G-Poppers … June 29th, 2018

When G-Pop was growing up, the mayor of his small town had a young daughter named Jeannie.

Jeannie was smart.

Nobody liked Jeannie. The reason the students did not like Jeannie was that their parents did not like the mayor. So over supper conversation, it was made clear to the children that Jeannie was a problem.

Not much could be done by us young’uns during school session, but at recess, everyone got together and ridiculed, attacked, criticized and ostracized Jeannie. Matter of fact, one day it got so bad that our whole class had her cornered, trying to push her off the playground.

We didn’t plan on hurting her. We just wanted to make it clear that because of her father and the politics that made our parents angry, we were going to get her out of there. Three teachers came running up, and when they understood what was being attempted, the whole class was punished and we were not allowed to have recess for two weeks.

Jeannie was permitted to go home and be comforted by her parents. They were so shocked they put her in a private school and we never saw her again.

This came to G-Pop’s mind when the Little Red Hen–just as in the old tale–became fussy again. People took a thirty-five-year-old woman who was on “recess,” simply trying to enjoy dinner, and asked her to leave a restaurant simply because they did not agree with her politics, and did not appreciate her being the press secretary for President Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, the end result of this tale, unlike the story of Jeannie, is that Sarah Sanders was punished, and the “students” were made to believe they were merely exercising their First Amendment rights by getting rid of something unpleasant.

G-Pop has a question: If it’s wrong on the playground, why isn’t it wrong in the restaurant?

If we expect our children to be tolerant enough to share a space of land and get into their games, why is it ridiculous to think that grown people can’t sit at the table and enjoy a meal with someone in the room who doesn’t meet their favor?

Kicking Sarah out was not a symbol of the resistance.

It’s not a stand against tyranny.

It is an attack on a young woman who’s trying to do her job. What G-Pop thinks about her job can be penned in an editorial to the newspaper–not with a snarling contempt, demanding she be removed because her presence is intolerable.

She left.

She did not stand and fight. And when she left, all the liberals got together and decided it was a good thing to remove her from the restaurant. Matter of fact, one black Congresswoman suggested it should be done more.

Because G-Pop loves his country, he is choosing to believe this was a temporary lapse of judgment.

Just as the kids in his small town had no right to push Jeannie off the playground, no one has the authority to ask Sarah to leave the restaurant.

G-Pop will not return to an America where signs are posted everywhere that say: “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

We all knew what that meant. We all knew who was not going to get served.

Let us not return to such insanity.

 

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Ask Jonathots … December 29th, 2016

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I am so frustrated. What happened in 2016??

Well, I’m not quite certain of your particular frustration, or what crosses your mind as a grievance concerning the year.

But certainly overall, the United States abandoned its sense of “civil” rights. In pursuing rights it is essential we maintain a civil attitude.

Somewhere along the line it became more important to chase down an agenda or voice opinions of opposition than to find ways to peacefully coexist and respect one another.

In the process, we had a lot of shouting without having any real interaction.

  • It became important to be right.
  • It was essential to win.
  • It was a game to degrade your opposition.
  • And it was considered fair play to dig up dirt and heap it on your opponent.

Because we humans are susceptible to selfishness, once we realized that our leaders were participating in playground antics, we felt the freedom to lessen our general toleration while increasing our volume.

It created a caustic environment.

So all the political parties, all the religions, and all the intellectuals who were supposed to guide us in ways of structured sensibility, instead became armed forts, where rocks were thrown across the chasm.

This will only change when we return to civil ways to establish our rights.

So what is civility?

1. It is impossible for me to completely be right.

I am human and therefore not only capable, but susceptible to error.

2. Listening means shutting up.

There is no such thing as listening with one ear as you prepare your speech to contradict your enemy.

3. Treat every human with the respect and reverence you would give to God.

If you don’t believe in God, treat every human like you would your mother.

4. Be fully aware that in a democracy you will need to include other people who have lifestyles and ideas which are completely opposed to your own.

If it isn’t killing anyone, you will have to learn to adapt.

5. Practice kindness whenever you can.

In other words, if there are going to be conflicts, we need to also have many moments of gentleness in between, or we will start bashing each other instead of learning to enjoy one another.

In 2016, rights became more important than civility.

It was not merely a liberal problem nor a conservative problem. It became universal.

Help change 2017 by making sure that the way you express your opinion is just as respectful as the passion with which you proclaim it.

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G-Poppers … February 19th, 2016

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G-Pop wonders if the current crop of ears listening to the corny dialogue from the field of candidates is totally aware of the dangers.

Would they even consider the insights of a young preacher from 2000 years ago, who warned that his generation was like a bunch of “children sitting in the marketplace”–the message being that since they’re children, they aren’t ready for the marketplace, but instead, better suited for the playground?

So the danger in politics and religion is that we end up with a clump of childish scoundrels. It’s difficult to look at them as criminals because they are so inexperienced, but impossible to consider them viable, since they are so bratty.

The definition of childish is anyone who thinks their feelings are more important than the truth.

So when you look at Marco, Hillary, Ted, Ben, Jeb, Bernie, Donald and John, you realize that each one has some endearing qualities which are certainly tainted by a fussy need to come across superior.

We must understand that superior is only achieved when inferior is confronted and corrected.

So what should be the profile of those who desire to rule over us and reign in the “land of the free and the home of the brave?”

A simple phrase:

“I am capable.”

  • I am capable of good things, which my campaign manager will now recite to you in detail.
  • I am capable of bad things, which my opponents will soon find, so to free them from that exhausting task, I will confess myself.
  • And I am capable of learning by listening to the wisdom of others and their counsel, and adjusting myself to the reality of the present predicament.

These candidates want to express their readiness–yet no one is ready to be President of the United States. The job description changes daily, with the focus landing squarely on varied skills at a moment’s notice. You cannot prepare for such a mission. What you need to do is learn to submit to each situation as it arises.

I am capable.

“I am capable of good things, bad things and learning better things.”

G-Pop does not have any desire to endorse a candidate, but he’s happy to tell you that the wisdom expressed by that itinerant teacher 2000 years ago still holds true.

Children in the marketplace will turn childish when confronted by difficulty.

Escaping childishness requires that we humble ourselves by celebrating the good, acknowledging the bad … and arriving, every day, with a willing attitude.

 

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G-Poppers … September 11th, 2015

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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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G-Poppers … August 14th, 2015

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G-Pop watched the Republican Candidates Presidential Debate, not because he’s political, but because the world around him insists on being.

After all, you’re not allowed to check out of human life and what your fellow-travelers are pursuing just simply because you find it fallacious.

But as he watched, G-Pop was concerned that his grandchildren might actually believe that what they heard coming from these grown people was the best of human behavior.

Here’s the truth: some people don’t “get it.”

And because they don’t understand the rules, they don’t play the game very well. So they end up acting like they’re still on the playground, instead of finding solid ground on which to play out their lives. G-Pop wants his grandkids to know that sometimes you stop arguing with the obvious, and instead, learn to work with it.

Here are four existing conditions on the journey called life which require our attention:

1. Nothing works out the way you plan.

If you said that aloud in a room full of strangers, everybody would basically agree while quietly lamenting the situation, which always opens the door for some sort of foolish rebellion when they find themselves in the midst of disappointment.

Our plans rarely come to total fruition. It’s because we are not the only people on earth, and where our paths cross others, there must be adjustments; otherwise we are trying to develop a culture where we rule and others serve.

2. People don’t do what you want them to do.

Matter of fact, sometimes this is so obvious that you can use reverse psychology. If you want to paint the room blue, just insist it should be green. Others will more than likely come up with blue.

It’s not that we’re in rebellion to each other, or even God. It’s just that we’re afraid we’re losing control, so we tend to get picky over small things, and leave the larger, more precious concerns dangling in the wind.

3. Getting mad makes you look like a baby.

Even if you’ve got good reason to be angry, bursting forth with rage always makes all bystanders feel that you’re overwrought.

The victory does always ultimately go to the peacemaker, so tone down and tune in.

4. The human race is always won by a human.

Anyone who feels superior will be attacked.

Anyone who insists that they are hearing the voice of God will be set to the side and mocked.

Even though we claim to favor those who have some sort of “divine gift” or inspiration, we usually lift up on our shoulders a fellow-human who admits his or her weaknesses.

No success story was ever written which didn’t take a plot twist through failure.

What was absent from the statesmen who want to be President:?

An understanding of these four basic principles.

  • They think their plans can actually be carried out.
  • They believe they can make foreign leaders do what they want them to.
  • They get furious when they’re attacked.
  • And to a large degree, they are unwilling to admit their human error.

Can G-Pop teach his children to ignore this craziness? He hopes so.

Because this generation certainly needs to be birthing a hope in the next one.

 

 

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G-Poppers… July 17th, 2015

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“After all–we’re all different.”

The words were spoken and the crowd gradually joined in with applause. G-Pop sat and listened carefully.

Something didn’t ring true.

The way to overcome intolerance is not to accentuate our differences. To think that human beings are capable of acknowledging differences among us without secretly holding prejudice against the person who dares to be different is absolutely ridiculous.

We are not divine. We are human. As humans, we are looking for reasons to find commonality.

This holds true in every relationship:

  • If two people are dating and discover they have nothing in common, they don’t continue dating, hoping to build up toleration for one another
  • If two kids are on the playground and one likes to play baseball and the other likes to climb the monkey bars, they quietly separate from one another, seeking out individuals whose taste in play is similar to theirs.

The path to peaceful coexistence is commonality.

How much do I have in common with you in comparison to our differences? Candidly, the word “difference” begins with “differ.”

If we do differ from one another, the process is simple: if we’re civilized, we walk away to avoid an argument. If we aren’t quite so civilized, we stand there and argue.

I do not know when the definition of “toleration” became biting one’s lip and pretending to accept things that don’t make sense. Toleration is finding places of common ground and celebrating them.

The “pendulum do swing.”

In a short period of time, we’ve gone from being a nation that was abusive to the gay community to a nation which now has a plurality which is willing to include gay marriage. But we will never have true openness with one another until we find the linking parts. We can’t fake receptivity.

For I have no intention of taking the social standing of old religion, ISIS and Vladimir Putin and joining with them against the homosexual community. But I came to this conclusion not because I looked at my brothers and sisters as obtuse and unusual, but because they use words that are common to me: freedom, brotherhood, love, relationship and tenderness.

We are not going to become better people by pretending we are tolerant. We become better people when we find common ways that we share in common, accentuating our common values.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 15th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn July 15

Daisy Choice

Her name is Daisy Choice

Who should be granted voice

Equality at last to find

A chance to use her mind

As one with all the boys.

 

She started quite the same

With no one chosen to blame

Played fiercely side by side

Leaped upon each playground ride

And joined in every game.

 

But then a twist of fate

An urge to find a mate

Left her wanting to please

Weaker mouse yearning for cheese

Scurrying to acquire second-rate.

 

So the men pretend to be

Guided by their she

While they rule a violent Earth

And make her Mother Birth

Denying her a chance to see

 

We will never gain true peace

While Daisy is forced to her knees

Looking for her equal pay

Choosing human things to say

Instead of playing the tease.

 

So back to the Garden again

Long before original sin

To work hand in hand

Woman with the man

To possess the mutual win.

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