G-Poppers … February 9th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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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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Good News and Better News… April 3rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Perhaps a good definition for foolishness is to pursue an answer which you already have acquired, hoping that this time you will get a different response.

It’s kind of like when religious people ask, “What would Jesus do?”

I guess the concept is that his desires and inclinations may be such a mystery that we need to go to fasting and prayer to attain them.

Actually, all the church would have to do is ask the question, “What did Jesus do?”

It’s not like his life is a secret. He didn’t withhold his preferences from us. And it’s not like he didn’t lay out a road map for both his personality and his heart–whether it was about politics, where Jesus made it clear that he had no preference–any Caesar was as good as any other Caesar. And in the realm of social matters, Jesus was clear about the existence of the natural order, but if that is altered by human free will, we are not to judge others who choose a different path.

Jesus certainly made it clear that women were equals, though his church today continues to forbid them place and purpose.

So I guess we continue to pose “what would Jesus do?” so that we can slam enough scriptures together, out of context, to make it look like Jesus would agree with us.

What Jesus liked was obvious: humility, endurance, personal responsibility, faith, compassion and honesty.

What Jesus did not like was equally as obvious: hypocrisy, pretense, superiority, laziness, prejudice and over-emphasis on family and culture.

We could make great strides in the church if we ceased pretending that we are bewildered about the mind of Christ. Shoot, the Apostle Paul told us that “we have the mind of Christ.”

So why not use it?

Here’s the good news: Jesus is an open book. (Four of them, in fact–Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.)

The better news is that when you study his character, you find out that he offers the only path which leads to peaceful coexistence among human beings.

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Ask Jonathots … February 25th, 2016

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My parents and I got into a fierce argument in which they claimed that the Baby Boomers were the best generation–the most politically aware, socially progressive, and creative. I said they were sell-outs who only protested because they didn’t want to get drafted. What do you think?

And on the other hand, the Baby Boomers were greatly pissed off that their parents believed that winning World War II made them a superior generation.

I think there’s only one criterion for determining the quality of any group of people.

How well did they avoid distractions?

Distraction is what causes us to believe that the temporary situation will become permanent.

Saying that, I will tell you that technology and pseudo-intellectualism has distracted us more and more into believing that we are smart and non-prejudiced.

There has never been a greater amount of bigotry, racism, clamoring for war and intolerance than there is today. Yet the Baby Boomers had an opportunity to free our culture of much of this foolishness, but instead, mimicked their parents’ materialism just as soon as the threat of blood and mayhem in Vietnam had passed.

So the question is, can our generation–the new generation–avoid distraction?

Can we refuse to allow Facebook to be the well of our understanding?

Can we rightly judge within ourselves what still remains of selfishness and superiority?

Because if we can’t, the distractions will take this generation and cause it to sell out just as much as the Baby Boomers and the WWII heroes.

So how do we avoid distraction? Everything in our lives needs to be run through the prism of two ideas. If it is run through this prism and comes out with flying colors, then it is worthy of our consideration. If not, it’s a distraction.

  1. Does this new thing, new idea or new approach cause us to love people more?
  2. Does this possibility make us want to do better with our lives?

If the answer to these two questions is yes, then it is not a distraction. It is a pathway to progress.

If the answer ends up being no, then it is a dangerous detour which will only take us further away from understanding and peaceful coexistence.

  • The WWII generation thought owning a house and having a family was the most powerful thing in the world.
  • The Baby Boomers were convinced that a blending of social consciousness and financial prosperity was the key.

Today’s question is this:

Can we find our hearts, to touch our own souls, to renew our minds to grant us legitimate strength?

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G-Poppers … December 11th, 2015

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There is only one culture.

It’s called human.

It possesses two working parts–love and do:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Without this culture permeating the inhabitants of Earth, we naturally become adversarial, and therefore dangerous to one another.

  • Feel free to have all the customs you desire.
  • You can have hot food or bland food.
  • You can name your God whatever you wish.
  • You may adorn yourself in native costuming.

All of that is terrific, as long as you’re willing to join the human culture, which is love and do.

And membership requires that you abandon certain ridiculous notions:

1. You are not exceptional. You are just part of a huge family.

2. You are not better than anyone else.

3. You have not been sent to earth to enlighten the other races and peoples.

4. You are not alone.

5. You are not persecuted, and if you feel you are, please let us know.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that to continue to promote cultural differences which also highlight irreparable schisms among us is to propagate the climate for war.

There is only one culture. The sooner we celebrate that common culture while appreciating each other’s diversity and customs, the better off we will be.

The more often we acknowledge that the only evil is the absence of the good of acceptance and humility, the better our chance will be of peaceful co-existence.

G-Pop speaks plainly. Don’t come to him with an insistence on superiority and think that you will be able to make a case for your uniqueness.

It is in commonality that we find our strength.

And until we realize that whether it’s male or female, Jew or Greek, black or white, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu or whatever–our only responsibility is to love and do.

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G-Poppers … December 4th, 2015

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Come listen, my children, and you will hear

How we’ve learned to hate and live in fear.

G-Pop wonders.

Will his children fall victim to the negative pundits who spin every news story into a situation which cannot be resolved, lending itself to despair?

Does G-Pop have the fortitude to step in and say that our problem is not as complicated as presented by those who seemingly make a living out of baffling us?

There are three approaches to people. If you use the wrong one, you can end up with disastrous results. Finding the correct attitude is the doorway to the possibility of peaceful coexistence.

Even though this week, two people took guns and killed their neighbors, hundreds and thousands did not. That seems to be lost in the discussion.

Do we really believe that the millions of us who would not harm anyone cannot effectively address the tiny handful who are determined to be destructive?

It all revolves around our approach. Here’s the first school of thought:

1. People are good.

For you see, if people are good, all they really require is praise and encouragement. Yet I will tell you, people are not innately good. Every thing born with an appetite over-consumes. Human beings have too many lusts, apprehensions and greedy moments to ever be classified as good.

Therefore praise bolsters the insane while often being insufficient for the saint.

2. People are bad.

If this is true, they should be punished. They should be degraded. They should be viewed as expendable.

Religion and politics certainly cannot survive without maintaining the philosophy that human beings suck. Once we believe that “bad” can wear a human face, killing it off can almost seem heavenly.

3. People are people.

They’re not just good, they’re not just bad. Having consumed the knowledge of good and evil, they are constantly torn and teased with the options–without ever arriving at a true conviction. So praising them will be fairly unsuccessful, and punishing them will limit their scope for angelic deeds.

Because people are people, they need to be motivated.

You can’t simply make new commandments, new laws, new restrictions and think you’re going to stop the bad part of people.

Likewise, you can’t assume that every mortal is filled with demonic proportions, and should be locked away and disconnected from their passions.

We need to be motivated.

  • Why should I love my neighbor?
  • Why should we encourage the Jew and the Palestinian to get along?
  • Why should we take care of our children?

Give me reasons that have benefits and I will listen. Give me demands with no obvious personal value, and I will rebel.

G-Pop hopes his children understand. People are not just good or bad. This thinking leads to a dead-end of discouragement.

People are people.

So be prepared to motivate them–or stand back and watch as they choose good or bad, solely based upon convenience.

 

 

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We need a good Christmas this year.

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Three Ways to Enjoy Family… December 25, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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family

Sitting around a delightful Christmas Eve gathering with the members of my family, I was blessed and enlightened.

Family has provided some of the most treasured moments in my journey, and also a good parcel of the frustrations that have come my way.

Let us never forget that the sweet little family in Bethlehem, which birthed the Savior of the World, turned into a fussy, argumentative clan, which was part of the reason that Jesus was run out of his hometown of Nazareth.

Balance.

It is important for us to know how to deal with our families, or we will end up giving either too much emphasis or too little value to these kinsmen.

Let me give you three ways to always enjoy your brood:

1. Avoid too much reliving and instead, work on restocking.

There is a peril in sitting around reminiscing about the past because it makes us tend to live there. For every time you remember a special occasion, you should simultaneously work on creating a new one. Reliving can be beautiful, filled with tenderness, and is especially effective if you’re in the midst of creating new memories.

2. Honor boundaries.

Once I was Dad. Now I have sons and daughters who are performing their own task of parenting.

I need to find my place–pass the torch. Honor the boundaries.

For instance, my children do not believe everything I believe. I can spend time focusing on our differences or I can revel in our similarities.

My son is no longer my son. He is someone else’s dad. As long as I remember that I can continue a relationship with him which is rich, adult and free.

3. And finally, don’t stay too long.

Every family has a length of time which is perfect for peaceful co-existence. If you exceed this barricade, you will begin to try to heal old wounds but instead, open them up, creating pain and bleeding.

Stay long enough that you’re still enjoying yourself, disappointed to leave, but ready to commence your life, to return again.

Have a great Christmas, but do so by enjoying your family.

Restock your memories, honor each other’s beliefs and boundaries and have the wisdom of making a beautiful exit.

 

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