious. Give them a God who is their Father.

And let them know the contentment that comes from being an individual in a world of sheep. Demonstrate in your own life how to express empathy and gratitude for the opportunities provided.

 

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

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

 

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

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Three Ways to Get Yourself Going… July 17, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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lake

When procrastination and fear get together, they certainly do resemble laziness.

Matter of fact, millions of people castigate themselves for being lazy, practicing deep breathing exercises and trying to walk on the treadmill, only to end up, when the day is finished, with the task incomplete.

I really don’t think most people are lazy. They are victims of a common human emotional disorder:

“I’m putting this off because I’m afraid I’m going to fail.”

Now, I suppose you can try to kill your fear or fake enthusiasm, but I think that’s just placing a band-aid on a gaping wound.

Here are three suggestions on how to get yourself going when procrastination and fear have done their best to make you look lazy:

1. Begin your day with a good conversation.

Honestly, the worst place to live is in your own head. It may be where you store wisdom, but it shares the room with your doubt and fear. It’s just good to hear another voice say something different from what you’re thinking. It’s the purpose of fellowship. If you live by yourself, pick up the phone and make human contact. It isn’t good for us to be alone and when we are, we fall victim to our own insecurities.

2. Start out doing something else.

Don’t begin by working on your main project. Life is a lot like waffles–the first thing you do is never going to be as smooth as the second through the last. So do something else. Practice efficiency. Ease your way into excellence.

If you have to go to the dentist at ten o’clock and you’re not looking forward to it, then do something else at nine o’clock to give yourself a sense of well-being and accomplishment before you get drilled.

3. And finally, get away from the common.

Repetition is really noisy. It’s also where we make the most mistakes. When we believe we know something really well, we remove the valuable tension that creates the kind of focus that generates success.

  • Drive to work a different way.
  • Have a unique breakfast.
  • Do something uncommon in pursuit of your everyday activities.

It places a little jeopardy into the situation, which makes for a very good mind exercise.

You’re never going to get rid of your procrastination. Likewise, chasing your fears is similar to trying to hold jello in your hands.

But what you can do is hear fresh voices from other folk, pursue an alternative idea to get you warmed up, and choose a unique path to travel to where you’re going.

Because the secret to life is not overcoming our foibles.

The secret to life is learning how to avoid them and not put them in the controlling position.

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Arizona morning

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Make Me … July 7, 2014

 

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Viewing violence makes me grouchy

Religious ritual makes me fussy

Politics makes me intolerant

Laziness makes me fat and cynical

Reading books makes me book-smart

Laughing, believe it or not, makes me sleep

Sleeping makes me pleasant

Pleasant makes me friendly

Friendly makes me friends

Friends make me confident

Confident makes me hopeful

Hopeful makes me creative

Creative makes …

Creativity

At the end of my sharing yesterday in Janesville, Wisconsin, a young fellow came to my table and gave me a picture he had drawn. His name was Garrhett.

He told me that he had created the image during my show, and his mother said he should give it to me.

I told him I would use it in one of my jonathots. He looked at me with great disbelief, as if to say, “Sure you will.”

So here you go, Garrhett. Here’s your picture, as promised.

And by the way, you made me do it.

drawing

 

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Arizona morning

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

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