3 Things … January 17th, 2019

 


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That Make You Appear You Know What You’re Doing

 

1.  Don’t be stubborn, pursuing things that aren’t working

 

 2.  Show up with an idea and be open to suggestions

 

 3.  Celebrate your progress before beginning the next project

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3 Things … January 10th, 2019

 


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That Light Up the Darkness

  

  1. When there is little available, don’t be demanding.

 

  1. Celebrate progress, even if it’s small. 

 

  1. Don’t get stubborn—evolve.

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)

Iz and Pal

In a basket full of oranges, it is often the singular, lonely apple which gains attention.

This is an endearing characteristic of the human race—we are intrigued by difference while simultaneously frightened of the diversity.

So in our day and age, in the midst of clamoring for resolutions, often based on military might, a breath of fresh air comes into the atmosphere of pending war in a region ironically referred to as “The Holy Land.”

Amir and Jubal, two boys who grew up in different camps of a raging, never-ending conflict—one Arab, one Jew—find one another. They rename themselves “Iz” and “Pal” and strike out to change the world around them by creating a love between them. They determine to maintain their friendship amidst the granite-headed thinking of a stubborn society.

“Iz and Pal” chronicles the journey they take, the friends they encounter along the way, the surprising enemies—with a stunning resolution which will keep you riveted to the pages of this odyssey in exploring the value of peace.

Starting next week, I will share sittings from this novella with you, and hope that, in its simple way, it can transcend the pessimism of fruitless negotiations and invite an essential revelation:

After all, no war is ever finished until the children say “No more.”

 

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Ask Jonathots … May 19th, 2016

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I heard an Olympic official on a national television news show say, “People will always cheat. It’s human nature.” Do you think this is true?

“To err is human and to forgive is divine.”

This is the classic axiom.

Unfortunately, the proverb has a missing piece. Actually, it should state: “To err is human, but to repent is human also.”

There are two little devils that chase the human heart, trying to turn us into scoundrels.

Ignorance and arrogance.

We only become hapless when we try to combine these two and justify one with the other.

For instance, I may say something stupid, which is completely forgivable unless I try to convince you that it wasn’t stupid at all–you either misunderstood me or you’re not hip to my particular perception of life.

Ignorance is forgivable.

But when it links up with arrogance, not even divinity can salvage such a stubborn creature.

So my problem with the statement provided in your question is that as long as we view cheating as a normal side road taken by humans which needs to be avoided and confessed, we are fine. But when we begin to believe it’s part of our character–an arrogant segment of us that cannot be removed–we not only lose our redemption, but we lose any portion of us to redeem.

So what is the correct profile?

  • Ignorance happens.
  • Ignorance is exposed.
  • Ignorance is confessed.
  • Forgiveness is granted.
  • Knowledge expands.

This is the process that makes a solid human being.

But if we express ignorance, have it exposed and we defend it with our arrogance or insist that what we have done is “no worse than anyone else,” then forgiveness is impossible and knowledge is stalled.

Repentance is not a noble action, but rather, a necessary position that all humans take to make sure that we progress in wisdom and understanding instead of finding ourselves falling back on the failing positions of former times.

So in conclusion, I would say that ignorance happens, and as long as arrogance doesn’t show up, repentance can open the door to forgiveness, which allows knowledge to rule the day.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 30th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Woman: About three years ago, I banged up my knee and ended up being sent to a specialist in a big city about 150 miles away, so I had to spend the night in a motel.

 

Dear Man: I’m so sorry.

 

Dear Woman: Well, my story’s not about the injury–well, not exactly. Anyway, when I arrived at the motel, they only had rooms on the second floor, but said not to worry about it because they had an elevator. So I hobbled over to the elevator, spent the night, and the next morning, I was trying to figure out how I could get my suitcase downstairs. I headed off toward the elevator. Lo and behold, it was out of order. So I was on the second floor, seemingly with no way to get down. But I was stubborn. Let me tell you–I wasn’t innately stubborn because I’m a man–no I was taught that men must do everything for themselves. But when I got to the stairs, I realized that there was absolutely no way I could get down, pulling my suitcase awkwardly behind me. I was stymied. There was no one around. It was really odd because I felt this chilling sensation of fear that went all the way down into my bowels. I felt helpless. All at once, a young woman in her early twenties appeared at the bottom of the steps. She said, “Would you like me to carry that bag down for you?” My first inclination was to turn her down. The whole event happened so quickly, but I recall thinking to myself, why would I turn her down? Of course, it was because she was a girl. I’m a man, she’s a woman, so I should be helping her with her bag instead of her suggesting that I needed assistance. I delayed long enough that she piped up, “I’m really strong. And it looks like right now, you really aren’t.” I know it’s silly, but I wanted to bristle. I wanted to explain my history of immense physicality, that this was just a temporary setback. But instead, I surrendered. Surrendering is not a bad thing. Surrendering is when we realize that where we are is where we are–and it’s not going to change simply because we don’t want to be there. I told her I appreciated the help. She climbed up, picked up my bag and carried it downstairs as I stumbled my way, barely surviving the descent with the rest of my limbs intact. I thanked her. She said, “No. Thank you. Lots of guys would have turned me down and ended up hurting themselves, cursing the Earth because they were too stupid to take the help.” With this, she turned on her heel and left.

 

Dear Man: Pretty cool person.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, I know. But when I hear people stomping around talking about “the woman card,” or “man’s responsibility,” I realize that all this production we put into the gender roles falls apart when any of us is weakened to the point that we need to be uplifted.

 

Dear Man: Sometimes I’m the strong one, and sometimes there are things I just can’t handle. I’m not stronger when I’m controlling, nor am I weaker when I exhaust my possibilities.

 

Dear Woman: There is an element to being a human which makes us tolerable. It’s when we escape the pride associated with our gender and we allow ourselves the interaction which truly makes us valuable to the human tribe.

 

Dear Man: So there is no woman card.

 

Dear Woman: And there is no man card. There’s just the next thing that’s going to happen, and whether we will be honest about how much we will need others.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 13) Logic … February 28th, 2016

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Jesonian hands

Logic is knowing what to use, how much to apply, how long to pursue and who to involve.

Logic is often avoided because people want to revere words like “faith” or “perseverance.”

Unfortunately, because we’re human beings, we often ignore logic–not out of some noble venture of scanning the heavens but rather, due to a stubborn nature or lazy disposition.

There are even those who contend that if they are true believers in a Divine Being, they must reject logic in favor of hope.

But in the Jesonian, we have the balance:  it’s knowing when to apply the right measure of faithful effort.

For sometimes …

1. Let it pay out.

In other words, get your hands on it.

It’s not anybody else’s business but yours. It is in the scope of your ability. It is part of your daily bread. It is the talent that has been given to you, which needs to be multiplied. It is God, sitting back in his easy chair in heaven, waiting for you to take authority.

It is important to know when we are supposed to get our hands on it and mold it into something beautiful.

2. Let it play out.

Get your hands off of it.

Once it has become obvious that our input is counterproductive or useless, the quicker we abandon the present dilemma and move on, the better the chance that the Natural Order can play it out and good things can be born.

We spend too much time arguing at walls about why they are there. We are not called to knock down walls. We are to avoid the walls, and let Mother Nature tear down the barricade.

People ask me what I think about certain issues. Truthfully, I don’t. They are often anti-human, anti-kindness, anti-wisdom and certainly anti-logic.

My job is to let it play out and get my hands off of it.

3. Let it pray out.

Get God’s hands on it.

There is a gap between what we are able to achieve and what needs to be done. It is what the Good Book calls the “need” that God is prepared to supply.

God will always give us wisdom and strength, and sometimes it is His good pleasure to give us the Spirit to intervene on behalf of humanity.

When something is important and your hands cannot touch it, and other hands need to be removed from it, then put it in God’s hands.

This three-part anointing of logic will suit you well in everyday life–just by simply posing the question:

Whose hands are needed here?

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Ask Jonathots … January 7th, 2016

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Does wisdom come with age? Even today, kids are taught to “respect their elders,” but sometimes I’m not sure why. What are your thoughts on the notion that years add value?

I suppose the reason that “wisdom comes with age” has been promoted and generally believed by the populace is that the passage of years does grant more opportunity to screw up and survive.

But the truth of the matter is that wisdom is an understanding of the limitations of knowledge. Plainly, merely accumulating information which is deemed “correct” does not mean that the discovery of additional data in the future will not contradict or even eliminate your former comprehension.

People who become stubborn about their present knowledge will not only fail to become wise, but eventually will be considered ignorant.

So at any age you can learn the key to wisdom.

Wisdom has three basic parts that never change, and if you learn them, you can transfer your present ideas into a workable format for real life. The three parts are:

  1. Nothing is ever exactly what you think.

Aren’t you glad? It means you don’t have to be arrogant, therefore you don’t have to come across so foolish when you’re proven to be incorrect.

  1. Nothing will remain the same.

Even our faith evolves as we comprehend more about the true nature of life and God.

  1. Nothing is exclusive.

More simply phrased, anything you hear that leaves out one group of people in favor of another will eventually be exposed as errant.

So if you approach the knowledge that comes your way by filtering it through these three classic principles, you can become wise at any age.

If you don’t, you can end up looking like an 80-year-old dim-wit. 

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