Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4036)

Sitting Eighteen

Iz was still bewitched and bedazzled by his night vision. Charged with energy, he surged past Pal’s proclamation, yearning to speak of his own experience. “I must tell you about my dream,” he said. “Pal, I must tell you before I forget it.”

Pal was instantly sullen. Although he loved his young friend dearly and the relationship was very new, he already realized that he was losing the lion’s share of arguments—being pushed to the side by the manic energy of Iz. But this time Pal was so enraptured in his vision that he chanced speaking up to his overbearing friend. “I want you to listen to mine first,” he insisted. “Then I promise to listen to yours. But I think if we start with yours, there won’t be time to tell you what I saw.”

Pal didn’t hesitate further. Before Iz could object, he launched dramatically:

My brother stole my hat and began to run through the streets. I chased him, all the while knowing he would be too fast for me—that I would never be able to catch him. Meanwhile, the streets grew more narrow. I heard laughter coming from the walls of each home, as if unseen people, were making fun of me—of my weakness because I could not keep up with my brother. I was too slow. The streets kept narrowing until finally, the path closed in on me. All at once I ran into a wall, and fell on my back, splashing into a pool of water.

Well, I thought it was water, but it was green and sticky, and it really stunk. It got on my skin and turned it red and made it bumpy. Alarmed, I tried to scream but nothing came out of my mouth. My pleas were blocked. I tried to rise to my feet, but the green tide pulled me back down, deeper and deeper, into a puddle. I was terrified. I fell, until just my head, and then my lips, and finally, my nose was all that was exposed to the outside air. And then, like with one gigantic push, I was thrust underneath the scum. I looked around, trying to see what I could perceive, as the current gradually became a golden yellow.

The next thing I knew, I was in what seemed to be a small box, being rolled up and down the hills. I had an upset stomach and became sick. I begged for release but the box wouldn’t stop rolling. I heard cheering, clapping and yelling.

Then, deep within me, I stopped being afraid. It was so weird. I was still sick, but I wasn’t terrified.

Now listen. Finally the scene changed, and I was sitting in front of a thousand tents, filled with the smells of great food, with people standing outside calling to me, saying, “Here, Pal! Try this! Here, Pal! Eat this!”

I looked at the array of treats before my eyes. I didn’t know where to start. But I had no fear. Iz, I really wasn’t afraid.

Pal stopped his story, nearly breathless.

Two boys sat by the light of a single candle. They were still. They were thinking. Occasionally they would glance at one another.

Sweet fellowship. Neither one understood his dream. Neither one could interpret the other’s.

But they weren’t afraid.

No. Iz and Pal were unafraid.

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Salient … May 21st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3673)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

There is no escape.

No value in running.

Certainly no place to hide.

There are nearly a billion eyeballs staring at you and tens of millions of I-Phones trained on your every move.

Privacy is a concept but never a reality. You are being viewed, and often critically. Even individuals who do not speak to you are still noting your temperament, actions, generosity or lack of compassion.

Perhaps the greatest irony in the human experience is the notion that each one of us should carry a certain amount of overwrought self-esteem, even though simultaneously, you will not tolerate it in any other mortal.

Common sense should kick in. You and I should realize that since we are a species that respects the hell out of humility, pushing our self-worth too far guarantees a backlash from those who feel we are overbearing.

You must realize that kindness, mercy, grace and gentleness are not virtues but rather, precautions–used by intelligent people to protect them from the galling scrutiny of bystanders who draw conclusions from very little evidence.

And from those conclusions they decide how they will treat you.

Case in point:

Sometimes they don’t even know why they don’t like you, but they remember how you cut someone off in traffic, and it pissed them off.

They recall being in the room when you lied to your wife or your family.

They watch as, for the fourteenth time, you walk by a homeless person who is seeking a buck.

They burn with anger over your lack of consideration, caused by your perpetual boredom with your own life. Even though they themselves wouldn’t have done anything differently, you are not permitted indiscretion. You are not allowed to be obnoxious.

Courtesy is not an adventure of the meek, trying to keep the world civil. It is a coat of armor to protect against the slings and arrows which come from the probing public, always ready to indict, prosecute and convict.

And that doesn’t even take into consideration that there may be an Eternal Creator, also watching, who happens to know the number of “glares in your head.”

If you decide to be surly, always realize that there are people who saw it. They will take that encounter and use it against you in a time and place which you do not know.

So now for our salient moment. May I keep it simple?

Be mean, be seen.

Be kind, clear mind.

 

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G-Poppers … February 9th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3578)

Be smooth.

G-Pop says this is the opposite of being rough. For some reason rough, tough, overbearing, pushy and unyielding have been deemed virtues in this day and age.

But keep in mind, it is the nature of our species that once vanquished, to return for a rematch with vengeance. ven though everybody knows this–from the kindergarten student to the aging soul in hospice–we still believe that if we do not carry some “punch” with our ideas, nothing will ever get accomplished.

So basically, when there are problems–a hint of difficulty–people fall into three categories of idealism:

1. “It’ll be all right.”

In other words, either God, karma, their talent or just the sheer brute power of the undertaking will push through, take over, and control the day.

2. “We can work it out as we go.”

No, we can’t. What would make us think we’d be more prepared to handle difficulty while rushed, frantic and trapped than we are sitting around sipping tea and eating chicken wings?

3. “If it’s meant to be, it will work.”

Really? G-Pop can tell you right now that most of the beautiful things in this world struggled to gain air. They were rejected simply because someone had cornered the market on a way to subjugate others, and a smooth plan needed to be devised to sidestep the insanity.

So what is the definition of being smooth?

“I will do my planning in the front–because in the middle, what is required is my patience, which is the force that helps me achieve my goal.”

Even though our society speaks of peaceful coexistence, we simultaneously divide into camps and hurl rocks at one another.

Be smooth.

It’s G-Pop’s piece of advice for today.

Don’t leave your planning room until you’re really excited that your plan can be achieved without you losing sight of your purpose.

 

 

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G-Poppers … August 5th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3024)

Jon close up

It throws tantrums like a frustrated toddler being refused candy in the grocery check-out line.

Foolish, aggravating and unrelenting.

Selfishness.

After several decades of misguided belief in the healing powers of self-worth, our culture is now stewing in the broth of excess self-importance.

  • I must be included.
  • I must be accepted.
  • I must be honored.

G-Pop is afraid that people no longer consider what they have to give, but only promote an inventory of the things they demand. And when a demanding voice encounters a self-reliant spirit, a dangerous impasse is generated, which can certainly foster violence.

G-Pop hopes his children will learn to show up on the playing field with their fellow-humans, prepared to offer a viable contribution to the cause instead of a yearning for self-esteem.

Matter of fact, sit down and write a note to yourself:

Dear Me,

I hope I wake up this morning realizing that the only way I’m going to be happy is to discover what I might be able to be and do that brings benefit. Then it’s just an issue of how I can step in without being overbearing, and use my ability. At that point I will gain value and appreciation.

Have you written your letter?

G-Pop will do his own. 

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