G-Poppers … August 24th, 2018

“People are stupid.”

This is a statement that seems to be flying through the air twenty-four hours a day, as our society becomes convinced that gaining supremacy over other people is best achieved by insulting them and striking out at their character and intelligence.

Unfortunately, there is way to stop this onslaught without getting ground up in the gears of the mechanism.

So today I offer my last G-Popper.

It has been a great run.

Sharing the wisdom of cordiality and gentleness through the eyes of a grandfather was something I felt, many months ago when I began this column, to be a kind way of expressing the change that needs to be set forth among us all.

But it is important for all organisms on Earth to evolve with the times.

So starting next week I will have a new column on Friday entitled “Sit Down Comedy.” It will be a combination of observations mingled with a humorous peek into how we turn our everyday journey into a sixteen-lane freeway instead of just honoring a path.

And of course, in the process we will determine the difference between a stupid idea and trying to tie that misstep with the people who often accidentally stumble into believing it.

We will use video. We will use audio. We may use music. And just a little bit of writing to express the ways to escape stupidity without declaring people stupid.

It will be simpler than G-Poppers but no less sincere.

So I look forward to seeing each and every one of you next week for “Sit Down Comedy,” when we can sit down and reason together… and use the comedy to ease some of the pain.

 

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G-Poppers … September 11th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop watched the news with great interest.

One political candidate accused another candidate of not being attractive, and therefore, unable to get votes.

It made G-Pop wonder if his children knew how to handle a bully. There has been a great confluence of opinions on the subject of “bullying,” which boil down to three assertions:

A. Bullying is bad

B. Kids need to know how to speak up for themselves

C. Bullies make victims

What if all of these assertions are wrong?

Because when we have grown people who are supposed to be our leaders, who are still resorting to bullying, attempting to victimize others, we can’t isolate the problem as an adolescent situation.

Bullies don’t go away just because they have more birthdays.

So G-Pop wanted to explain to his children exactly how this situation works. For after all, everyone gets bullied. There are even “bulliers” who bully the bullies.

It begins with an action, an accusation or an insult. Here’s what G-Pop thinks you should do:

1. After the insult, you have the stage.

People will turn to see how you’re going to react to this indignity. The spotlight is on you. What you do next will determine whether the public views the bully as the victor or realizes that you have handled yourself with great power and have overcome the onslaught.

Obviously, with the amount of bullying that goes on in America, most of our countrymen think the bully has the advantage.

After the bullying is presented, you have the stage. Everyone is awaiting your response.

2. It is a principle in wrestling that the best way to defeat your opponent is to use his weight against him.

That’s right. When your adversary is in the attack position, he becomes off-balance. He is lunging and his weight is on the front of his feet. He does not have equilibrium anymore unless you catch him, hold him up and begin to fight.

If you move out of the way, pushing your attacker to the side, he will likely fall down.

When Donald Trump suggested that Carly Fiorina was not attractive enough to be President, he thrust forward, placing himself in a position to be thrown to the ground by someone who would use the wieght of his stupid comment against him.

So what should she have said back to his insult? How about this?

“Well, I understand that Mr. Trump is accustomed to judging beauty contests, but since being President doesn’t come with any crown–even a tiara–I’m not terribly concerned about how he views my comeliness.”

She would not only have been applauded for her calm and intelligent answer, but would have used the absurdity of his attack against him.

3. Breathe and control the subject.

Once people have decided how they want to bully you, they play out their hand. If you can dodge the force of their ambush, you then are granted, by the surrounding listeners, permission to change the subject and turn things in a different direction.

So how does this apply on the playground with children?

G-Pop thinks the best way to overcome bullying is to stay in teams. Bullies don’t like to attack more than one person at a time.

Then, when the bully attacks, use the force of his attack against him, with comrades standing nearby to support.

Then breathe and go find help by changing the subject to solution instead of conflict.

G-Pop knows that some people are not satisfied with mere resolution, but instead, would love to heap revenge. Honestly, life takes care of that also.

If you take the stage and use the bully’s weight against him and control the subject, you will embarrass your attacker, giving permission to the masses around you to mop up the mess.

Yes, people will aid you and take care of the bully if you have the intelligence to know what to do when he or she comes.

 

 

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Populie: Always Be Positive … April 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2193)

black eye smiley faceTo review: a POPULIE is an idea which is popular but is laced with a lie.

It is something we agree to when we’re around large groups of people, but privately either question or dismiss as irrelevant when applying it to our own lives.

One of these is the contention that it is important in all of our dealings to “always be positive.”

Politics loves it because promises get votes. Reality often scares people away.

Entertainment favors this particular populie of “always be positive” because it gives them an ending to a movie that the audience members can predict, making them feel smart and preferably, happy.

And religion touts this precept because we have this imbalanced notion that faith is about believing that good things will always happen because God is in control. (Of course, on the flip side, spiritually it makes us believe that when bad things happen, we’re being punished.)

I think the most important question we can ask is what kind of people does this create and what kind of society does it evolve?

If you’re going to live a life where you’re always trying to be positive, you will view trials, tribulations and hassles as deterrents to your cause instead of little friends–pesky as they are–who come along to warn you of fallacies in your plans.

So if you’ll allow me to offer an alternative to this populie:

THE CORE OF FOUR

Yes, let me introduce you to the Core of Four.

We need to determine what our outlook should be in any given situation. To get this information, simply ask four quick questions:

1. What do I see?

Faith is not about poking your eyes out until you become blind. Faith is about accepting what you see, but then also being able to see beyond it, to further possibilities. You will never be successful if you’re not able to deal with reality. Matter of fact, one of the signs of mental illness is the insistence that reality should “go away.”

2. What do I believe?

Sometimes the things you want to accomplish are not yet seen, but the need for them is still in existence. Belief is a wonderful combination of what we see, what we desire and what we’re willing to endure.

3. What will I do?

A positive attitude is quickly killed off by an unwillingness to participate. I won’t tell people I think a plan will work if I cannot commit to them how I will be involved. For after all, nice words and encouraging prayers are not very helpful in the heat of the struggle.

4. And finally, what are the prospects?

As I take a look at what I see, what I believe and what I’m willing to do, it pretty quickly becomes obvious what the logical prospects are for the adventure.

After this evaluation, I can choose my profile.

  • Often I can be passionately positive, because my “see, believe, do and conclusions” are very encouraging.
  • On other occasions, it’s important to be realistic. That which I see, believe, and am willing to do show my prospects to be within the realm of possibility–but maybe not quite as fruitful as I once thought.
  • And finally, there are times when it is required for us to be needfully negative. What we see, believe, and are willing to do has brought forth prospects which show that this particular endeavor is doomed.

A fruitful process. It is the absence of the populie which tells us that we should walk around with a smirk on our face, saying that everything will be fine, when secretly we’re dying inside.

Don’t forget your Core of Four. This will help you to choose the right attitude to approach each and every opportunity.

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Good Lord… August 21, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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church lord of lifeOf the two choices provided I do not like either.

It happens to me sometimes.

I’ll go to a dinner and they’ll offer me baked chicken or chef salad, and I run pictures through my mind of the two entrees, and realize that I’m not particularly in the mood for either one.

Yet we live in a society emphatic that we follow a pre-packaged thinking which has been stuffed in a box just for us, rather than allowing individual tastes and ideas to come to the forefront–to see how they would actually fly.

I bring this up because tonight I head off to Lord of Life Lutheran in Portage, Michigan.

I like the name, even though I’ve never been comfortable with the word “lord.” It harkens images of King Arthur and the knights or very religious inclinations towards servitude rather than companionship. But that’s just me being picky.

I am greatly blessed by the fact that it’s Lord of LIFE and not the other two options which are more prevalent in our society: Lord of the Bored and Lord of the Horde.

Sometimes it feels like I’m being pressured to be either religious or to be an atheist. I can join the ranks of those who file in and perch themselves in a pew and snooze through a worship service or I can accept the agenda of a mob that has no sense of history or personal responsibility, but careens down a superhighway at 90 miles per hour, unable to see through the fog.

What makes matters worse is that the bored and the horde are at war, accusing each other of alienation and crimping freedom of expression.

Here’s what I think:

  • Don’t talk to me about rights until you’ve dealt with some wrongs.
  • And don’t preach against the wrongs when you’re not prepared to give your fellow-humans equal rights.

As you can see, this often causes me to be stuck in the middle between the Lord of the Bored and the Lord of the Horde.

So imagine my delight–tonight I get to go to Lord of Life–what Jesus described as abundant, non-condemning, willing to be creative and having a great sense of good cheer.

Is that what I will find tonight? I’m not sure. But since they’ve encased themselves within this delightful name, I will exhort them to live up to their own standard.

Sometimes the choices are not sufficient to the needs of my heart.

I have no intention of being bored–and I will not join the horde of stupidity simply because they offer an open bar.

Lord of Life — yes, my dear friends, that’s for me.

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