Sit Down Comedy …March 8th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I recently moved, abandoning my old fortress of solitude for new digs, which I now comfortably call home.

In my whole life I have done this process twelve times. I was a little surprised to discover that this is statistically average.

Whenever I move, the first thing I do is go out and buy a box of garbage bags. Why? Because I’m going to give away a whole lot of stuff. These are the materials that crept into my life, were used temporarily, and ended up being stored in my closet or corners, where I intentionally forgot them.

It’s a very easy evaluation process. As I begin to pack things, I look at each item and ask myself the following three questions:

  1. Have I used this in the past three months?
  2. Will I use it a lot in the next three months?
  3. Is there someone who would really like to use it right now?

It makes things so easy. I not only end up moving but am able to bless a whole bunch of people who get the rejects I’ve been keeping around out of sentimentality mingled with laziness.

But you see, likewise, every once in a while, when something in my life needs to be moved, shifted or rearranged, I will dare to enter my closet of emotions and see what might be in there that is unnecessary.

There are three main culprits:

A. Worry

It gets shuffled to the rear and pretends it’s not there until you glance at it and then, the apprehension surfaces.

B. Pride

It always likes to be hung up high where it can be seen but does nothing to enhance my being except puff up my ego and is quickly deflated by reality.

C. And finally, self-pity

This one really likes to hide, like a cockroach surprised by turning on the light in the middle of the night. It likes to pretend it doesn’t exist, but self-pity literally “bugs me.”

When I look at these emotions—worry, pride and self-pity—I know deep in my heart that they’re worthless, but I keep them around for those times when others are not concerned, praising me—or they might even be ignoring me.

They suck. Yes, these fretting emotions literally suck the life out of me.

Because when I pose the three questions to them, which need to be asked of any emotion, they always fail. The three questions are:

  • Is this emotion making me money?
  • Is this emotion making me friends?
  • Is this emotion making me smarter?

Honestly, I do not feel old, but I am too ancient to waste time worrying pridefully in a puddle of self-pity. I need things in my life that make me money, friends and turn me into a smarter being.

So will you join me in grabbing a sack, finding your worry, your pride and your self-pity, bagging it up and giving it away for Goodwill?

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Good News and Better News … May 7h, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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West Virginia Jon and Jan

Wedged, Virginia.

Yes, squeezed in between West Virginia and Virginia is the little village of Peterstown, where I was fortunate to spend my Mother’s Day Sunday with the fine brothers and sisters of the Mountaineer State.

I don’t know whether it’s the blessing of aging or a submission of my well-traveled soul, but I seem to be finding greater delight in the human beings around me instead of constantly taking an inventory of their deficits.

I don’t know if the world is getting better or not, but perhaps if I decide to get better, the world might just seem that way.

The good news is that I see a gradual awakening in the American population–an alarm clock going off, letting us know that we’re in need of a new morning. Honestly, no one is springing out of bed to face the day. Most of us are reluctantly reaching over to punch the snooze button, hoping to gain a few more moments of unconsciousness.

But the alarm continues to sound.

It rings in our politics, our racial relationships, our families, our educational system, and certainly in our churches.

As it pertains to the latter, we are mercifully beginning to understand that church is not a dining experience, where we perch, get served a meal, and sit around with our friends discussing the menu and the quality of the attention given to us by the waitress.

Church would be better described as a self-service gas station, where we roll in knowing we need fuel, but understanding that we’re going to have to give something to get it.

That’s what I sensed Sunday morning with the Peterstown conclave.

They might be willing to be served–but they also were completely open to the idea that it is their turn to give back to the system.

God did not create human beings to worship Him. The angels had already filled that position. God created human beings for companionship and to replenish the Earth.

So every minute we spend in His house, we should enjoy sweet fellowship among our friends and great conversation with our Heavenly Father, preparing ourselves to replenish the Earth.

And what does “replenishing the Earth” mean?

Giving back just a little more than we take.

So I come out of my experience in “Wedged, Virginia” rejoicing over the alarm that is awakening our culture from a deep sleep of emotional and spiritual lethargy.

That’s the good news.

The better news is that we human beings are always smarter, sharper and funnier when we’re involved–instead of sittin’ on our butts, waiting for the dinner rolls to be served.

West Virginia Composite 2

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 16th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Man: Did you ever see a three-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy treat each other differently?

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely not.

 

Dear Man: So you see, all these things that we are told are “instinctive” in the genders of our species are really instructed and nearly beat into us during our upbringing.

 

Dear Woman: Well, beat is a little strong.

 

Dear Man: Is it? Because my problem with men right now is that I feel it’s my responsibility to trick them, lie to them and ease them into situations of my liking.

 

Dear Woman: Likewise, I am informed that you are a ticking time bomb which I should be careful handling, or otherwise the whole mess will blow up in my face.

 

Dear Man: It makes us passive-aggressive. In other words, there’s something I want, but I have to cheat or deceive my way into accomplishing it, because I am not really convinced you have my best interest at heart.

 

Dear Woman: With all due respect, it is comically driven home to me that you couldn’t possibly be interested in what excites me, so I have to hide it from you to keep peace.

 

Dear Man: So here’s the question. Can we have a passive-aggresive relationship with each other, based upon dishonesty, and expect to ever enter the realm of affection, which includes trust?

 

Dear Woman: Hell, no. Candidly, I don’t trust you. I don’t believe you’re out for my best. I don’t think you have any desire to include me in your inner sanctum of truth, but instead, want to wheedle and deedle around my wishes just so you can have a dinner partner.

 

Dear Man: That’s a little strong. But I basically feel the same way–except I’m really wheedling and deedling to be able to say that I’m not alone and that I’ve fulfilled the American dream of being attractive enough to bag a partner.

 

Dear Woman: So if the system’s rotten, do we have to tear down the whole thing and start over?

 

Dear Man: No, I don’t think so. That’s too exhausting. I think we just have to make sure we don’t make the same mistake that Adam and Eve did.

 

Dear Woman: Okay. Elaborate.

 

Dear Man: Well, my understanding of the story is that Eve didn’t really agree with the instructions about what to eat in this Garden, but had no means of communicating with God–or the man she was with. So she went passive-aggressive. She took Adam on a walk, and they ended up at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and because she was dissatisfied and unable to share her feelings, she fell into a trap of being attracted to the beauty of the tree and the notion that eating that fruit would make her smarter. Honestly–nobody wants to be smarter unless they fear they’re dumb. Who made her feel dumb? Was it Adam’s silence after sex? Did she think God and Adam were in a club that did not include her? But if you read the story, Adam is with her the whole time–but passively aggressively pretends that it’s all her doing. So pretty early on, the human race began to act like the opposite sex was just that–opposite.

 

Dear Woman: I never thought of it that way, but it’s completely logical. So here’s what I get out of this. First, if I don’t understand, I should tell you I don’t understand and not be afraid that you’ll think I’m an idiot.

 

Dear Man: And if I don’t agree, I should be able to tell you I don’t agree without coming across like I’m right instead of just curious.

 

Dear Woman: And we shouldn’t assume that the other person won’t like something just because of the way they comb their hair.

 

Dear Man: Comb their hair?

 

Dear Woman: I thought of other things, but that was the most polite way to say it.

 

Dear Man: Passive-aggressive is when I think I can control you by withholding information.

 

Dear Woman: Withholding information is what we do when we want to be dominant instead of cooperative.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … February 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: I was reading something on the Internet…

 

Dear Woman: Uh-oh. That can be a real bear trap.

 

Dear Man: No kidding. Because there’s no way to “vet” articles on the Internet, I don’t know whether to believe them or ignore them–simply because they’re on that medium. But anyway, it was written by this guy who said it was just natural, in the evolution of our species, that men are meant to be the head of the house and women are supposed to be submissive.

 

Dear Woman: I hate that word.

 

Dear Man: Submissive?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. It’s got all sorts of negative implications to me.

 

Dear Man: I agree. But submitting to wisdom, goodness, kindness, knowledge and progress is a good thing.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, but that’s not what they mean by submission. Their definition of submission is that if someone has a penis, he’s in charge.

 

Dear Man: And the vagina is supposed to give in to the wishes of the ruling penis.

 

Dear Woman: This conversation’s getting weird.

 

Dear Man: It is, isn’t it? Is it because of the words we’re using, or because the idea of submission is basically inhuman?

 

Dear Woman: I don’t think it’s inhuman. There are times I need to submit. There are times I need to submit to women.

 

Dear Man: But the word is so ugly.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, it’s half of the problem in my opinion.

 

Dear Man: What’s the other half?

 

Dear Woman: Oh, the way they say, in this snarky voice, “Women are smarter than men.”

 

Dear Man: Maybe we’ve found the problem. You’ve got two sides of the same coin. You’ve got some men who want women to submit to them no matter what, and some women who want to be dominant by insisting they’re smarter.

 

Dear Woman: I think that is the problem. I hate both of those thoughts. Why can’t we be just be logical about it?

 

Dear Man: Logical in what way?

 

Dear Woman: Try this on. Sometimes you know more than I do and it’s okay. It’s okay that you know more, and it’s not the end of the world that in this particular instance, I know less.

 

Dear Man: Sometimes you know more, and it’s still okay. I don’t have to fall into a giant vat of gooey glue with all the females of the species, and appear to be weak simply because in one situation, I don’t know as much.

 

Dear Woman: Let me go on. Then there’s you and me. Sometimes together we know nothing, and that’s okay if we admit it.

 

Dear Man: That means we are looking for something to be submissive to.

 

Dear Woman: I never thought of it that way, but it is true. Knowing nothing is a positive position if you’re aware of it and you’re looking for input.

 

Dear Man: Can I conclude with this? That means that every single day of our lives, we know that there are people who are smarter than we are, and that ends up being the best okay–because we can tap their wisdom and get the benefit.

 

Dear Woman: So sometimes you have the edge and I submit to you.

 

Dear Man: Likewise, sometimes you are ahead of the game and I submit your way.

 

Dear Woman: And it’s possible for both of us to be ignorant and we’re searching for a place to submit.

 

Dear Man: Which means we have to be willing to acknowledge that there are smarter people.

 

Dear Woman: And it doesn’t matter if they’re male or female–just that in this given situation, they have what’s needed.

 

Dear Man: Do you think we could sell that?

 

Dear Woman: Well, let’s be honest. Somebody had to come along and sell people on the idea that men were intended to be the head of the household…

 

Dear Man: …and that women are smarter than men.

 

Dear Woman: Neither idea is true.

 

Dear Man: So I think we’ve got a shot at convincing people that we submit to each other … based upon who has the best insight. 

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G-Poppers … February 5th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

On any given Sunday, G-Pop has the honor of sitting and sharing in front of an audience that mingles Republicans and Democrats indiscriminately.

Matter of fact, the Sunday morning church service may be the last location in our great country where conservatives and liberals have to sit side-by-side and crack open a common hymn book and sing harmoniously.

One of G-Pop’s sons suggested that such an environment demands too much compromise to be of use in the “kingdom of truth.”

Not so.

In the realm of reconciliation and the pursuit of being a peacemaker, there are only two enemies, and only one true danger.

Separating these two enemies is the job of every good-thinking man and woman. The two enemies are arrogance and ignorance:

  • Arrogance contends, “I am smarter than you.”
  • And ignorance insists, “I am better than you.

Every tragedy which has befallen our species has occurred when the statesmen and spiritual leaders of our time became too busy with politics and religion, allowing arrogance and ignorance to coalesce.

As long as we keep them separated, we can address the insecurities they possess individually.

Case in point:

Racism is the merging of arrogance and ignorance–people who think they’re smarter than other people, who also have decreed that they’re better.

It happened with the Nazis–the arrogance of Germanic tribes who thought they were smarter led to the conclusion that they were better–a Super Race.

It is what festers in the Middle East.

And it is what causes us–a supposedly enlightened people–to still be struggling over issues of color, sexuality and gender, far beyond the time of reasonability.

G-Pop teaches a simple message.

He tells people clearly, “If I am smarter than you in some areas, you are certainly smarter than me in others.”

And … no one is better than anyone else.

 

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The Alphabet of Us: C is for Cunning… December 22, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2451)

Baby block C bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

Three pushy forces bully us to conform to the pattern of what is now considered, in this short-sighted season, to be normal.

  • “I must be better”
  • “I must be popular”
  • “I must be smarter”

Human beings were never meant to be consistent. It is within the spectrum of our unpredictability that we create our learning curve and our charm. When we deny this vulnerability, we place ourselves in a position where we must defend our “better,” our “popular” and our “smarter.”

Unfortunately, this leads to lying. And even worse than lying is the misconception that we can actually pull it off. This is cunning.

Cunning is the contention that “because I am better, very popular and smarter, I can trick you into believing whatever I desire.” It is ugly, selfish–and worst of all, it is doomed.

To escape cunning you have to counteract the three pushy bullies and speak the truth about your own inconsistent journey.

1. I am not better. I need to fail. I need to admit I fail. Failure is my only hope for escaping the disaster at the end of repeated stupidity.

2. Although I love human beings, I don’t need to be popular if such notoriety comes along with sacrificing my character and my soul.

3. The only way to become smarter is to learn from people who know more. This requires that I admit that I am less intelligent.

At the root of every drama which ends in defeat is a character who contends that he or she is better than others, popular for a time and smarter, which enables them to use cunning to produce the backdrop for their demise.

You will never be destroyed by being weak.

You will be destroyed by acting strong and ending up weak.

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Quatrain of My Birthday … December 16, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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back of head

If one year older

Is one season wiser

And I’m not smarter

How about a refund?

 

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Click here for information on "567"--the Sermon on the Mount retold in story, song and music

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