G-Poppers … April 13th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Your story will be told. The only question is, who will convey the tale of your life?

Will it be your enemies who will struggle to find hidden iniquity to justify their hatred of you?

Will it be your lover, who will focus on the more romantic and personal side, to establish why he or she made a good choice in uniting with you?

Will it be your children? After all, what can they say? I suppose it’s possible for them to rail against you, but basically, most of them will end up proclaiming, “He was a pretty good dad” or “She was a darned good mom.”

Then there are your critics. Their entire focus will be on the weaknesses that prevented you from achieving your goals.

Friends and acquaintances will pass around a paintbrush and a can of emotional whitewash, conveying that they all believed you did your very best with what you had to work with.

Strangers always stand at a distance and cautiously conclude, “He or she seemed to be a good enough person–always paid the bills, never gave me any trouble…”

If you become satisfied with any of these reports, you rob yourself of the true joy of finding the complexion of your own soul and tinkering with it. It is not necessary to be self-incriminating in order to become self-aware.

The truth is, if you tell your own story, it will be suspect. Even if you decide to leave out pompous details, folks around you will still assume you’re over-promoting.

It is the fruit we bear in our lives and the peace we leave behind when we walk away from a situation that actually determine the paragraphing, the chapters and the conclusion of the book entitled, “Me.”

You can affect these things.

  • First, find joy and peace in placing things in a rightful order.
  • Secondly, always lead with humility.

After all, God is not finished with any of us, for we still live on Earth and Mother Nature is fine-tuning our surroundings, waiting to see if we adjust or object.

Your story will be told. But G-Pop wants to ask you, who will tell it?

All we know is that those who truly humble themselves will be exalted.

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G-Poppers … May 5th, 2017


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Old people don’t like to change.

Perhaps better stated, older folks think they’ve done all the changing they need to do.

It fascinates G-Pop that we spend so much time trying to appease the tastes, mentality and standards of individuals who have basically retired their dispositions, and use much of their gray matter considering longevity.

Perhaps it’s the fact that once we’re given our first prescription for high blood pressure and cholesterol, we are forever lost to discussing our treatments. Is it because older folks accumulated all the savings bonds and property, and seem to be in power?

The wealth of our nation actually lies in the elasticity of young minds–the flexibility of those who have not yet determined what color they would like their den to be painted.

It’s why Jesus said that the message of the Gospel is geared to the child-like mind, and only those who are willing to acquire such thinking can truly comprehend it. It is also why Jesus said you can’t put new wine into old wineskins. When the fermentation produces expansion, the old skins literally explode.

Yet children are relegated to a status of property, propaganda and proof of our prowess and parenting. So we ask:

  • What are your grades?
  • What do you like about school?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What do you think of your teachers?

We trap our offspring into a prison of education and tell them not to contact us until they’ve graduated reformed. So they mimic us. It’s what they’re taught to do.

So rather than having a cultural and social revolution with every generation, causing us to grow in intelligence and openness to one another, we implant the prejudice and bigotry of the former generation firmly into the minds of those who are haplessly controlled by us because they live in our homes and feast at our tables.

We’re missing an opportunity. And because we’re ignoring it, we are condemning ourselves to more wars in the same areas of the world–just with new names.

Teach your children. Teach them well.

Otherwise they’ll end up with their father’s hell.

And here’s what G-Pop thinks we should teach them:

1. Love people.

There is no better species due to arrive. You can live with the monkeys or dine with the lions, but you will eventually find that their habits are even worse than your brothers and sisters living next door. People are the best that God offers us. If you’re upset about it, contact the Creator. He has not made a more magnificent contraption, and there is no sign that He’s upgrading the model. Love people or die complaining.

2. Respect people.

Get rid of your color charts. Get rid of your expectations. Keep your moral code to yourself. If you have a plan of salvation, enjoy it, but don’t force feed it to anyone else. Every human being is given three square feet of influence, and once you step out of your own, realize you are trespassing. Don’t be surprised if you get shot.

3. Work with people.

Working with people is easy. You listen, then you try. Just make sure that the trying is a test and not selling out completely. In other words, if you’re going to dye a piece of cloth, it’s a good idea to cut off a small unit and try the dye on it first, to see how it takes. As long as we’re willing to be wrong, working with people can be quite fun. But when we insist that we “have to be right” because we’re invested in the project and therefore need to make excuses for the failure–then we become obnoxious paper clip counters.

It’s rather doubtful that you can take anyone over the age of forty-five on a journey to love people, respect people and work with people.

Pick your target market. It will be the children of the Earth who still don’t have enough assets to sit on their asses.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 17th, 2016


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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Do you want to have children?

 

Dear Man: No, but I’d like to have a family.

 

Dear Woman: What’s the difference?

 

Dear Man: Huge! A family is a group of people sitting around the living room, all of which have been potty trained and know the working end of a Kleenex, enjoying pizza night and watching Disney movies.

 

Dear Woman: And children would be…?

 

Dear Man: Creatures who suddenly appear, squalling and pooping everywhere, trying to control the environment.

 

Dear Woman: That’s pretty negative.

 

Dear Man: I’ve always found it better in life to work backwards from negative to find positive things, instead of leaping in with happy-go-lucky, to later retract your statements because of the abundance of weirdness.

 

Dear Woman: I would like us to have a baby.

 

Dear Man: You see, that’s the problem. Vestiges of male chauvinism and female oppression lie dead-center in the middle of this process of procreation. It’s further accentuated by the new domineering attitude–especially in black and Latino communities, which portray women as “Baby Mamas,” and these conquering studs spreading their seed across several different mothering units.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. That’s harsh. Maybe even racist.

 

Dear Man: Sexist is worse than racist. I don’t care if you’re black, brown, or whatever color you are–if you’re treating the mother of your children like she is a nanny, then you’re wrong.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I wanted to have children together.

 

Dear Man: But what does that mean? In our society, we have single moms, but single dads are kind of a joke. In other words, if a man stays home and decides to take care of his children we think he’s a lazy bum, but if a woman does it, she’s a responsible female who has made a positive choice for her youngsters.

 

Dear Woman: I can see that. But how would you rectify it? I mean, what would you do to even the playing field so men and women can be perceived as partners in this project of birthing and raising a child?

 

Dear Man: Get rid of sentimentality. Mother’s love is not stronger than father’s love–not in our species. A woman getting tears in her eyes because she’s thinking about her children does not mean she loves them more. You love them more if you work with your partner to turn them into decent human beings instead of rapists, serial killers, televangelists and politicians. And not necessarily in that order.

 

Dear Woman: I think I understand what you’re trying to say. You want me to be as invested emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you are forced to be physically.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. The same amount of effort it takes to transform my body into a birthing machine is the same kind of commitment I want both of us to have, to change ourselves into parenting units.

 

Dear Woman: So what would you change?

 

Dear Man: As I said, get rid of the sentimentality about mother’s love being superior to father’s love. Then involve the man in the process of the conception, birthing and raising of the child as an equal participant, not merely a bread-winner. And stop putting special significance on one sex over another when it comes to the care, maintenance and maturing of the child.

 

Dear Woman: I agree with all of that.

 

Dear Man: Maybe you do. But that will mean that most nights you’re not going to be able to go off with your buddies and watch the game, but instead, stay home with your child and me, watching the game on TV, laughing and doing puzzles.

 

Dear Woman: I can do that. Matter of fact, when you explain it this way, it seems like the way it should be. But because we want to maintain the superiority of the man over the woman, we manufacture this false sense of “ultimate motherhood.”

 

Dear Man: Absolutely. I don’t mind having children with you if we can change diapers, change attitudes and change directions as parents together.

 

Dear Woman: Most people will think that’s weird.

 

Dear Man: That’s why most people have children that are out of control instead of offspring they can be proud of.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 16th, 2016


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: Did you ever think, just for discussion’s sake, what if the story of Adam and Eve were true?

 

Dear Woman: From the Bible?

 

Dear Man: Yes. I don’t mean religious–I mean, what if the telling of this tale was overall accurate, if not specific?

 

Dear Woman: OK. I can see that. But where are we going?

 

Dear Man: Working on that premise, do you realize that you and I–a man and a woman–were created, generated, evolved–whatever term you want to use–to be equals?

 

Dear Woman: I suppose that’s true. But that’s not the way it ended up.

 

Dear Man: No, but let’s step away from how it ended, and instead, talk about where it began. Both man and woman had equivalency and respect.

 

Dear Woman: I got that. So what happened?

 

Dear Man: You see, that’s the key. If we follow the story, it still makes sense in our world today. Because what you have is not a poorly defined sexual relationship or an inadequate parenting situation, or even an inability to speak to one another. It’s a failed business relationship.

 

Dear Woman: I think I understand. What you’re saying is, Adam and Eve’s equality stemmed from being in covenant with each other to achieve a common purpose, and when that was removed, then the frailties of each one were suddenly thrust to the forefront.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. So what we have today are men and women trying to get along with each other, already having experienced a bankruptcy together.

 

Dear Woman: That’s far out.

 

Dear Man: So if you want to get back to the Garden relationship, you have to understand what the problem is. I have to ask myself, can I trust you?

 

Dear Woman: And I have to ask myself, can I trust you?

 

Dear Man: And finally, can we work together without lying? Because this is what brought them down. They didn’t trust each other so they lied to each other–and then came together to lie to God.

 

Dear Woman: So you’re saying that all this fuss they make in society about the differences between men and women is really just a coverup about an abiding mistrust and a fatal flaw–lying.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. If I have confidence that I can trust you enough to tell the truth, we can address the real problem and work out almost anything.

 

Dear Woman: But if I can’t hear it, and get my feelings bruised or my masculine pride shaken, then I strive to make you insecure, too.

 

Dear Man: Of course, this is all based on the story having some believability.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I’ll tell you this–it sure is a hell of a lot better than acting like men and women are hopeless.

 

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Ask Jonathots … May 26th, 2016


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I have a buddy at work who just separated from his wife and is filing for divorce. He’s going to fight for full custody of his two daughters. He says his wife is not fit to be a mother because she’s mentally unstable. I met her once at a party, and she openly talked about how her daughters had “betrayed” her. They were five and six years old at the time. Here’s my question: how do you know when someone is just flat-out crazy? Is there anything I can do for my friend?

You are actually posing three questions:

1. How can you tell if somebody’s crazy?

2. How can you get involved in a situation without interfering?

3. What is the basic criteria for being a parent?

So I will attempt to address each inquiry individually and let you sew them together as an answer.

I don’t believe there is an actual condition called “crazy,” but when we deny reality, we certainly teeter on the brink of mental instability.

There are many ways to deny reality: you can lie about it, pretend it’s not your fault, insist it’s not your business but instead, God’s affair, you can blame the devil, or as in the case of your subject, you can believe that your children are trying to sabotage you.

Insanity is the idea that ignoring reality can change your circumstances.

Now let’s look at the second question. Unless somebody asks your opinion, giving it is interfering.

I have learned that my opinion is not really needed, wanted or valued unless there is a question pending. In other words, without someone asking me for my input, I am being obnoxious.

Now, shall we go to the third question? There is actually one criterion for being a good parent. Are your children safe?

Because as they grow, sometimes they may perceive the parent as a comforter, friend, warden, enemy, Satan, Santa Claus or boring. So you can’t evaluate good parenting on how happy the children are to actually have a parent.

Are they safe? And by safe, I mean that they have a sense that they will be taken care of, and they are not threatened by those who have authority over them.

So let’s see if we can put the three answers together.

Since children do not dictate the policies of the household, it is difficult for them to be betrayers. Therefore believing children are betrayers is certainly an imbalanced and unhealthy profile. It opens the door for the parent to retaliate instead of express affection.

But since your opinion has not been sought and you are not in a power position to change things, what you need to do is express your joy, concern and hopes by being supportive of the kids–through little notes, maybe some gifts, and a loving, open door.

You should avoid taking sides, but instead, pass on to both the mother and father that you feel the most important thing is the well-being of these children. In doing this, you will establish that you are the champion of the daughters instead of the crusader for either Mom or Dad.

This is the advice I give you–but also be fully aware that any time you leave reality (for instance, thinking you’re the savior of this other family) you can become just as “crazy” as the next person.

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Ask Jonathots … February 18th, 2016


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Parenting question: What is the best way to discipline young children? Do you believe in time-outs? How about spanking?

If you arrived on a new job and your boss walked in the room and said, “Don’t touch the water cooler, the copy machine and don’t drink more than three cups of coffee,” and then strolled out of the room, what would you think?

Well, since it was a new job, you wouldn’t know exactly what you were supposed to do–only informed of what was forbidden.

That’s the mistake we make with parenting.

A child, who is full of energy, hopes, dreams and wants to have a good time, is instructed in all the things that are unacceptable, without being channeled in a direction to use all of the creative explosion bursting within.

Although you may want to discuss discipline, I think the most important thing for any parent to consider are ways to avoid needing discipline.

By the time you get to the point of discipline, the issue is usually too much or too little, no matter how hard you try. So how can we avoid disciplining our children so much, and still have them grow up to be fantastic human beings?

It’s a two-step process:

  1. Decide what you want them to do.
  2. Shrink the situation and give them a chance to practice.

In other words, if you want your kids to play with a puzzle for an hour, find an area where you want them to play, provide a snack, and do puzzles with them until you ignite their interest.

Put a time limit on it, and then come and retrieve them for the next project.

You cannot expect to leave a child in a room with no guidance, no floor plan for activities, only telling them what’s bad, and think you won’t have a mess.

Find what you want them to do and then shrink the room to that activity.

Remember: life is based on a reward system, not a punishment.

So just as you are given a paycheck because you followed the rules of the company, which includes doing your job, your kids should likewise be rewarded for good behavior and contributing to the cause.

So the answer to your question?

Try to eliminate discipline, but when you do find a need to do so, make sure you have created a reward system.

Tell your children, “If you will play with this puzzle for thirty minutes and then pick up your toys in the corner and throw away this trash by the time I get back, I will let you watch your favorite show.” Then follow up on it.

  • You control the food.
  • You control the entertainment.
  • You even control the water.

Use it to your advantage.

But don’t expect children to follow rules without having a plan of action to fill their time and exhaust their energy.

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Confessing … November 28th, 2015


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XXX.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

For the sake of this essay and season of confession, let me refer to it as “Thanksbumping.”

It’s that uncomfortable moment when older folks such as myself decide to openly share some insight with younger folks who absolutely have no interest in the input whatsoever.

It is tricky. It can slip up on you when you merely believe you’re sharing your heart, and almost always is interpreted as intrusion.

I thought I had outsmarted “Thanksbumping” this year by controlling the amount of time I spent with my family, while also promising myself to keep my convictions to my own inner pleasure.

I did really well the first night, but at the second joining together, subjects came up for which I had great passion.

I spoke up.

It did not go well.

I quickly retreated and spent the rest of the evening trying my best to imitate invisibility.

At the Thanksgiving meal the next day I was much better, and had learned my lesson.

But I must apologize to myself, to my Father in heaven and to those who once sat under my tutelage, for accidentally continuing to “tutle.”

Before you become self-righteous and insist that you never do such a thing, let me gently and mercifully explain that our children perceive any intervention which they have not requested as a breach of their territorial waters.

So as I confess this to you–that I did better at “Thanksbumping” this year but am still not without reproach–let me give you three hints to keep you out of this iniquity:

  1. Avoid giving opinions without hearing a question coming your way.
  2. Don’t offer contrary views in a climate where well-established ideas are being revered.
  3. And certainly, don’t attempt to do any sideline parenting.

It may be difficult to succeed at being a bystander when you feel as if you should be included and treasured, but it is the nature of our species.

It is the changing of the guard.

And to have a good Thanksgiving, you must make sure you dodge the “bumping.”

 

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