Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … May 28th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog


Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: I know you don’t exactly believe in God…


Dear Man: No, wait. God sounds like a great idea. It’s the “believe” part that throws me.


Dear Woman: What do you mean?


Dear Man: Let me see if I can explain. I believed in Santa Claus. I believed in Prince Charming. I believed in the American dream. I believed in the house with the white picket fence. It took a lot of energy to believe in those things, and the payoff was … well, shall we say, disappointing.


Dear Woman: Well, maybe I shouldn’t bring this up.


Dear Man: No–my heart isn’t set in stone. Let me hear what you have to say.


Dear Woman: It’s the story of Adam and Eve.


Dear Man: Oh, you mean with the talking snake?


Dear Woman: Yeah–let’s just put the talking snake to the side right now. I’m referring to the story line.


Dear Man: Okay. The story. Gotcha.


Dear Woman: Do you realize that the Good Book says that God considered the man and the woman together as a unit, in cooperation, to be Adam?


Dear Man: No, I didn’t. Really?


Dear Woman: Yes–they were not only created as equals, but also as what I might call “mutuals.”


Dear Man: Mutuals. I kind of like that. What do you mean?


Dear Woman: Mutually independent. Mutually valuable to each other. And mutually capable.


Dear Man: Do you really believe that?


Dear Woman: Yes. So I believe the true evil in the world is when we “split the Adam.”


Dear Man: You mean the atomic bomb?


Dear Woman: No, not a-t-o-m. A-d-a-m. Whenever we insist that men and women are so drastically different from one another that peaceful coexistence can only be considered as the premise for a farce. So evil is when the Adam–the mutual man and woman, living peaceably together–is split by fear, religion, tradition or domination.


Dear Man: So how did this happen in Eden?


Dear Woman: Well, I don’t exactly know the moment it happened, but somewhere along the line, the man and the woman stopped talking together–to the extent that Eve felt that her questions would be rejected and not understood by Adam. So she goes off to investigate the unknown without her “mutual.” She does this because apparently she feels cheated, and I think she feels cheated because even though God viewed them as mutuals, Adam was beginning to desire domination.


Dear Man: How do you think he did that?


Dear Woman: My opinion? By trying to act smarter. Always putting himself in the role of the instructor. I’m sure he did it politely or even with some chivalry. But it was passed along to Eve that she was the lesser of the pair.


Dear Man: Keep going. This is fascinating.


Dear Woman: And in the process, I think Adam gave Eve the impression that he found her sexually interesting, so to a certain degree, she was afraid of becoming unattractive, or nervous about getting older.


Dear Man: Of course, this is all your conjecture.


Dear Woman: Hell, yeah. I mean, my plotline does fit with the story, and makes sense with the battle going on with the genders today. But here’s the truth–what constituted evil in Eden is the same thing that stirs it up today. Splitting the Adam. There would not have been any temptation for Adam and Eve if they had maintained their mutual beauty. But because Eve felt misunderstood and cheated, like she wasn’t as smart, and that she needed to avoid growing old, she went to the source of knowledge and got the evil with the good.


Dear Man: Very interesting. Of course, you’d have to believe in the story to follow your theory.


Dear Woman: I suppose.


Dear Man: So let me ask you this. What do you get out of that?


Dear Woman: All domination is insecurity trying to hide behind the plot to control. If you’re afraid to be a mutual, you will always try to be the most important.


Dear Man: Splitting the Adam, huh?


Dear Woman: Yes. It created an explosion of insincerity, inequality and insufferable condescending attitudes that still radiate in our world today.

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Mutual… January 11, 2012


You gotta plant a whole lot of seeds to get a garden. Undoubtedly. It helps if you know what you’re planting and if you try to keep the same seeds in the same row, but now I’m being a little picky. Let’s just return to the concept of mass scattering.

What we all want out of life is a mutual experience. You have to be a real misfit to think that you’re going to travel through your lifespan without having to give up something to someone else. Not only is that selfish, but absolutely ridiculous. Human life is a journey to achieve as much mutual satisfaction as possible.

I like you–you like me. I work with you–you work with me. I compliment you–you compliment me. I enjoy you–you enjoy me.

Life has to be mutual to be good–otherwise you either spend all of your time giving, ending up resentful, or believe your mission is to take, putting yourself in the position of being the villain.  Here’s how I think it works: (1) Everyone deserves a smile. (2) Everyone requires a greeting of acceptance. (3)  Everyone needs a moment of understanding. (4) And finally, everyone craves appreciation.

This is true for me, also. But if I expect the average American worker, who makes minimum wage plus a few quarters,  to extend these courtesies to me simply because I have walked into their establishment and want them to curtail their ego long enough to acquiesce to my needs, I am an absolute idiot. Everybody in America is faulted with one major piece of pending fiasco: we all want to be rich but we aren’t. It makes us act like we’re better than we actually are, puts a chip on our shoulder and causes us to be overly sensitive to the body language and attitudes of others. It’s what creates foolish clashes of personality and presumptuous behavior, promoting strife.

Not for me, folks. When I realize I am going to be staying in an area for a fortnight, I lead with tenderness, mercy, gentleness, interest and curiosity. I also allow myself a bit of self-deprecating humor, to let them know that I don’t take my own concerns too seriously. The minute people are disarmed by my presentation of simplicity, they warm. And frankly, if they don’t, I just don’t return to that establishment. I am fully aware that mutual is what makes the human journey successful–two individuals sharing a common respect for one another.

It’s why most marriages go south. Someone becomes “mother” instead of “lover,” or “daddy” instead of “equal.”

Mutual is what makes life work. But here’s the key: mutual begins with me. I can’t wait for the girl at the McDonald’s counter to awaken from her sleepiness to provide adequate service my way. It is my job, function and purpose to enliven her spirit so that when she sees me coming, a switch goes off in her heart to the open position instead of the closed one.  Likewise, if I don’t express an interest in my bank teller, I shouldn’t anticipate that a friendly greeting will always be awaiting. And if I leave my motel room a mess and fail to give a tip to my hard-working housekeeper, I shouldn’t look for extra mints on my pillow.

America stalls because everybody is waiting for the other person to make the first overture towards excellence. We call it individuality. We call it “standing up for oneself.” We call it self-esteem. But whatever we call it, may I tell you that it does not work and it leaves us standing at a distance, peering at one another in suspicion.

Mutual begins with me. f I want love, I need to manufacture some and carry it around in my knapsack. If I want respect, I need to extend that courtesy to every human worker I meet instead of assuming they’re my servants.

The reason “the meek inherit the earth,” as Jesus said, is that they’re smart enough to realize that if SOMEBODY doesn’t step back for a moment, we will continue to run into each other. If SOMEBODY doesn’t consider the bigger picture, we soon will be vacant of a landscape of possibility. Yes, the meek are the intelligent. They understand that mutual begins with ME. So when I treat the maid at my motel like she’s a real person and not just my personal towel-bearer, it is so much easier for her to desire to be near me, to help me and to want to serve me.

For let me tell you, there is nothing spiritual in the concept of “an eye for an eye.” I understand that three religions in our world have based at least part of their philosophy on this principle, but the notion leaves you victoriously holding someone’s eyeballs in your hand, never having achieved any perspective on what they actually see.

Mutual begins with me. Mutual is not “of Omaha.” It’s about me. And very quickly you will identify the individuals who are merely waiting for courtesy so they can respond in like manner, and the tiny handful out there who are just so bruised and damaged that right now they can’t even respond to a treatment of mercy.

I have enjoyed my stay in southwest Florida, but it’s because I have taken everyone I have met and assumed that they are a field, devoid of seed, and decided to plant my compassion first and see what grows. The best relationships I have in my life are mutual ones. They are the people who respect me because I respected them first, and they don’t lose anything by giving it back my way.

If you’re going to sit around and wait for the world to notice how valuable you are and to give you your props before you extend to them the position they desire, you will find yourself at odds with humanity, holding a darkened view of your brothers and sisters, and having a religious attitude of looking for judgment day more than the mercy-seat of God.

Mutual–let’s do it to each other until we both feel good.

I’ll tell you what … I’ll go first.


Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:


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