G-Poppers … March 31st, 2017


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G-Pop realizes that it could be considered irrational, ill-founded or even un-American to speak against the common phrase, “Be careful.”

The statement has become a staple of our society.

It is synonymous with “I’ll pray for you” or “you’re in my thoughts.”

It’s a tribal exchange of an acceptable spirit of worry between human beings, as we admit that life is dangerous and often out to harm us.

The difficulty with the sentiment is that if everyone on Earth is careful, then we stop having a free flow of interaction, which deteriorates to suspicion. Suspicion is a monster with a huge appetite. It feeds on prejudice–and once prejudice is in place, we find ourselves at war with each other without exactly remembering how it all began.

G-Pop wants his children to be safe. He just believes that the best way to achieve that is to be kind instead of being careful. Careful is misinterpreted. It’s misunderstood. It’s often received as bigotry.

And once people believe that you do not trust them, like them or consider them your equal, you actually increase the possibility of being harangued.

Certainly kindness is threatened by a world of knives and intimidation. This is true. But a kind thought, a kind countenance and a kind word removes any concept of superiority. Most people hurt one another because they feel they are forced to be inferior.

“Be careful” may be something a mother says to her son or daughter as they launch off to college–but college is not a station for being careful. It’s a place to learn, experience, try new things and uncover the talent that may end up providing wage and purpose.

“Be careful” is going to push us to the brink of global alienation.

So as frightening as it may seem, or as unsure as it appears, being kind is the best way to create the neutrality that will lead to either friendship or a quick discovery of who our foes truly may be.

 

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G-Poppers … August 12th, 2016


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G-Pop is finding it a bit difficult to speak to his children.

For it seems that ideas which once had universal appeal have now been categorized as antagonistic to certain political persuasions.

Matter of fact, just the other day he told one of his sons that “being kind is smart.” The young fellow, who is a Republican, thought he was speaking against the Grand Old Party, and espousing some namby-pamby liberal propaganda.

Likewise, G-Pop told one of his daughters that there is great wisdom in “minding your own business.” She concluded that he was a Republican who wanted to keep the government out of his affairs.

And G-Pop seems to baffle everyone when he contends that one of the greater axioms of life is “don’t complain.” To the majority of his children, this sounds almost un-American.

So in the quest to gain political footing or governmental control, virtuous principles are being abandoned in favor of temporary tantrums.

G-Pop thinks we’ve totally forgotten what makes America truly exceptional:

We are a people who are poor in spirit but mourn in our meek way as we hunger and thirst for greater understanding and righteousness, extending mercy to others, while keeping an eye on the purity of our motives. We are always looking for ways to make peace, realizing that doing so will bring some persecution from those who would rather destroy. But we take heart, knowing that our forefathers suffered the slings and arrows of the insane mob which tried to promote war, as we choose to rejoice and be exceedingly glad because we know that history is on the side of the nation that honors humanity.

You see, the problem could “beatitude.”

And G-Pop is curious.

Is there a political party that believes in this?

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Ask Jonathots … April 14th, 2016


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My son, a sophomore in high school, has a part-time job at a fast food restaurant. He came home talking about making fifteen dollars an hour when the minimum wage is raised. I’m not against raising the minimum wage, but at the same time, I don’t really think my high schooler really needs that wage. What do you think?

Paying people based on what they require is un-American.

It may sound good–it may seem generous. It may even temporarily appease the aching need of some folks who are living on the cliff of poverty. But it is un-American.

I will go as far as to tell you that it is also un-Christian.

At no time in the ministry of Jesus did he suggest that the best way to handle the poor was to drop everything you were doing, sell everything you had, change all your policies, reject your own desire for financial prosperity, and divvy up the money more evenly, so that “those who have a frown can turn it upside down.”

The most important thing any government program should encourage is initiative.

If you’re going to do the same work you did before, but make twice the amount of money doing it, you’re not stimulating productivity.

No, you have just purchased yourself a baby alligator. At first the little amphibian sitting in his bowl appears harmless and kind of cute. But it will not remain a small alligator. It will grow until it eats you.

Likewise, giving people more money for what they’re already doing without demanding additional increase in effort is the formula for disaster. It is not an issue of being a conservative or a liberal, but rather, taking a more intelligent political stance: practical.

If I allow myself to be concerned about the wages my employees are receiving based on their monthly needs, I will soon lose sight of the goal of my company, which is to make money and thrive so I can hire more people.

What we need is a compromise with a caveat.

  • The compromise is a dollar amount which is more representative of the work and the financial climate.
  • And the caveat is that this extra money will require additional training and pursuit of excellence.

Hand-outs take people off their feet.

And our economy runs on foot power, not charity.

So even though it may seem noble and may get the vote of tens of thousands of hourly wage Americans, to suggest that they should double their intake for the same amount of output…well, it is completely unnecessary and certainly un-human.

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G-Poppers … July 24th, 2015


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A whole lot of killing going on.

Or maybe it’s the same. But it just seems like the new killings are more evil.

I guess killing won’t stop until we address what causes killing: people aren’t going away.

G-Pop was thinking about this yesterday. He was trying to form an insight just in case his sons or grandkids asked him about the stuff.

He tries to stay away from too many opinions. An opinion is an insight that draws a conclusion. And the trouble with a drawn conclusion is that it never shows the whole picture.

Fortunately, the problem is simple. Since people aren’t going to go away, we should stop doing things to make them think that we want them to.

Here’s a simple rule:

I only matter if you matter. If you don’t, I don’t.

We have this idea that we can seek out evil, stand against it, defeat it and that’s the end. But slavery and segregation didn’t disappear with the passing of laws. Hatred of the Jews didn’t crawl back into the walls with the death of Hitler and the Gestapo.

People are not going to go away. No matter how much we wish it or hope it, they will remain, claiming their right to be.

We need to take a good hard look at our record as a nation over the past seventy years.

  • We fought North Korea. We lost (for after all, there is still a North Korea.)
  • We fought to preserve Vietnam. And now there is one Vietnam–but not the one we envisioned.
  • Do I need to discuss Iraq and Afghanistan?

It is not un-American to ask the question, “Is what we’re doing really effective?”

Somewhere along the line we have to realize that the world is not going to go away and we have to find a procedure by which we can prosper and be successful, and let that be our best revenge.

You can’t kill off all the bad guys without losing too many good guys. And when we lose enough good guys, the country goes through a lull until we can birth more people with dreams.

I only matter if you matter. If you don’t, then I don’t.

It’s a simple principle.

Can we learn it? If we can’t, we’ll be chasing every noise that goes bump in the night.

Jesus told us not to resist evil. We think that’s idealistic.

G-Pop wonders if idealism actually is the notion that we can kill all the cockroaches.

 

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