Ask Jonathots … March 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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The medical field keeps people alive much longer than it used to. Do you think this is a good thing?

Are you asking me, do I think more people should be dying? (Somehow or another, I think this is a trick question.)

For thousands of years, life offered only one possibility: quality.

Quantity was fairly unlikely, except in a few rare cases, where longevity was miraculously granted without any obvious effort by the recipient.

Most people, from the time they were children, grew up with an awareness of their mortality and the realization that death was not only present, but often imminent.

So over the years, through medical advances, we have succeeded in increasing the quantity of life without really doing anything to enhance the quality.

This is what I feel about long life: Long life is wonderful if it’s good life.

To me, good life has three elements:

  1. Purposeful work.
  2. Expanding, growing relationships
  3. A good balance of vulnerability and confidence.

The medical field does not address these situations, nor should it have to. This should be the responsibility of our philosophers, teachers and ministers.

If you’re only going to live longer to spend that time fussing about your health, well-being and treatments, then I’m not sure what you’re achieving by becoming a prisoner of your own body.

So I think pursuing a long life is an enriching experience as long as you avoid a trio of negative by-products:

A. Becoming obsessed with your physical health to the detriment of your emotional and spiritual health.

B. Allowing your concern about health to encompass your conversation to the point that you become irrelevant to younger people.

C. Living so long that you settle for a less-than-fulfilling situation, which is only a fragment of what you originally intended to have in your life journey.

Somewhere along the line we need to understand what life is all about. A great teacher once stated that “life is more than the body–what we shall eat and what we shall wear.”

So true.

So if you can give the same attention to your body that you have given to your heart, soul and mind, then I think it’s possible to live on for a long time…with joy.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: Do you think I’m smart?

 

Dear Woman: Trick question, am I right?

 

Dear Man: No trick. I just wonder if you find me intelligent.

 

Dear Woman: I guess I’d have to know what you mean by intelligent.

 

Dear Man: Stop analyzing the question and give me your general impression of my brain power.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, I think you’re smart.

 

Dear Man: No, you don’t.

 

Dear Woman: So it was a trick question.

 

Dear Man: No, but if you thought I was smart you would have answered immediately instead of trying to figure out what I was getting at.

 

Dear Woman: Are you trying to say that you don’t understand why I try to figure out what you’re getting at?

 

Dear Man: Do you think I’m too sensitive?

 

Dear Woman: Are we moving on to another question?

 

Dear Man: Let me explain.

 

Dear Woman: Please do.

 

Dear Man: I think I’ve got something figured out. I have a tendency to share what I feel. You, on the other hand, offer what you think.

 

Dear Woman: I would agree with that.

 

Dear Man: Please don’t interrupt me. I’m on a roll. So I react by feeling about what you think and that forces you to think about what I feel, which more or less–at least partially–aggravates both of us, and because we think aggravation might lead to fighting, we shut up and pout in our own corner.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t pout.

 

Dear Man: Yes, you do. You just call it “going for a drive.” Or “watching a football game,” when you don’t even know the names of the teams. Anyway, once we get aggravated and we don’t deal with it, there’s enough of it left over inside both of us that we’re not courteous to each other, or at least not as much as we should be. And then we are both quietly offended by that lack of courtesy and soon we begin to believe we have drifted apart.

 

Dear Woman: So you figured this out on your own.

 

Dear Man: Yeah. I think a lot about us. Don’t you think about me?

 

Dear Woman: Definitely a trick question. Yes, of course I think about you. It’s hard not to consider someone you share a bed with every night.

 

Dear Man: So what do you think can be done about this?

 

Dear Woman: Maybe nothing. Maybe it’s just the way things are. Maybe it’s part of the imperfection that’s evolving. Who knows?

 

Dear Man: Don’t you think there’s a middle ground? A place between my feelings and your thinking where we can meet?

 

Dear Woman: I don’t know and that’s an honest answer. I really don’t know.

 

Dear Man: We go to church.

 

Dear Woman: Every once in a while.

 

Dear Man: Right. Did you ever notice something? In the story of Adam and Eve, God doesn’t give them two different sets of instructions. There wasn’t a manly way to take care of the Garden and a girly way. Just one way.

 

Dear Woman: I never thought of it, but I guess you’re right.

 

Dear Man: And if I can continue, there’s not a blue Bible for the boys and a pink Bible for the girls.

 

Dear Woman: That’s cute. I bet somebody will eventually try that, though.

 

Dear Man: And without getting too religious, Jesus did say that in the Kingdom of God there is neither male nor female.

 

Dear Woman: I get all that, but what are you trying to say?

 

Dear Man: I’m saying that if God thought we could get along, there must be a way to do it, or he was a real ass for creating an impossible situation, and then sitting back and laughing at our arguments.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t think you can call God an ass.

 

Dear Man: I’m not calling God an ass, I’m saying that anybody who would torture people with a hope that does not exist would be an ass.

 

Dear Woman: I agree.

 

Dear Man: So the reason I asked you if you think I’m smart is that I came up with this idea. What if I took what I felt and tried to make it more thoughtful, and you took your thinking and allowed for more feeling, and we ended up landing together in something that had spirit?

 

Dear Woman: And what would we call that place?

 

Dear Man: Human.

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