Sit Down Comedy … July 19th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is a breathtakingly simple three-step process:

I. Like. You.

I, like you.

I like you.

Although not complex, it seems to profoundly stump the consciousness of the human race.

It begins with I.

In other words, me. I will stop putting the focus and the blinding light on the faults of others and center it on my own foolish foibles.

I will remove the sacs filled with venom so that when I become grouchy and bite someone, I don’t have to accidentally poison them.

I will become the “I” that needs to learn what I need to know, and only I need to know, in order to accomplish what I must do.

This will lend itself to becoming a person who can “like” things once again.

I have stopped doing so. In favor of coming across with wit, I have transformed myself into a cynical snoot, thinking that intelligence is better expressed through critique. I have refused to appreciate the little blessings that have come my way.

But since I have taken the time to acknowledge what I am and what I need to do, I can ease up my insecurity and start to like things again.

Which brings me to You.

You have always been one of my problems—perhaps my only calamity—because I view you as competition and resent the hell out of you using up the oxygen in the room that I could be hoarding in reserve.

I am twice as critical of you than I am me.

I am ten times more judgmental of your pratfalls than my huge stumblings.

But if I will take the time to find out who I am and not be afraid of admitting that I am lacking in some areas, then the possibility for liking things will cheer my soul and make me much more pleasant to be around—so I will be able to store up a measure of grace for when I find myself dealing with you.

With Step One in place, I am ready for Stage Two:

I, like you.

Yes, I look for similarities between you and me—your kind and my kind—my race and your race. I want to stop discussing your culture and my culture and see if we can discover the human culture.

And thirdly, I believe I will arrive at a position where I can say—hopefully:

I like you.

Perhaps God was too optimistic to think we could love our neighbor. But maybe we are able, after we’ve taken stock of our own weakness, to like things again, offering more room for one another.

Then negotiation, reasoning, conversation and even arguments could be well-oiled with compassion, commonality and gladness.

There are nearly eight-and-a-half billion people in this world. It would not be necessary to get all of them to follow this three-step process. Even if we had one million people with hearts of good cheer, to pursue:

I. Like. You.

I, like you.

I like you.

Well, if we could just get a million, the light that would shine would be so brilliant that another ten million would want to imitate the success…

Of course, offering their own name for it.


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Freedom Part 3: SPEECHERS… July 3, 2013

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protestHuman beings are defensive.

It is perhaps our worst attribute. We spend much more time trying to explain, qualify or rationalize our positions than we ever do considering whether they are valid.

So our founding fathers, thinking they were being extraordinarily intelligent, came up with the First Amendment. In that particular assertion, they concluded that the new nation of America should give everyone freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Their thought was that everybody should have the right to say whatever they want to say and believe whatever they want to believe.

Back to the original point: human beings are defensive.

In other words, once we speak something aloud, we are much more likely to kill someone in order to defend our ridiculous notion than we are to change our minds. We are also more accustomed to stomping our foot and preaching our rendition of God than we ever are to believing there’s additional revelation of the Divine available to us through the testimony of others.

So we end up with speechers and preachers.

Because we have granted people the right to have an opinion, we have also told them they are not responsible for the truthfulness of their ideas. We have allowed folks to meet in conclaves of religiosity with no responsibility for the human beings around them because their interpretation of some holy book grants them the privilege of irrational behavior.

Not even in a perfect world would freedom of speech and freedom of religion be applicable. The first thing perfect people would do is be more quiet and not try to force their convictions on others.

Even though I agree that it was a noble gesture–to give everybody the right to their opinion–it is insane to think that speechers and preachers, who have no regard for the freedoms of others, should be allowed to indiscriminately spew their venom into the air without recourse.

Not only is it stupid to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no blaze, it is equally dangerous, if you believe there is a blaze, to scream “fire!” knowing that it will create a panic.

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are two of the weakest parts of our Constitution. They do not take into consideration that defensive people will continue to give “speeches” and “preaches” in order to justify ideas that were present for the dinosaurs’ demise.

So what can we do?

Well, we certainly can’t throw out free speech and freedom of religion. And I’m not suggesting that we develop a police state, where what people think and believe is analyzed by committees and judged for accuracy.

But I am suggesting that a generation of rejuvenated human beings, who truly have been “born again” in their emotions, spirits, minds and bodies, take some personal responsibility for their words and for their contentions about God’s will.

I would suggest three questions:

1. Is what I’m about to say or believe going to make things better?

2. Does what I’m going to say and believe have any historical value, or has it already been proven to be erred?

3. Is what I’m going to say or believe ready to be changed by me when I realize that at least part of it is wrong?

Jesus said it this way: “By your words you are justified and by your words your are condemned.”

From that, I gain the insight to use my freedom of speech and religion, BUT … to do it wisely.

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Poison Pal … July 15, 2012

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Foolish man that I am, I had convinced myself that I was immune. I believed that I had built up a toleration against the venom that often spews from your soul in response to my obviously insufficient endeavors.

You want to hear something even more comical? Uniting my faith, hope and charity, I actually contended that I had discovered an antidote to such poison. Yet there is always a new way to be attacked and a surprise ambush available to suppress any claim of innocence.

Why have you chosen to be my enemy? Why have you selected to side with those who are against me–and even though their numbers may dwindle, you try to prop up their meager attempts at revenge by adding greater significance to their misgivings?

After hundreds of letters and notes, we seem incapable of creating any kind of treaty between the two of us. Part of me wants to be absolutely devastated and enraged by what I view to be irrational and unjust accusations.

I feel prosecuted, convicted and executed without ever understanding my crime. I have grown weary in the well-doing of justifying your behavior as frustration that is cast upon me because you have scared away all other possible victims. You are bitter–and there is never a passage from “bitter” to “better.” Bitterness demands that we find the root and destroy it so as never to allow the evil sprout to protrude from our beings again.

Yet I don’t understand such an anemic statement because it carries the double punishment of being inflicted and ignorant. Why is there such a desire, even a gnawing passion within my soul, to strike back at you because you leave yourself so vulnerable with your ineptness, jealousy and failed projects?

You are the walking contradiction to your own philosophy. You are the evidence that drives people away from ever wanting to be created in your image. Yet even as I write these words, regurgitated from exasperation, I feel shame. Or maybe it’s just that I feel trivial and predictable–to be involved in such a miniscule battle over absolutely no available turf.

You are supposed to be important to me. Yet I grow absolutely exhausted trying to expend energy to cause our relationship to have significance when you have relegated me to such a worthless state. I am not accustomed to being treated so. I am not one who automatically is able to produce graciousness from my soul with a demure smile and a silent prayer.

For after all, it’s virtually impossible to initiate activities of a positive nature if you have allowed yourself to believe that your humble talents are meaningless. Yes, I will admit it: I believe in myself. And I resent the hell out of you for trying to make me extinguish the flame of joy and confidence that God has permitted me to have–to be the light of the world.

You never had yours–so you want to destroy mine.

You never loved–so you dream of rendering me loveless.

You never possessed victory–so you want to rewrite the history of my success.

I can’t let you do this, even though I have no will to stand against you, nor heart to be your adversary. You are poison. It is not a poison that has been manufactured in some factory in a faraway land, but rather, squeezed from your own reticent and recalcitrant spirit, and dribbled out on anyone who would suggest that life is good.

  • You are Booth–a shot in the dark for my rear.
  • You are Brutus–a stabbing pain in my heart.
  • And Iscariot–a garden-variety traitor.

But hatred is difficult to me. I don’t know whether it’s because I find it to be surrender, distasteful or just a one-way street that leads to a dead end. For after all, where do you go from hate? With love, you have the options of mercy, grace, tenderness, discovery, growth and generosity. Hate just seems to stop and sit in a corner by itself and gnaw on its own leg.

I can’t do that.

When I listened to you speak yesterday–or wait–was it the lack of words? I forget. But what seemed to envelop my entire being was a sense of your indifference to all my overtures of creating concert between us.

I don’t understand. I despise the sensation of being without remedy or comprehension. Do you really hate me? Or just don’t know what to do with me and have selected to erupt like a volcano in your frustration and indecision?

You are my poison pal. For after all, there is a cross we all bear, but somewhere along the line we have to be intelligent enough not to climb up on it and be nailed down. Crucifixion belonged to a Savior, not to a mere mortal like me, who is baffled by the responsibility.

You are poison. Dare I drink the dregs of this cup and think that I will not damage my own internal parts? What should I do? What can I do? What is permissible to do?

Oh, forget that. I am so tired of trying to be upright that I am downright angry with the notion. You are poison.

Yet … for some inexplicable reason, I still feel compelled to love you.

Love.

Love is often the tenacious bastard, abandoned to foster care, absent the milk of human kindness.

   

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