Wrong Again … February 6, 2012


I like being wrong.

It is comforting to know that the entire wealth of human knowledge is not kept in a safe deposit box in my brain. There is life that goes on outside of my consciousness–and even beyond my approval. Reassuring. Because I feel that way, it makes my journey so much sweeter, and free of the need to constantly prove my point and clarify my statements, cleansing them with self-righteousness. Sometimes I’m just wrong–and being raised in the Mid-West, as a Buckeye, I was taught many things about people who have ended up being erroneous and full of prejudice. Yes, I am a bigot and join all the other bigots(such as yourself) in the great bigot march towards what I hope is called discovery.

That said, let me tell you that I arrived in Texas to a community which even the Lone Star folks would call “rural.” I was scheduled to share at a local church and my mind immediately launched into scenarios of what I might see, feel and even do to compensate for the social climate surrounding me. Unfortunately, the problem with abandoning our prejudices is that there are enough street signs on the road of life that resemble our stereotypes that we often feel we are on the right path and therefore don’t take the time to complete the entire journey. In other words, if you think there are only lions at the zoo and you go to the zoo and only visit the lion cages, you leave the zoo feeling that you were right and there was nothing more to see. That used to be me. I was so in need of being correct that I would fudge the facts and only experience events that would confirm my assertions. Fortunately, I stopped that years ago. Now I take on the whole enchilada and find out what’s stuffed inside.

The little Texas town was a blessing. Oh, I saw things that certainly reinforced some of my prior conceptions, but I did experience many more things that just screamed the great expression: “People are people, so get to loving people.”

I sat in my green room and talked to two women full of vim, vigor, spirituality and hope for our lives and our nation. They were intelligent, intuitive, kind and generous. I met a pastor who had a gentleness of spirit which allowed him to take the position of a servant to us, without feeling he was diminishing his profile or tarnishing his well-earned doctorate. I shared in front of two congregations of individuals who certainly were just as cautions towards me as I was towards them, but because the Spirit blows in corners which we previously tried to hide, the barriers were quickly brought down and connection was made.

(I did view one funny incident. A young mother and her six-year-old daughter came up to talk to the pastor. The mother was explaining to him why her husband was absent–because of work duties. When she completed her apology for her husband’s absence, the daughter piped up. “No, Mommy–Daddy went hunting. I saw him leave the house with his shotgun.” The mother quickly inserted that “he took the gun just in case he saw something along the way.” The daughter continued to protest her mother’s rendition as she was quickly ushered out of the room, away from pending peril. But you see, that’s just human. Our children were born to resemble us, but never to mimic us. If you wanted someone to be like you and respond like you, you should have purchased a parrot. Kids don’t do it.)

The other day someone asked me the difference between a conservative and a liberal. That’s easy. A conservative stands ten feet away and peers at you to find out if you’re going to act, react, believe and do what he or she does. If you seem to pass muster, a conservative will inch his way to your side to learn more. Liberals, on the other hand, feel no need to peer at you and skip all those steps because they already know they are superior. Either way, folks, if you look at the world as the sum total of its philosophy, you will end up with good guys and bad guys instead of just people.

Now, even though I think I have all of this down and have become a much more expansive being, parts of my training and pre-conceptions do crop up from time to time to aggravate me. I do not know what I would do if I didn’t have a spirit in me, prodding me to stop being such a predictable jerk. I would probably spend most of my time making judgments and the rest of the time rationalizing them.

So I’m leaving this rural Texas town so much the better for having met its wonderful people.  For example, when fatigue set in yesterday and I had completed my second program and it was time for me to pack up my goods and head out of town, a wonderfully energetic young man came forward to become my arms and legs, and filled in the gaps of my lacking, enabling me to load up my van without pain and anguish. He was a treasure. He was without nationality, borders, political party, denomination or even gender. He was just a damned good human.

I like being wrong. It gives other people a chance to be right.

And if we do that often enough–that is, forfeit our need to be in supremacy–then we might actually get more of the inklings and ideas of the Supreme Being.


Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:


To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!


Giants and Patriots … February 5, 2012


They will play today. Or is it battle? It all depends on how overwrought the particular announcer propagating the match wishes to become. It is a contest which has been not-so-cleverly dubbed “The Superbowl” by some executive who hastily wanted to promote another profitable event. I will certainly watch, doing my part for the cause by grimacing at the failures of athletes much more physically qualified than myself, while simultaneously over-eating in their honor. The actual event will not be as difficult to comprehend as people make it out in all of their pre-game gibberish. If the teams are evenly matched, it will come down to some escapade of a fumbling rookie or a flailing kicker. If the game is over-hyped and one team is superior, more often than not it becomes a rout. But the only thing I request is when Sunday is over and all the commercials have been run and highlights well high-lighted, let us stop on Monday morning with all Giants and Patriots.

We do not need giants and we certainly do not require any patriots. What would be nice is for people to start joining up in the marketplace and bring their true talents and honestly expose their vulnerabilities. Let’s take a look at the words–because at the end of every “giant” is an “ant,” and the conclusion of a raging “patriot” is a “riot.” So as long as we continue to make people believe that we’re all giants and that we need to be patriots, we will live in a world filled with ants rioting.

Now, the ant is a very industrious creature, but rather useless and unimpressive when it attempts to riot. Just as in today’s Superbowl, the announcers, the audience and the gathered hordes will be looking for supernatural feats from mere mortals. We seem to believe in our political, religious and economic climate that we are due a Lincoln, a new Messiah or a Henry Ford, respectively. The end result is that we have a bunch of ants rioting, insisting they’re really giants and patriots.

There is one way to be a good American–it is written between the lines in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Here it is: “I have an idea and please let me try my idea because part of my idea is to let you have an idea that you can try, too.”

Unlike the two football teams marching up and down the field today, the goal in our country is not to tackle, stomp and pummel one another. It is to try to find the jersey color of common acceptance and somehow or another, get on the same team. Take a few moments, disagree about the play-calling, but then come to the line, hike the ball–and work together.

Yet, two very nasty statements have become commonplace in our country in the past sixty days. They must be eliminated. Otherwise, all the ants will start insisting they’re giants, and the newly proclaimed patriots will begin to riot.

1. “You have to be mean to win an election in the United States of America.” This idea is being expounded as gospel on every 24-hour news cycle, and is gradually seeping into the fiber of our thinking. Someone needs to step in to sop it up quickly before we become saturated with the notion that strong-arming does anything but give you temporary control … until a stronger arm shows up. If our country must be led by the most conniving, fierce, defensive, jealous, frightened and mean-spirited individual available, then I am buying my ticket to Canada. Stop the foolishness. Every time you hear someone say, “Well, it’s just politics. They have to lie, cheat and be mean,”  you just respond, “No, thank you.”

2. “Everybody wants to be rich.” This statement slipped into the conversation this year and has become public pabulum for all the pundits who want to pontificate on the political parties. No. Not everyone wants to be rich. Having been both poor and fairly wealthy in my life, I will tell you that extremes in any temperature are bizarre, unnatural and not particularly pleasing. When I was poor I spent too much time thinking about money and when I was wealthy I spent too much time thinking about money. What most people want is the ability to pay their bills and come out on the other end feeling as victorious as a Superbowl champ. Most of would like to watch the Superbowl today without having to worry about overextending our checking accounts by buying that extra batch of chicken wings. That’s about it.

Trying to make being rich the epitome of the human journey is exactly the opposite of every philosophy and spiritual energy ever unleashed in the better parts of the human heart. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” According to the present thinking, plenty.

We must stop the giants, who are really ants, and all the raging patriots who just create a sense of false importance and riots. In other words, be a good American. Help out with the real Superbowl of our society. Here’s how:

“I have an idea and please let me try my idea because part of my idea is to let you have an idea that you can try, too.”


Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:


To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!


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