Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4050)

Sitting Twenty

Actually, there was no Yellow Pages printed out by the local community.

Even though the town was emotionally depressed, spiritually entrenched and socially retarded, it had culturally caught up to the current century in technology. Therefore most astute businesspeople found their information via their computers. Yet there were several private schools in the city which had agreed to put together a Yellow Pages, including telephone numbers and business ads, to raise money for their institutions so that their students could have at least some good of the better, if not the best.

Karin’s editor, in a fit of civic pride and an unusual bout of generosity, had purchased twenty of the volumes, which now lay around the office ignored, threatening to be fire hazards.

Karin tired of web surfing, so she resorted to one of the catalogues, which began with a table of contents, including:

Agencies

Banks

Child Psychologists

Doctors

Educators

Financiers

Grocers

Helping Hands

Insurance Companies

Judges

Kan-Ga-Roofing

Labor Organizations

Mothers

Newspapers

Office Supplies

Priests

Q-Tie-Pie Child Care

Religious Organizations

Senators

Teachers

UNICEF

Videos

Women

X-Ray Technicians

Youth Clubs, and the

Zoo

Yes, everything from A to Z. It seemed that blessed benefactors were bountiful—an alliteration of possibilities of people to hit up.

Karin entered the project optimistic and energetic, but soon found that no one wanted to become involved—at least not directly or openly. Yet amazingly, almost everyone offered something, even if it was just negative advice. After about six hours of calling, Karin sat back, having secured the following assistance through her persistence:

One Port-a-john toilet

Sixteen orange construction cones

Seven miscellaneous books in Aramaic

Two fluorescent green soccer balls

Four pairs of tennis shoes

One hundred dollars-worth of gift certificates for food items

One teddy bear

A bag of army men

Three Bibles

Two Korans

A single copy of the Talmud

Seventeen sympathetic sentiments

Eighteen guarantees to participate “if someone else does something first”

A promise from a politician to do his part after he was elected

And a bag of all-black jellybeans

Karin perused the list carefully, trying to determine if there was any theme to the collection, and finally decided that the common thread to the whole encounter was: thoughtful but basically worthless.

Persisting, she decided to chase down one more idea. Some press coverage would help, but nobody at the wire services and news agencies expressed interest. A universal chorus arose from all hearers. It was either, “no story there,” or the story that was there was too scary to chase.

As a matter of fact, one cranky son-of-a-gun called the situation “blasphemous.” When Karin inquired what made it blasphemous, he replied, “That’s easy. If you want to make money and you live in the Middle East, anything that’s too hot to handle is best determined to be blasphemous.”

He continued, “It would be like someone calling me on the phone who said he had a huge scoop about an abortion doctor who discovered the mysterious gay gene while vacationing with his mistress in Red China.” His conclusion to Karin? “Although intriguing, there’s no part of the topic that’s public-friendly, so therefore, it must be classified as blasphemous and be avoided—like a Biblical plague.”

Karin listened carefully, wanting to object to comparing the two boys to locusts, but before she could speak, he added, “Arabs and Jews want to pretend that they don’t have a problem, and they certainly don’t want two upstarts reminding them that they are lying to each other.”

She tried to insert a thought, but the line was dead. She was pretty sure he hung up on her. Still, one possibility remained.

She picked up her phone one last time and called…

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3924)

Sitting Two

Weeks passed.

A friendship was forged.

Dreams were discussed.

Such sweet relationship—made possible when both souls are not afraid to share their hearts.

Somewhere along the way, Jubal and Amir forgot that they were supposed to be enemies. Unfortunately, this caused them to be careless and brought the scrutiny of overly concerned friends and anxious parents.

It was bizarre.

No one was exactly willing to forbid the relationship, nor was anyone ready to verbalize his or her own bigotry. It was assessed, and therefore assumed, that the friendship between the two lads was impractical and taking up too much time.

“Are you saying I cannot see Amir?” Jubal demanded.

“I am saying that Amir’s family, like ours, probably has many duties for their own son that cannot be shirked for playtime,” Jubal’s father stated.

“Did you answer my question?” Jubal stood defiantly.

“I would like you to stop seeing the little Palestinian boy. It is too dangerous,” he replied frankly.

“Dangerous?” asked Jubal.

Jubal’s father rose, striking a threatening pose. “I do not have time to explain to my son the ways of the world, which he should already understand by now.”

“Well, I don’t understand,” said Jubal, hand on his hip, stomping his foot.

What should have been the beginning of a good discussion was ended abruptly, the patriarch leaving Jubal to mope.

But this time, the boy didn’t. Instead, he reasoned. A plan was devised. Perhaps not really a plan—more a notion. One of those fledgling ideas absent a body of detail.

It was simple in its way. In the minds of young Amir and Jubal, it was more important to be together, having fun, than it was to accept what was considered to be “the reasonable way.”

Or was it just one threat too many?

At any rate, each fellow gathered his provisions and scouted out a location.

“It must be far from the village on a small rise, so visitors can be viewed in the distance,” said Amir.

“And be shaded by some trees,” Jubal contributed.

For Jubal and Amir were planning on running away. They had their reasons. What they needed was a place to go. They would not stay away forever—an afternoon, a day, a week—who can tell such things? Yet a statement needed to be made, and in the meantime they could be joined as one.

Jubal brought a small tent, some bread, water, a collection of games and a few pictures. Amir brought food and water, too, along with a partially deflated soccer ball and extra clothing.

Having selected their location and planned their escape, one morning two households awoke, each absent a son. Amir and Jubal were together—at least for now.

And when you’re twelve, now is all that matters.

 

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Confessing … May 9th, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2576)

I.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Some years ago, my two sons joined a junior high soccer team at their school–a program which was a perennial loser.

It turns out that my fellows were quite good and joined others in rejuvenating the team to victory.

It was very exciting. I don’t believe I ever missed a game.

On one Thursday afternoon, I was sitting in the stands with family members and a bunch of other excited parents as our home team literally obliterated the other visiting squad, 12-1.

The boys were so thrilled.

Everybody was jumping up and down, shouting and hollering, with all sorts of victory catcalls–until the opposing coach walked over and strongly requested to be able to address both teams with some of his reservations.

The young men who had been so jubilant suddenly found themselves sitting in the middle of the field on the ground, being lectured on good sportsmanship by the guy who just lost the game.

It lit my fuse. I lost my cool.

I walked out on the field, yanked my boys from the circle and headed them toward the car. The preaching coach asked me what my problem was.

I turned around and said, “You’re the one who needs the lecture…on how to be a better loser.”

There was a cheer from some of the nearby parents, so I felt justified.

On the way home I railed against the coach in front of my children, being further energized by my own sense of self-righteousness.

But I was wrong.

You see, sometimes I feel justified about being wrong because I’m convinced I’m not as wrong as someone else. I’m only responsible for my wrong–not the wrongdoings of the entire planet.

I spent the next week in turmoil, my conscience challenging my irrational behavior, until I finally apologized to my children, my family and also went to the nearby school and offered my repentance to the coach.

It felt good to confess.

But even as I tell the story today, I am curious if there is any part of me that still welcomes that infuriated, pompous ass who spewed his anger on the field that day.

I don’t really grow until I take what I’ve done wrong and murder it off every day when it tries to resurrect.

Am I capable of becoming incensed over the foolishness I see around me? I’m on the hunt to find it–because joining the insanity does not aid the treatment.

We have enough people in the asylum.

What we lack are caregivers.

soccer devil

 

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Populie: We Are Blessed… November 12, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2411)

african children with bowls bigger

Three billion people in the world live on less than $2.50 a day. That is nearly half.

46.5 million people in the United States live below the poverty line. That’s 15% of adults and 21.8% of children.

Yet we still continue to persist in the popular belief that prosperity is determined by blessing and that the evidence of sin, iniquity or evil is accentuated by the curse of being impoverished.

It is the populie:

  • If all is going well, God is with me.
  • If I face my share of adversity, God has abandoned me.

This populie is spun by the entertainment industry, which places physical beauty above the bounty of spirit.

Politics wholeheartedly believes that money is the proof of value.

And religion teaches that the prophets of old suffered persecution, while publicly insisting that a gospel of God’s favor being shown through prosperity.

But the spiritual rate of exchange in the universe is good cheer. Let me relate a story.

When a Christian adoption organization went into Central America to attempt to raise funds for the children, who were ravaged by inadequacy and financial desperation, all of the pictures of the little ones were peppered with smiles. They finally had to teach them how to frown in order for the cameras to convey the desperate message to the hard-hearted Americans.

The reason the children were so delighted–aside from the fact that this was the way they had learned to live–was that one of the camera men had wrapped a large rock in duct tape, and the children were suddenly blessed with a soccer ball.

America has become both paranoid and neurotic over its own greed. Because we have made beauty and money the center of our consciousness, we are incapable of being satisfied with anything less.

Even though good cheer is the only true way to overcome all circumstances and to react to all benefits, we allow ourselves the luxury of being depressed when confronted with difficulty and produce a phony sense of joy when we win the lottery. Yet a followup on most lottery winners shows that it fails to bring contentment, but rather, conflict and destitution.

So the fact of the matter is, it is impossible to attain sanity without eliminating craziness. And if you believe that the sun coming out on your wedding day means approval for your union, and rain falling on the same occasion might be an omen from God of pending disaster, then your next stop will probably be medication for your depression or ending up in a loony bin.

The only way to truly be blessed as a human being is to receive what is provided, find a way to work with it and maintain a sense of balance and good cheer.

If I were to look in the mirror to determine my value, I might end up suicidal.

If I ascertained the presence of God in my life by my financial take-in this year, I would probably believe myself abandoned.

But this has been one of the greatest years of my life–because the trial of my faith has taught me patience, which has allowed me to learn how to have good cheer in all realms.

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