Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3917)

Sitting One

The sun is unrelenting and sand is hot—often forgotten in discussing desert matters, the blistering heat baking earth and all humans from head to toe.

Young boys—no, fellows. Growing humans. What would be the right words to describe two twelve-year-old gentlemen? The term “boys” certainly limits their experience, and the distinction “men” seems overwrought, almost comical.

Amir and Jubal, two chaps trapped in both name and culture, demanded compliance to a lifestyle of birth—one Arab, one Jew, respectively.

How did it all begin? How does anything begin? If necessity is the “mother of invention,” then curiosity is the flamboyantly dressed aunt with the horn-rimmed glasses, chomping on her gum, saying, “Why not?”

One day, these two boys just noticed each other across the dusty road of an open-market. Eyes met and then nervously retreated in fear of breaching some ancient cultural taboo. But after all, they were just guys—so eyes met again, affixing a stare which promptly sprouted a grin and a tiny, inconspicuous wave. Caution was observed to make sure that milling adults did not notice the connection, but it was made. Two fellows noticing each other for the first time, wondering what the other one was really like, curious about playtime possibilities.

All at once, Amir pointed straight down to the ground and then immediately up to the sky. Jubal’s brow furrowed in confusion, so Amir repeated his gesture. Jubal nodded his head, not certain of the agreement. On the walk home, he thought about the finger-pointing. All at once it occurred to him. “He wants me to meet him there tomorrow at mid-day.”

Jubal wasn’t sure, but it certainly sounded more fun than carving the vegetables set before him by his stern father. “Yes, that must be what he meant,” Jubal concluded.

It was the last thing on his mind before he went to sleep and the first thought that popped in his head with his awakening at dawn.

At midday, Jubal raced to the market, and there was Amir. It was such a delightful moment—not just the sensation of seeing each other, but the excitement of knowing they had crafted a plan without words.

 

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G-Poppers … August 3rd, 2018

One of G-Pop’s children suggested that it be referred to as a “Pop-cast” since it was G-Pop doing it. Although terribly cute, endearing concepts like that often do not fare very well in the present marketplace.

But let us say that G-Pop’s children were thrilled when he started a podcast to share his humor and ideas all over the Internet.

Now, here’s the problem: The first question that comes out of anyone’s mouth when they discover you have a podcast–whether they’re interested or just polite–is, “What’s it about?”

Well, G-Pop’s podcast is on the most interesting subject on the entire planet.

People.

When dealing with people you have two choices. You can tell them what they want to hear, which opens the door to some popularity, or you can tell them what they need to hear, which has been known to empty many a room.

So when G-Pop started his podcast, “Good News and Better News,” he decided the key was to talk about the most practical things possible in the simplest, and hopefully, most humorous way, and perhaps, in so doing, Mary Poppins may be proven true–that a “spoonful of sugar” does “help the medicine go down.”

Because no human being ever begins their journey until he or she learns that there is the person you are, and there’s the person you want to be. If for some reason you decide to skip to the person you want to be, you have to lie an awful lot about the person you are.

And everyone knows what the problem is with lying: you get caught.

The minute any of us decides that we are not ashamed of the person we are, and do not walk away from the reality of our present situation, then we find ourselves in the position to negotiate–to seek and find ways to gradually become the person we want to be.

Because bluntly, you can’t save your soul until you find your soul.

So “Good News and Better News,” which is broadcast on Tuesday every week and available on all the major outlets, helps you to find your soul so you won’t be so frightened about the person you are and can keep a good sense of humor on the journey to the person you want to be.

Subscribe to Jonathan’s New Podcast

 

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G-Poppers … December 29th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3536)

G-Pop sits quietly in front of his computer, musing over the topic he has selected for today.

What is the best way to discuss it?

It’s a very important subject, but like many matters that carry weight, it can seem too heavy and not that interesting. Yet to pursue activity without understanding how the climate of Earth really works can truly be frustrating.

So let us begin with this–a simple saying: Take a minute to find your hour to make your day.

Somehow or another, the misconception that we can get nine, ten, or fifty things accomplished within a 24-hour period–with the same efficiency for each endeavor–has left us stressed, with the nasty sensation of being overly busy.

Earth functions on scientific biorhythms. What does that mean>? There are things going on other than your plans and G-Pop’s plans and if we can get into the hum and energy of one of those rhythms, our ideas have a greater chance of being accomplished.

It’s nice to have an agenda, so you can look at it and realize what you might wish to accomplish. But some time during each day, there will be a minute when you realize what your best hour is for making your day complete.

Just because you plan it on Wednesday does not mean that Wednesday will tolerate you doing it. You can try to force it or manipulate it, but Wednesday may not want to do what you thought Wednesday should do.

It is at that point that we should take a minute to realize that this is not the hour to pursue.

Although many people are afraid of “cutting too soon”–missing a great opportunity to succeed–the greater danger is pushing too hard and losing the energy of this day over an idea whose time has just not come.

How do you know what is the right minute to find the hour of this day?

1. If a second problem pops its head up to challenge the possibility, then it’s time to regroup.

One problem can be an obstacle, but a second problem is often a warning that other difficulties will follow.

2. Passion is low.

We’re human. Therefore, we run on emotions, and even though we may think we can control them, they actually dictate our energy and our desire. Trying to force people to be passionate is emotional rape. It makes them feel defiled and gives them a sense that their ideas are not honored.

3. Stubbornness is the best way to fail.

A certain amount of evolution is necessary on Planet Earth, since the planet has been birthed by evolving. In other words, the process has not stopped. If you are not ready to evolve, then you will purposely walk into repetition which has proven to produce extinction.

Find the minute for the hour to make the day.

It’s not so much that we work too hard–but much of our work is meaningless, and therefore feels futile, which makes it seem much harder.

Work less.

Listen more.

React to the energy of those around you, the marketplace you are pitching and the Earth where you live.

G-Pop wants his children to know, when you are faithful to the hour, you will rule in the day.

 

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Catchy (Sitting Four) Ideas Are a Dime a Dozen… July 2nd, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3356)

The day arrived for the meeting of the minds. Landy rented a small conference room and catered in some delicacies and drinks. The three partners sat at the head of a table like a trio of judges at a Miss America contest.

The Shelley Corporation was the first to present. They had been given the job of producing three slogans. The first was a poster–a man dressed in a plaid leisure suit with his hair slicked back. The caption read, “But Jesus—He will never go out of style.” There was a grunt or two and a threat of applause.

The second poster was a close-up of a Jesus look-alike. The caption read, “Here’s lookin’ at you, baby.” Too commercial and might raise some objections from Hart’s estate (and perhaps from relatives of Humphrey Bogart).

The third one was a cartoon of Jesus playing soccer, kicking in the ball for a score. The caption, in large red letters, read, “Goal? He loves you.”

The partners liked this one least of all, finding it a bit confusing and reiterating to one another that soccer would never be an American sport, anyway.

Next on the chopping blocks came the “You Want to Know Survey Company,” with the results of a questionnaire that had been given to over fifteen thousand registrants. The ten questions were as follows:

  1. Would you enjoy eating dinner with Jesus?

The choices were:

  • very much
  • might be fun
  • never thought of it
  • might give me the creeps

Fifteen percent of the people said they would enjoy dining with Jesus. Fifteen percent said it might be fun. Sixty percent said they had never thought of it and ten percent said it kind of gave them the creeps.

  1. Do you think that Jesus is popular today?

Four percent said “Very popular.” Eight percent said, “Somewhat popular.” Eighty-eight percent said, “Don’t know” or “Don’t care.”

  1. Do you think Jesus would be more popular without his beard?

One percent said, “Maybe.” Ninety-nine percent said, “No.”

  1. Do you think Jesus would be more popular if he weren’t so religious?

Fifty percent said “yes.” Fifty percent said, “Don’t know.”

Randall stifled a yawn. There were six questions to go and he was already bored. If they couldn’t come up with an interesting survey, how could they ever come up with a campaign to promote Jesus to the marketplace?

The questions droned on as Randall began to think about his own experience. He was raised in a church environment, learning about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and Jesus all in the same week. At four years of age, all three seemed equally plausible. By age ten the tooth fairy had fluttered away. At twelve, Santa Claus was “sleighed,” and at sixteen—well, at sixteen, girls came into the picture and Jesus got in the way.

So the crucifix was tucked under the t-shirt, the Bible inserted in the closet with the Scrabble game and the Ouija board, and he was off on the pursuit of hormonal surges, drinking binges and mandatory orgasms. After exhausting all known religions, he formed his own—a delicate blending of humanism, hedonism and Methodism.

Meanwhile back at the meeting, the survey was completed, rendering no results. The only thing remaining was the panel of theologians– four in all. There was one Catholic, one Protestant, one evangelical Christian, and, for some reason, a Jewish rabbi (who was possibly selected to avoid any hint of anti-Semitism).

The Catholic priest spoke first. “If by popular you mean the Savior of the world in conjunction with his mother, Mary, and the intervention of the Saints, then Jesus is already truly the most outstanding figure in all of history.”

The partners nodded an exhausted assent.

The Protestant spoke next. “I think we have to do something to make Jesus groovy to the young people. You know how they came up with ‘Rock the Vote?’ How about ‘Vote for the Rock’?”

This time there was no way Matthew, Randall and Landy could hide their disapproval. After all, he said “groovy.” Matthew, who had long ago lost the ability to disguise his disgust, groaned audibly.

The evangelical literally leaped into the moment. “I think you need to just let Jesus be Jesus, because He said if He be lifted up, all men would be drawn to Him.”

“He has been lifted up,” inserted Matthew. “And Arthur Harts, the billionaire, didn’t think all men were drawn to him.”

“All men who have a heart for God,” replied the evangelical.

Matthew winced. He hated religions jargon. He called it “the God-out.” When in doubt, religious people would always bring God into every situation, so you could never argue with them without seeming that you were trying to disprove the heavens.

Randall smiled and thanked the enthusiastic believer.

That left the Jewish rabbi. “Well, I don’t know why I’m here, exactly, because, you may have heard, we accept Jesus as a great teacher, but we contend the problem is, he’s really not the son of God. I mean, if I were promoting him to Jerusalem, I would just put up his picture with a caption that read, Hometown Boy Is Acquitted.

This brought some laughter throughout the room, but Matthew sprang up to terminate the meeting.

Even though it was a minor disaster, both Landy and Randall still wanted to pursue the project.

Greed. No other explanation.

They had pledged long ago that when two of the three partners were in accord on anything, they would do it. But it looked bleak. The slogans had been drab, the survey droll, and the theologians a drone.

Matthew had one idea. One wild and crazy notion. He got on his computer and looked up six names.

Michael Hinston, whom he knew as Mikey.

Joanna Lawrence, Jo-Jay.

Susannah Lacey, Soos.

Paul Padwick, who tolerated the nickname, Pee-pee.

Mary Rogers, who was now Mary Rogers-Kent, known by everyone as Mother.

And Lydia Lars, who loved Eric Clapton, and so was surnamed Layla.

Along with Matthew Ransley, whom everyone affectionately called, “God-guy,” they formed the Leaven of Seven.

They were his best chance at making some sense of this queer mission.

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G-Poppers … November 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3129)

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It doesn’t have to be my “ism” to create a schism.

A schism is a split–usually between people.

G-Pop was rolling into his motel when a young man crossed his path. There was an immediate tension. Three years ago it may have been different, but the chasm among people has grown as the anger, malice and dissension have mounted in our country.

For you see, what the young man saw in G-Pop was a fat, 60-year-old white man with Nordic features. He, being a young fellow of color, felt disdain for such a creature, assuming that a Caucasian elderly gentleman must certainly carry the opinions promoted in the marketplace, which look down on him.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yet likewise, to some degree a woman in this country must assume that the men she meets are guilty of chauvinism because of the reinstitution of male superiority.

Also, somebody wearing an American flag on his or her lapel is no longer viewed as a patriotic person, but rather, a potential radical who might be a proponent of “America, love it or leave it.”

Unbridled prejudice has made us suspicious of one another.

It is the casualty of the 2016 election. The campaign was more than a “rocky transition” in our political system. We legitimized the “isms”–chauvinism, racism, ageism, sexism and nationalism, placing the American populace back into armed camps.

Before the campaign, we had the appearance of inching our way to the table of negotiation. Now we are back to rejecting one another.

So in that brief moment when G-Pop came across the young man, he realized it was important to tear down those walls and try to restore some sense of reconciliation.

It requires a combination of “greet” and “meet,” establishing a friendly invitation and following it up with a piece of self-deprecation.

“Hello, my friend,” initiated G-Pop.

The young man gave a quick nod.

“You would think at my age that I should have figured out how to do things, but would you believe I still stumble around, making tons of mistakes?”

This second statement caused the young fellow to pause and turn. So G-Pop offered a third.

“Aren’t you blessed that you’ve still got time to learn stuff and be smarter than me?”

He smiled and replied, “Oh, you’re plenty smart, I’m sure.”

G-Pop concluded, “Some days it’s just hard for me to prove it. Have a great day, my friend.”

The young man laughed.

There had been a greeting, followed by a meeting of the souls. Months and months of aggravated verbal assaults, televised through the media, had been addressed but not conquered.

The work of those who believe in faith, hope and charity has increased but not changed. In a world of tribulation, it is up to us to be of good cheer.

We have increased the schism in this country by allowing errant ideas to be given breath, and therefore a life of their own.

Getting offended or proclaiming it unfair will not change the situation. We will need to bridge the schism by exposing the nasty “isms.”

 

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G-Poppers … April 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop wonders if his children know the difference between a lost cause and a losing one.

In the same manner, can they distinguish between a losing concern and a lasting effort?

Lost, losing, lasting.

It may be one of the secret ingredients in the special sauce that makes life palatable.

There are lost causes.

It’s when the Universe has said no and some people still continue to promote the bad idea.

In the garden of humanity, the weeds are always those individuals who promote ignorance and prejudice. They are also always dug up and cast aside.

Even when some new incarnation of an old stupidity and bigotry tries to surface, it is eventually exposed as a fruitless endeavor.

A lost cause is when the Universe has said no and there are those who still insist on pursuing.

Then there’s a losing cause. That’s when people are saying no.

The funny thing about people is that on occasion they tap the more divine part of their nature–but equally as often, it’s “monkey see, monkey do.”

So it is sometimes difficult to assess whether a project is virtuous or vacuous based simply upon immediate acceptance in the marketplace.

That’s why a lasting cause helps us maintain our energy and sanity.

A lasting cause is one where a negative response from humanity is insignificant because eventually the goodness that comes to fruition proves the value.

There aren’t many lasting causes. There are only three that abide, and that’s faith, hope and love.

Faith is that which makes us understand that we are not alone.

Hope encourages us to do something because we have been given breath and life to achieve.

And love is the willingness to commit to others and our cause, even when it initially may appear to be the last in line.

G-Pop is concerned that his children will become jaded and weary because the world around them is so content with mediocrity that suggesting improvement often invokes a snicker.

A lost cause is easily discovered by listening to the Universe.

A losing cause is having the wisdom to hear the heart of humanity without totally trusting that everything being shared is pure.

But a lasting cause is when faith, hope and love are given more than reverence, but pushed forward to discover the ultimate relevance.

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G-Poppers … February 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2849)

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G-Pop wonders if the current crop of ears listening to the corny dialogue from the field of candidates is totally aware of the dangers.

Would they even consider the insights of a young preacher from 2000 years ago, who warned that his generation was like a bunch of “children sitting in the marketplace”–the message being that since they’re children, they aren’t ready for the marketplace, but instead, better suited for the playground?

So the danger in politics and religion is that we end up with a clump of childish scoundrels. It’s difficult to look at them as criminals because they are so inexperienced, but impossible to consider them viable, since they are so bratty.

The definition of childish is anyone who thinks their feelings are more important than the truth.

So when you look at Marco, Hillary, Ted, Ben, Jeb, Bernie, Donald and John, you realize that each one has some endearing qualities which are certainly tainted by a fussy need to come across superior.

We must understand that superior is only achieved when inferior is confronted and corrected.

So what should be the profile of those who desire to rule over us and reign in the “land of the free and the home of the brave?”

A simple phrase:

“I am capable.”

  • I am capable of good things, which my campaign manager will now recite to you in detail.
  • I am capable of bad things, which my opponents will soon find, so to free them from that exhausting task, I will confess myself.
  • And I am capable of learning by listening to the wisdom of others and their counsel, and adjusting myself to the reality of the present predicament.

These candidates want to express their readiness–yet no one is ready to be President of the United States. The job description changes daily, with the focus landing squarely on varied skills at a moment’s notice. You cannot prepare for such a mission. What you need to do is learn to submit to each situation as it arises.

I am capable.

“I am capable of good things, bad things and learning better things.”

G-Pop does not have any desire to endorse a candidate, but he’s happy to tell you that the wisdom expressed by that itinerant teacher 2000 years ago still holds true.

Children in the marketplace will turn childish when confronted by difficulty.

Escaping childishness requires that we humble ourselves by celebrating the good, acknowledging the bad … and arriving, every day, with a willing attitude.

 

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