Sit Down Comedy … July 5th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4097)


It is not so much what as it is how.

Knowing what needs to be done may be insightful but discovering how to do it is the essence of wisdom.

In our time, the argument over what our problems are is quickly overthrown by a ferocious debate over how to address them.

I put this to the test.

While working on my latest novel, I came across a scene where two of my characters are embroiled in a disagreement. I sat down and wrote the entire passage with back-and-forth dialogue which was laced with animosity. At no time did I introduce foul language.

So the reader, after finishing this particular interchange, might well be alarmed by the severity of the debate—but certainly not frightened that the two souls involved were going to launch into anything other than aggravation.

Then I sat down and rewrote the scene, except in the midst of the fiery comments I inserted expletives, like “damn, shit, fuck and hell.”  As I moved along from line to line, I realized that the discussion had changed, and was now on the verge of violence. In other words, it would have been very easy to end with a murder.

The what was the same. The standoff was identical.

But how it was implemented changed it from a fussy situation to a dangerous dilemma.

In the pursuit of trying to get attention, gain influence and bring fame and fortune in our direction, we may be guilty of taking situations which could be handled more simply, and complicating them merely for the purpose of making ourselves look righteous.

Consider this:

Is it possible that an aging, well-seasoned politician who earned his stripes decades ago might not know to keep his hands to himself, and that instead of sexual assault, it just might be innocent ignorance?

Could it be that in trying to establish reasonable relationships with notorious dictators we could represent our willingness to sit down and prattle over the issues without jokingly referring to the two parties as being “in love?”

Might we possibly consider the myriad of problems that create gun violence rather than cursing all guns or insisting that the situation is just “the criminal mind?”

It may be admirable to know what a situation is, but it is divinely inspired to find the best way how to manage it.

I think this even goes into our relationships with government and faith.

Is it possible that what John Adams and George Washington considered to be of primary concern in 1790 might be better thought through by more educated souls in 2019?

And suffice it to say that a book that was written before Christ and some that were written after his birth might certainly do well to be mulled over and discussed in more detail before we decide on how to conduct our spirited decisions today.

Knowing what is good. But choosing how to solve it is better.

And of course, the best is knowing that the what and the how always have to be tempered by the why.


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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Begin the New Year Right)


 

UNTANGLE

You must be honest with yourself and realize that you’ve taken this whole year to tangle yourself up in relationships, causes, theologies, politics and negativity that has every intention of bumbling its way into the month of January.

We do not engage. We tangle. And the reason we tangle is that we lack the confidence to believe we have the ability to do things with our own talent, and we cautiously collaborate with those who have less ability and we end up achieving only as much as they are able to accomplish.

  • We become sentimental when we actually need to be revolutionary.
  • We become revolutionary when what is required is wisdom.
  • And we try to act wise and often end up with arrogance.

Untangle:

  1. Your relationships

Get a piece of paper and write down the names of your friends. Then consider the number of times they were friendly to you as opposed to the number of times you were friendly to them. Don’t offend them but adjust your contact with them based upon this ratio.

If you were friendly five times and they were friendly three, then include them in your life accordingly. Your time is valuable. You don’t want to hurt anyone, but you don’t help anyone by letting them hurt you.

  1. Your goals.

Are they realistic? Have you ever achieved them? Has there ever been a hint that progress has been made? Don’t be stubborn. If you made no progress on your goals this year, then the problem is probably your goals, not your progress.

  1. Your clothes.

Go in your closet and inventory your wardrobe. If you have garments you haven’t worn for six months which aren’t seasonal, take them down and find homes for them. There are people out there who will rejoice over your rejects.

And finally,

  1. Untangle yourself from your failures.

If you have found the root cause of what precipitated your defeats and you’ve made adjustments, then don’t nervously wonder if the same things will happen again. They can’t because you’ve changed the playing field.

Untangle.

Because situations in our lives which are not useful or helpful will eventually wrap around our throats and strangle our life force.

 

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week To Be a Better Person

PROMISES ARE NOT PROMISING

Though for a brief moment, our pride swells, our hopefulness inflates and our prowess among our fellow-humans may appear to soar, promises leave us with a single difficulty:

WE MUST DELIVER OR WE WILL START LYING

Once we start lying we can’t be trusted. When we are not trusted, we are eventually relegated to a position where people are willing to dine with us but not work with us.

The difficulty with promises is that they become two desolate deserts if we fail to deliver the goods: arrogance and foolishness.

Arrogance because we said we would be able to accomplish something and not only shared our intent but sealed it with the covenant of a promise.

Foolish because everyone wonders why we didn’t account for the thing that brought our plans down.

Yet we continue to promise that we’re going to give the money, win the game, be there on time and even be faithful until death do us part.

There’s nothing that makes us look more ridiculous than an unfulfilled promise, but people continue to feel the need to look powerful while ending up with a powerless claim. Society promotes arrogance–but we are all drawn to humility.

We expect people to overlook our foolishness although wisdom is regarded as a higher virtue.

If you want to do better, stop saying “I promise.” Instead, reply, “I think I understand what needs to be done. Here’s where my ability lies, and it’s available if you’d like me to take a shot at it.”

Nobody ever won a game, won a love, won the lottery or won salvation by making a promise.

So if you want to gain strength or be perceived as intelligent, offer what you have with humility, and apply it with wisdom.

 

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Sit Down Comedy … December 7th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3872)

The Wise Crack (Up)

Dorkius was also wise.

He just enjoyed his wisdom with a strong portion of practicality. Matter of fact, Dorkius believed that wisdom without practicality was just foolishness with a nasty surprise.

So when his three friends–Santere, a wealthy merchant, Chenaul, a renowned seller of purple cloth, and Beloit, a little person in charge of the maintenance of a huge flock of camels–came to visit him, telling him about a beautiful star sparkling in the sky, Dorkius was already familiar with the phenomenon.

Very impressive.

Like his friends, Dorkius was always prepared to view heavenly wonders, and discuss them for hours over a nice flask of wine and a sumptuous meal. He believed that discussion held the power to calm every fiber of the human soul, and was therefore the ointment of contentment and good health.

But pursuing false wisdom produced a contentious nature which caused one to fear that not enough was being accomplished, and generated the eager itch to follow the unknown. This often left a confused traveler discombobulated, and therefore, ailing.

Even though Santere, Chenaul and Beloit were well-traveled, excellent reasoners, they were never able to out-debate the adept Dorkius.

So when the three came to visit, enthused over the revelation of the star, they insisted that it foretold a great event–a social and spiritual awakening–the announcement of a great ruler who would bring a sense of harmony to the Earth.

Dorkius immediately pointed out to his friends that there was no basis for this in the science of astrology, for such an alignment was unlikely for thousands of years. But Santere objected, noting that perhaps “the heavens felt the need to hasten the pace.”

Dorkius smiled. Chenaul was all to familiar with that particular smirk. It meant that her friend had been amused by some piece of illogical thought and was about to pounce on it with all the aptitude of his intellect.

“The heavens in disarray?” asked Dorkius, as if posing the question to the entire Universe. “My dear Santere, why would the heavens be in disarray? Why would they need to hasten anything, when they, and they alone, hold the vision to all answers? You must remember, my dear friend, that in the pursuit of great knowledge, many imitators, bringing stupidity, will scamper to our side.”

Beloit, who had a wee voice, spoke with great conviction. “But consider this, dear Dorkius. What if it is miraculous? What if it’s the only star of its kind to ever appear in the heavens? What if it is the beckoning light for the King of all Kings and the Master of all Magistrates? What if it is the greatest light we shall ever see?”

Dorkius countered with a fury of anger. He was always annoyed with Beloit’s overly simplistic approach. “And what if it isn’t?” he challenged. “If there were ten chances before you and nine of them were death and one was eternal life, would you take the risk? Is the prospect for a greater and longer existence worth the nine possibilities of losing the one you have?”

Chenaul touched Dorkius’ arm tenderly and said, “It is if it’s the brightest chance you’ve ever seen.”

Dorkius shook his head. He prepared himself for another onslaught of verbal battling and an additional flask of wine.

Instead, Santere stood to his feet and offered, “We have not come tonight, my dear friend, to argue philosophy or to wrangle over the intellect of odds. We have come to invite you to join us on a journey with a great entourage–to find the source of the Star. To find the resting place. And hopefully, to find the King it proclaims.”

Dorkius laughed, at first with great levity, which gradually curdled into a cruel tone. “Are you asking me,” he scoffed, “to drop all I have, all I own, and all I do, to follow a star?”

“No,” said Chenaul, also standing to her feet, “we’re inviting you. Since we feel the star invited us, it seemed unrighteous to leave behind our sweet friend.”

Beloit also stood, and spoke boldly. “I know you don’t like me, Dorkius. We don’t need to discuss that. But I love you enough to want you there when we find the source of the reflection that radiates the heavens.”

Dorkius sighed. “I would continue to reason with the three of you but I think it’s time for Nature and the gods to teach you a lesson. We are mere mortals. We live and die, and all that remains are the values we have taught others, the deeds we have done and the shadow of a legacy that is always fading. I don’t want my last memory to be a foolhardy odyssey to chase a beam of light. Please, reconsider your plan. I know the three of you to be extraordinarily wise. Now, use that wisdom in a practical way. The gods do not call us to chase, but rather, observe, learn and apply. I, for one, will take the beauty of what I see in the sky and report it to those I see around me–encouraging them to enjoy the spectacle. You see, herein lies wisdom–but mingled with appreciation for one’s own circumstances.”

The three wise ones could not argue with their friend. Everything he said had elements of truth, value, some nobility and certainly the safety of sleeping in one’s own bed, in one’s own tent.

But his perspective lacked faith. It lacked vision. It lacked the adventure required by hope–to bring the joy in the human soul.

They all embraced. They shared meditations. And the three mounted their camels and set off on a journey.

That night Dorkius wept for his friends. He mourned for their misguided, meaningless meandering. He went to bed confident that he was safe and sound.

Dorkius was wise, but practical.

And practical is what kept him from seeing the Christ Child.

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Sit Down Comedy … November 16th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3858)

The Purpose of Giggling

Comedy keeps human-kind from ending up in the commode.

Once in the bowl, we would circle it and somebody would eventually become crazy enough to flush us down.

Comedy performs this function with grace, style, wit and of course, humor.

But it also does this with a bit of flair and wisdom. Because even though many people are lamenting the situation in our country as being “vile” or “contentious,” no one seems to figure out how we got here–or is it there?

Would you believe it’s simple?

Human beings–that’s you and me–become actually insane when we start contending that what we think should be believed. You can feel free to think anything you want as long as you don’t insist that other people believe it.

Case in point: if you happen to like oysters, think they’re delicious, the “treasure of the sea,” more power to you. But if you found the Pink Oyster Cult and worship the slimy little boogers, then you are desperately in need of a laugh–maybe even at your own expense.

Likewise, if you think there’s a heaven we’ll all go there for eternity, to worship the presence of God, I feel you should have the freedom to bounce that around your head all you want–but you can’t think that those who don’t believe the way you do will burn to a crisp in hell.

If that’s what you do, we need to introduce you to some sketch comedy.

If in your brain you have convinced yourself that the white race is superior to every other race, then there’s not much I can do to moderate your thinking–unless you start acting like it’s something everyone should believe, everyone should follow and everyone should line up behind.

If that happens, I’m going to need to tickle you.

Likewise, if you think climate change is the most important issue in the world, that men and women are very different and that God is really female, I would love to encourage you to dance with such thoughts in your mind–as long as you don’t get on the Internet and post it as a confirmed fact, recently verified by some study done at the Harvard Institute of Stupidity.

I am a humorist.

It is my job to bring humor when people begin to take their musings and turn them into law. Matter of fact, you can think that the President of the United States is exceptional or unqualified, and I will be just fine with it–unless you begin to believe he has been sent by God for this hour, or that he and the devil are planning the demise of the nation.

In that case, it will be time for me to pull out the balloon animals and prance around the room in the most silly way possible.

Don’t believe everything you hear–and if you choose to think it, don’t pretend that everybody else should.

If you decide to pursue such ridiculous behavior, I will be nearby to hit you with a punchline.

 

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3 Things… July 12th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3731)

That Cost Nothing

1. Thinking for yourself

2. Being thoughtful

3. Collecting wisdom

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Jesonian … July 7th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3726)

Truthfully, I am very cautious when coining a word or phrase. Even though it may have its charm, it walks a fine line along the cliff of silliness, threatening to fall and be dashed on the rocks of criticism below.

That being said, I felt today’s Jesonian message required the introduction of a word–mainly because in “minting” it, the union of the parts brings to mind the purpose of the action.

So having survived my overly elongated explanation, let me talk to you about “Prayerapy.”

It is a blending of prayer and therapy, which is exactly what prayer was intended to be. Although we envision bowed heads in regal circumstances, offering well-rehearsed soliloquys of devotion and requests to God, Jesus had an entirely different perspective on prayer.

He said it should be free of “much speaking,” should never use “vain repetition,” and certainly was not to be performed “to be seen by others.”

He said it was nurtured by a few simple ingredients:

1. A private closet

2. Shut the door

3. Keep it simple

4. Say secret things to a God who hears in secret

5. Use the kingdom of God within you

6. Speak your heart

7. Leave rejuvenated

Therapists are successful because they get us to talk. We can listen to our own ideas coming out of our own mouths. And faith comes by hearing.

Therefore, healing begins when we hear our thoughts, our concerns, our wishes and our fears spoken aloud from our own lips, announced to our ears.

It is the perfect time to talk out loud, knowing that you’re being heard by your soul, your heart and your Father in heaven.

Then every prayer is answered–because the Bible makes it clear that God is willing to give wisdom and strength to anyone who asks, without questioning the beseecher.

So emerging from that closet, you will have a better understanding of what your heart sounds like, and will come forth with new wisdom and strength.

Prayerapy does not guarantee that a check will come in the mail, your rent will be paid, or that you’ll be healed of your disease. But it will certainly set in motion the awareness, the clear-headedness and the joy which makes the solutions appear more plausible.

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