1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Become a Better American)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

(To Become a Better American)

Although he made a questionable choice–to wear red boots with an ocean-blue leotard–Superman was very adamant in his mission statement.

He was determined to promote and protect “the American way.”

He also had his own definition for “the American way.” He believed that it was only brought into existence by justice, which was triggered by truth.

Truth, Justice…Then the American Way

So take a moment and roll up your flag. Save the Pledge of Allegiance and sit, walk or stand during the National Anthem. But comprehend that being an American begins with honoring the truth.

Yes, your one thing you can do this week is:

Tell the Truth

Begin with small things. Stop hiding behind partial revelations. Take the risk. Be honest. Go against the common flow in our country, which insists that a little bit of lying is necessary to provide cover.

Just take seven days and tell the truth. Here’s how to get yourself started:

1.Don’t wait until someone asks you to be forthcoming.

Waiting makes it so much easier to lie.

2. When you tell the truth, make sure it’s what you have seen and heard

Not what you’ve read or had whispered in your ear.

3. Make your confession brief

Don’t offer explanation unless someone asks for it.

If you take those three things as the power of telling the truth, see where your respect level, authenticity and acceptance from others will be at the end of the seven days.

Because once truth is established, the desire, energy and climate for justice is suddenly thrust to the forefront.

Then we can tout the American way.

After all, we may laugh, applaud or even cheer people who lie–as long as it’s not to us.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 29th, 2016

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Patchwork

Patchwork

Oh say, can you see

My country ’tis of thee

Come on, give peace a chance

Disco, tango, square dance

Black, white, red, yellow

Hostile, hippie, hyper, mellow

And the rocket’s red glare

Yet please don’t stop and stare

Brown, tan, beige or pink

Freedom to share what you think

I pledge allegiance to the flag

Redneck, negro, chick or fag

Check your gun with the attendant

So to honor the Second Amendment

All men are created equal

Say it again, we need the sequel

To the oceans, white with foam

Where the deer and antelope freely roam

Go to war, stop the war

Open the gates, slam the door

We don’t care where you piss

Just be kind and never miss

North, south, east and west

Take your pick, which one’s the best?

Yankee Doodle, make your strudel

Uncle Sam, carve the ham

MLK, what do you say?

Crazy Horse, with no remorse

Buy a slave, all the rave

All men free–better, you see

America is a melting pot

So humbly bring what you’ve got.

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Smuggling Trifles … December 10, 2012

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Jon Signing

Did you know that three out of four people believe that 75% of what they hear is true, but that one-quarter of the information is lies?

Stop. I just made that up to be funny. So don’t go off and repeat it.

I have to offer that warning because in no time at all, a little piece of misinformation can be transferred across the country, considered common knowledge, without anybody questioning it, challenging its veracity or even considering the source.

We had a whole political campaign this year based on a series of trifles with little evidence, but because they were reported as facts, characters were assassinated and reputations tainted.

In an age of information, it is important for each of us to take responsibility for what we hear and make sure it bears witness with our own experience.

For instance: “I pledge allegiance to the flag.” Really? Have you ever looked at the definitions of “pledge?” And “allegiance?” And what if the flag begins to represent a republic that is NOT indivisible, but still infested with the same conflicts we had during the Civil War? What if that nation we are pledging to is no longer “under God” and doesn’t offer liberty and justice for all?

How about liturgy in a church? Can we continue to recite words which are not only out of our present vernacular, but also beyond our comprehension?

Can you really go on the Internet and retrieve information which is at best dubious and at worst, malicious?

Can we have a generation out there which is beginning to speak to each other using snippets from movie lines and abbreviations from Twitter?

We are smuggling trifles–little pieces of nothing born in the imaginations of promotional-minded sales people–into our everyday lives and calling them “truth.”

So before you go off and say that I have attacked the Pledge of Allegiance, placed a curse on liturgy, or am an old codger who is against the Internet, realize that I am speaking of a blind faith which embraces any misconception simply because it has a little bit of thrill or controversy.

I have chosen a different path. Everything that comes through my personal doorway has to pass the test of my own experience and my own sense of well-being. So what do I know for sure?

  1. I feel better when I share my feelings.
  2. I find that God is much more possible and plausible when I’m out there helping others.
  3. My brain seems smarter when I chip away at my own cemented ignorance.
  4. I eat better, I live better, I look better and I am better.

There you go. My core. It is from that base that I begin to circulate into the vat of humanity, absorbing new ideas, new information and new opinions. Being open-minded does not connote that we have no ideals or goals. It just means that we’re seeking confirmation for the truth that’s already made us free.

We will continue to be confused as long as we believe that political parties, religion, corporations or even our culture is out for our good. It’s not that we need to reject these forces, but rather, we need to channel the trifles that come our way through the filter of a thoughtful heart, a discerning spirit, a reflective mind and a strong body.

If we do this, we can keep from being duped.

If we don’t? Duping is inevitable.

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Interloper… November 9, 2012

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Interloper (n)–one who interferes or meddles in the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons, while intruding into a trade, usually without a proper license.

I am an interloper.

I’m quite proud of it. I have come along at a point in history when the battle lines have been drawn among my fellow-travelers and we’ve been encouraged to pick sides, much like we did as little children at the playground, determining our companions merely based upon our likes and dislikes, and therefore choosing up a team that resembles us but isn’t necessarily qualified for victory.

I am an interloper.

Last night I came to Jeffersonville, Ohio, and interrupted a community which I am certain was pretty content in pursuing its present level of activity and the energy of its ongoing belief system. I interfered. I asked a minister in that town to open up his church to a program offering music, humor, dialogue and ideas which might be just a little bit foreign to the community chest. And you know what? I did it for selfish reasons.

I am weary of living in a country whose people square off against one another, continuing a Hatfield and McCoy style of interaction based on generations of misconceptions and often-disproven theories. I want to be happy. I find a way to do so without the help of others, but would certainly welcome additional friends on the journey.

I interrupted the local newspaper, which I’m sure doesn’t normally advertise such an event, especially one coming from a religious institution, out of fear of showing favoritism for one congregation over another. They broke out of their mold, interviewed us and put their findings on the front page.

Also, I refused to accept the findings of the region, expanded the definition of inspirational music and ideas–and yes, I did it without a proper license. No one has given me permission. No political or religious institution has offered me credentials, and no one has summoned me to the occasion. I choose to do it, I continue to promote it–and I am determined to be the last man standing.

I am an interloper.

I am exhausted from listening to people characterize all conservatives as brash brothers and sisters of Rush Limbaugh and all liberals as baby-killing whale-lovers. I have traveled this country back and forth many times. I have dined with conservatives who only want to make sure the progress we make is not to the detriment of their families, offspring and even the heart of God. I have supped with liberals, who have sat in tears only because they desire to see the needs of the poor and less fortunate met, while we attempt to lift the bottom line. There are good people out there on both sides, who really would like each other if they were not forced into despising the other camp.

I am an interloper.

I have no written authorization to do what I am doing–not even a note from my mother, who I am sure would also disapprove.

I spent an hour with strangers last night. We talked.  We reasoned. We laughed. We cried. They kept looking for ways to confirm that I was either a liberal or a conservative and at the end of the encounter, had to surmise that I really was trying to access the Spirit and the truth that would make us free.

I don’t always succeed, but I can identify failure, even when it’s mine. I have given myself permission to correct my own stupidities without feeling diminished. I stand ready to interfere in the present climate of a country which is bound and determined to stubbornly destroy itself with the doctrine of opinion. I have few opinions but I have tremendous aspirations.

I am an interloper.

I will be coming soon to your community to interfere in the affairs of your region, while redefining the trade of ministry–without any papers or vetting coming from a political party. If we do not rise as a nation and object to the existing stalemate of staleness, we will gradually just slip away from significance and be viewed by history as an ignorant people who only honored arrogance.  We can do better.

I am an interloper.

I welcome you to become an interloper, too. To do so you, will have to realize that conservative people have something to offer, as do those with a more liberal twinge. The balance of this condition is found at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance:

” …one nation under God…”

Truthfully, that’s all true conservatives want. They would just like to have the assurance that the Creator would be included in the affairs of His creation.

“…with liberty and justice for all…”

That is at the core of the honest liberal–just a request that we grant people the freedom to be themselves even if we don’t completely agree–as long as it is not detrimental to the pursuit of the common good.

And when you allow these two forces to exist together in a great debate of discovery, you end up with a word that makes this country immutable:

“…indivisible.”

You can’t divide us, because we refuse to be disconnected from one another over some silly issue.

I am an interloper.

I will not join the confusion. I will not participate in the foolishness. I am here … to meddle and interfere.

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