3 Things … May 21st, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Are Nearly the Same

1. Doubt

“I am not sure I believe.”

 

2. Fear

“I am afraid to believe.”

 

3. Rage

“Why should I have to believe?”

Sit Down Comedy … February 28th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

A wake-up call.

When I traveled on the road, I frequently requested one from the front desk clerk at the motel. He or she punched a few buttons, and sure enough, the next morning at the specified time, my phone rang.

It was startling—so loud that I decided to purchase a small traveler’s alarm clock, which could still awaken me but without a heart attack.

The only problem with this new apparatus was that it was gentle and had a snooze button, which permitted me to rob ten more minutes of sleep. Sometimes I just didn’t get out of bed on the right schedule.

A wake-up call should be alarming.

It should sound the cry: “WAKE UP!”

So what happens when you don’t permit a wake-up call, or you’ve deafened your ears to such an extent that you no longer find the sound alarming?

I don’t know which one has happened. But there are certainly things going on in this great country—things we all share—which would have alarmed us at one time, and now have been relegated to the status of background noise or surrounding scenery.

I, for one, think we once thought it alarming for people to treat one another without civility. We were cordial, even to people we didn’t like. We chose our words carefully.

Perhaps there was more gossip because true feelings were being uttered behind the backs of our enemies, but “a hospitality of congeniality” kept us from being openly hostile, on the verge of rage.

I am alarmed that we’ve lost our civility.

Likewise, it stands to reason that a faulted people should be served by a faulted leader. So what happens when the leader of the nation no longer believes that he or she has any faults? Won’t all the citizens want to imitate such an arrogant profile?

“If it’s good enough for the top dog, why don’t the little puppies get to bark at will?”

It is alarming to me that we seem to have lost the awareness of our own fragility and consciousness concerning our weaknesses.

Killing used to bother us. It really did.

Many years ago, when four students were murdered at Kent State University during a Viet Nam War protest, the country was stunned. Now I’m not so sure that four victims destroyed during a shooting would even make it into the second news cycle before disappearing into the past.

Once killing gains acceptability, it no longer matters who, and unfortunately may someday not matter how many.

I am extremely alarmed that the term “socialism” is being bandied around like a cultural volleyball by those with little awareness of the horrors suffered by souls in the Eastern Bloc of the European continent, or the stunted status thrust upon the good folk of Cuba.

Especially alarming is tying the word “socialist” to the adjective “democratic,” or harkening back to FDR and the New Deal.

Socialism has no place in our country’s governing.

And concerning programs to help the aging and poor, we must realize that as a nation, we have historically been able to come up with such plans and opportunities without ever having to wave the banner of socialism.

Then finally, I am alarmed with bias.

Whether it’s the religious right continuing to hold women in subjection to men or the liberals celebrating culture, only to further focus on our differences instead of our similarities, or just trying to keep all colors, mindsets and religions seemingly revered, but banished to a distance—it is alarming.

We’ve lost our way.

Our nation is sleepy.

We’re waking up intoxicated by our own foolishness, yearning to snooze, ignoring the need to rise up and make a difference.

How loud would the alarms have to be to awaken us from:

  • following a leader who thinks he makes no mistakes
  • supporting a Presidential candidate who dubs himself a socialist
  • joining into a general national nastiness that puts us at continual odds with each other
  • permitting a bloodbath of treachery and murder that leaves us baffled but unmoved
  • or supporting an ongoing bias against gender, race and religion?

It is time to wake up.

It is time to sound the alarm, hear the alarm and be alarmed.

Not Long Tales … November 12th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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14.

The Big Morning

It seems that contemplation is often the worst treatment for concern. Maybe it’s because if an answer is so readily available through simply thinking, it should have popped up by now, offering itself as a possibility. Concern requires a certain amount of relaxation—usually impossible to attain because of the energy and frustration involved in lacking an answer.

All in all, he got up from his time of rest feeling pretty good. Actually, he was surprised at how relaxed he was, considering the day laid out before him.

He had made the request just a while back to have a private meeting with the boss, to discuss his future with the organization. What a bizarre phrasing.

Future with the organization.”

Didn’t it hold to reason that if your past was excellent and your present was fruitful, that your future should be budding? Yet there was some sort of nagging fear in him, that transitions were in the making, and he might be left out.

Silly as it sounded, he always found it reassuring to get a good shave to calm the nerves. One might think that shaving was a dangerous thing to do during a fit of anxiety, but actually, because it required such precision, it slowed things down and welcomed perspective.

It also immediately offered a much less complicated choice: “To cologne or not to cologne? That is the question.”

Considering the time of day and the purpose of his business, he decided that extra fragrance was unnecessary. Then, picking the appropriate clothing.

There was nothing quite as impressive as being well dressed. After all, it was the first thing people saw. And amazingly, upon leaving the room, the last image they had of you.

Coming and going.

Navy blue. A great color—not quite as somber as black, but exuding gravitas. Yet—on this day, he chose his smoke grey suit, with just a slight hint of pinstripe. A robin-egg blue dress shirt. And then the tie.

What tie? Stripes were too gaudy for the occasion. Matter of fact, designs of any kind might draw attention away from the maturity of the conversation. He decided on a royal blue. It looked beautiful with the suit. Just looking at it hanging there delighted his eyes and generated confidence.

He was dressed.

But he was not ready. Normally, “dressed and ready” go together, but sometimes it was a good idea to get dressed—to be in your uniform of choice, so that your thinking was freed up, to garner valuable inspiration while expelling nonsense.

What was the goal of this morning? What did he want to see happen?

He decided to follow the past, present and future format—that being, when he finally stood in front of his boss, he would present the quality of his past performance, which had already been proven out; the nature of the present work ethic, which was fluid and without interruption or regret; which would immediately open the door to the future.

And what did he want to clarify with his boss about the future?

Well, certainly he wanted to know if he was in the plan. He was curious about what his role and position might be. And he was notably worried about being ignored and abandoned from the planning, forbidden the opportunity to make the endeavors more fruitful.

He took a deep breath and thought to himself, “I’ve done well. I don’t want to be arrogant. I don’t want to have to tout my accomplishments. But I have done well. Does my boss know this? Does he care? Does he take it for granted?”

Sorting through the situation was good.

Past success.

Present flow.

Future placement.

Yes—that would be his format. He would go in with a mingling of gratitude, lifting up his productivity, while quietly and intuitively offering some suggestions on change. This was the chemistry of a good meeting—to be grateful for productivity while energized by the obvious need for change.

But what would his slogan be?

While he contemplated, he walked himself into the room, looking for something to eat. Nourishment was such a trickster. It was always comforting to snack, but too much food dulled the brain, preparing it for a nap instead of a conversation.

After much consideration, he realized the meeting would not take very long, and if it went as well as he expected, he could go out, pick up a late meal and celebrate the victory—no, no. Not the victory. The harvest of the big morning.

He needed a repeating phrase—yes, something to come back to as he talked about the past becoming the present and the present evolving to a more glorious future.

With this, he considered the nature of his boss. He had watched him fervently. After all, the boss was the one who held the keys to his future. He had found this individual to be generous but unrelenting. In other words, “All is well as long as all is done well.”

Yes—that certainly capsulized him. What would he want to hear? What should be the theme of this dialogue between the two of them, to determine the horizons of their relationship?

And then, like a light bulb, it went off inside his mind. Inspiration is often like a crack of thunder followed by a flash of light.

Yes. As he explained the past, the present and the future, he would punctuate each portion by returning to a simple phrase: “Sharing burden, sharing credit.”

Indeed. This was certainly something that would go along with the company plan.

He took a moment, since there was no need to chomp on a bagel or sip any coffee, to do a trial run on his little spiel, careful to keep it under five minutes. Anything that took more than five minutes became an ordeal to the ears instead of a pleasure to the soul.

The past, then the slogan. The present, the slogan again. The future, culminating with “sharing burden, sharing credit.”

Suddenly his spirit was buoyed by memories filling his head with accomplishments and successes. He had become one of the favorites in the company. Matter of fact, last year, when it was suggested that some music was in order for a celebration, the boss had asked him to step in and organize the whole event. He was astounded at how much talent there was and how absolutely terrific the musical program turned out to be. He had never viewed himself as a person familiar with notes, beat and harmony. That was why it was essential that he do good.

You see, when you do good at things you should do good in, there’s little reward. But when it turns out that you do well when no one knows of your talent, then you began to impress—perhaps even startle.

By the time he got done putting on the musical production, he had used so many staff members that it seemed like nearly half of them were on stage, performing for the other half. It was a beautiful corporate extravaganza.

All he wanted was more of that.

More responsibility, lending itself to excellent effort. And more respect, leading to even more involvement—to where finally, he could once and for all feel what he really wanted to sense from his boss.

Confidence. And out of that confidence could come more status.

He took a deep breath.

One more practice of the speech. Thankfulness, status, and simply asking the boss to back him up without hesitation, knowing that he could be counted on for good work at every turn.

Straightening his tie, deciding at the last moment to dribble a little cologne on to sweeten his fragrance, he headed off to the meeting.

He was expected. The boss was in and waiting. This was a good sign.

He felt something really strong stirring inside him. He stepped in and looked at his boss, sitting there with a little smile on his face. It was odd. A disconcerting smirk. It did not exude pleasure or approval, but rather, appeared to be a snarl of authority—a sneer establishing superiority.

All at once, all the preparation fell to the side. Worthless.

Why did it have to be this way? Why couldn’t quality be recognized? Why was there a need to diminish staff to maintain order? He was so angry.

Everything he had plotted, everything he had reasoned and everything he had wished evaporated.

Instead of feeling grateful and ready to discuss the future, he felt small and meaningless. In a fit of rage, he stepped forward, not more than four paces from the boss.

He stuck his finger out, nearly touching his nose, and screamed, “You think you are god! YOU THINK YOU’RE GOD. Well, listen. Move over. Make room. Because Lucifer is here to stay.”

 

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3 Things … August 1st, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Let You Know Your Mental Health is Improving

1.  Worry is transforming into action

 

2. Fear is melting as the pursuit for love grows

 

3. Rage calms as anger gains a voice

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3 Things … May 16th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Can Steal Your Great Potential

  1. Unspoken fears that scream in your heart

 

  1. Silly rage that escapes its cage

 

  1. Silence of your desire, betraying your needed purpose Donate Button

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 11th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-come-and-hear

Come and Hear

Louder and louder the voices raise

Full of anger, absent praise

Once a plea for human reason

A desire for peace in its season

Has become a nasty mumble

A growl, grimace, rumble

Truth is lost in fiery debate

Souls are raw, feelings irate

Infected with the need to be right

Well prepared for a lingering fight

Twisting the logic to meet the need

Parsing the words of what we read

Gathering around our common fire

Warming comrades feeding our desire

Lost in defense, unable to repent

Ignoring the prophets mercy has sent

Self-assured in what we know

Stubbornly negating the way to grow

Ignorance is always much too sure

Promoting a promise but tainting the cure

It’s time for souls to sit and learn

Calm the rage, soothe the burn

Come and hear, you have an ear

And stay ’til love casts out all fear.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … April 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Band Played

The Band Plays

Being snubbed

Wrong way rubbed

Feeling mean

Thoughts obscene

Needing air

Someone care

Trapped in a box

A collection of rocks

Fighting the rage

Turning the page

Sensitive to touch

Missing it too much

Crying for fairness

Probing for awareness

Stop staring at your “me”

And see the one that’s free

Prop open the door

Stop keeping score

Melt the frigid vicious

Warm the tepid malicious

Questing for a smile

Devoid of promotional guile

Spitting on the Earth

Origin of my birth

Escaping the empty proof

Shouting from the roof

“I am here! Please draw near!”

Just give me a chance

To catch up with the dance

Before you change the tune

The band plays too soon.

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