Core Curriculum

Core curriculum: (n) a collection of courses with a central theme

I tend to run out of the room in a bit of horror when I hear voices raised and people begin to stomp around sharing their opinions with more energy than wisdom.

I know it may be popular to be sold out on your convictions, but too often I see people’s convictions sell them out, leaving them ignorant or inept.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
Every once in a while, you’ll stumble across a discussion laced with some humility—and the participants will admit that the reason a conversation is necessary is because knowledge is lacking.

For instance, what does an eighteen-year-old American teenager need to know, think, believe and feel upon graduating from high school? Candidly, college offers new choices the student can take advantage of if he or she is so inclined, but I do think we should be very interested in what the average eighteen-year-old already knows upon completing the core curriculum in the American educational system.

And in a sense, it does boil down to “reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic”—but may I add a fourth “R?” Rationality.

Reading is necessary because if you’re eighteen years old, and you insist that everything you need to know you’ve already learned, then you are certainly a danger to those around you.

‘Riting because if you’re only going to use words in vague half-sentences or tweets, then you will often leave the world around you bewildered as to your intentions. Can you write a decent paragraph that conveys what you’re trying to say?

‘Rithmetic—because entering the adult world, you must understand that things need to add up, and if they don’t you must subtract something and learn to divide up your efforts to grant you the possibility to multiply.

And finally, rationality. Teaching an eighteen-year-old that most of the time, he or she is either wrong or deficient of the data necessary to make a good decision will calm things down, with a bit of needed uncertainty, instead of becoming overwrought, chasing unrealistic dreams.

Yes, there is a need for a core curriculum—where we start out agreeing on common sense principles.


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Co-pilot

Co-pilot: (n) a pilot who is second in command of an aircraft.

It used to be a very, very popular bumper sticker: “God is my co-pilot.”

Years passed.

Somebody decided that God was not a co-pilot, but rather, the pilot. The joke became, “If God is your co-pilot, then you’re in the wrong seat.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
Ha, ha, ha.

It seems like a rather innocent exchange—a meaningless disagreement, but at the root is probably one of the greater problems facing individuals who want to believe in a Creator yet have not found a common-sense way of discovering exactly what role this Divinity should play.

Is God flying the plane, and I’m along for the ride?

Am I privy to the flight plan?

Am I granted free will until He decides I’m not?

Is He in charge of the journey, but I get to pick whether we’re having fish or chicken for the in-flight meal?

Or am I behind the steering, and God is standing nearby, enjoying the trip?

I don’t really think it’s either one. I don’t think God’s in my plane at all.

I think He’s waiting for me at the next airport, to give me a lift—so I don’t have to take an Uber.


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Cookie-cutter

Cookie-cutter: (adj) lacking individuality; stereotyped or formulaic

If individuality is merely the proliferation of really stinky attitudes shared in a variety of styles, then I, for one, would welcome a little bit more “cookie-cutter approach” to our society.

Candidly, as long as it’s a cookie I like, I would welcome you to cut as many as possible—to satisfy my appetite and an ongoing hunger in funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
humanity.

We might want to stop taking all this time convincing everyone about how unique we are, and instead, insert more chocolate chips into our recipe, making us more appealing instead of appalling.

There’s nothing wrong with being like other people if the way you’re like other people is an intelligent way to like other people (I hope you followed that.)

So if you can get over your fear of being common, you might be able to develop enough common sense to create a satisfying recipe, spread yourself out and bake up something with your life that makes people want to come back for more.


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Convince

Convince: (v) to persuade; cajole

That would be terrific.

if we could actually persuade or cajole someone to be convinced of a great idea, the human race could leap ahead by several yardsticks of improvement.

But stubbornness prohibits us from persuasion and cynicism causes us to reject being cajoled.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Unfortunately, our human family is mainly convinced by being alarmed or threatened.

This opens the door to all sorts of nasty characters, who invent ridiculous scenarios of danger, and manipulate brothers and sisters to turn into enemies.

Therefore, I have to ask myself: rather than criticizing this weakness in humanity, which makes us afraid of almost anything, how can I transform my own life into a situation where I can be persuaded or cajoled?

Can I stay loose enough in my opinions that the insertion of knowledge and common sense can sway me to better paths? Can I realize that being angry has very little to do with being productive, and that nice guys don’t finish last—they just finish so early that they’re in the locker room, having already taken their shower.


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Controversy

Controversy: (n) a prolonged public dispute

It seems to have become a pastime of the human race—to make every statement, thought, feeling and action controversial.

It’s a way for us to feel important, by judging the world and the people around us.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But factually, the only legitimate door of controversy—the true opportunity to open a discussion which might warrant disagreement—is when common sense has been broached.

What is common sense?

It’s the glue that holds the dust of humanity together. It’s what we’ve learned from Adam to now—to be functional, workable and pleasing.

Every once in a while, common sense has to be challenged, because it failed to keep the door open long enough to include all of God’s people on the ark of safety.

Then we have a reason for controversy. For instance:

Are black people lesser than white people?

At one time, common sense said they were, so it had to be challenged and amended.

Are gay people perverts?

The common sense at one time, even among the psychiatric community, was that they were. Therefore, some controversy was necessary to embrace our brothers and sisters who found themselves in that situation.

Controversy is not somebody doing something you don’t like.

Controversy should only happen when the common sense we have all accepted needs to be challenged and expanded.

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Con Man

Con man: (n) a man who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true

Every once in a while I take a stroll through the Ten Commandments to take an inventory on how many I’ve broken.

That is one of the more ridiculous aspects of that top ten list–it does not serve as a guide to our lives, but rather, a reminder of how futile ourfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
attempts often are when we pursue self-righteousness or any form of superiority that makes us feel that we’re near to the heart of God.

For instance, I’ve been a con man.

I didn’t do it for a living. That’s probably good. Otherwise, I might be writing you from Folsom Prison, with the blues, or from Sing-Sing without a song.

But I have presented claims as facts, trying to impress people around me, when in actuality the legitimate information was far less than my boast.

Here’s the only difference between me and the standard con man: I actually believed my own bullshit.

I did.

I had thoroughly saturated myself in fictitious notions that twisted my brain to such an extent that they squeezed out common sense and replaced them with Thanksgiving stuffing.

So not only was I a con man to those around me, but I did a remarkable job promoting it to myself.

This is why self-awareness is probably one of the greatest virtues that a human being can pursue–it makes you stop off every once in a while and read the Ten Commandments and realize how far you have fallen short–as you chuckle over your own inadequacy.

 

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Confound

Confound: (v) to cause surprise or confusion

Sometimes people wonder why I have chosen to be a person of faith.

It isn’t because I enjoy church music. I can snooze through an excellent Bach Prelude just like the next person.

It isn’t because I like praise and worship services. Looking at young people playing instruments, staring up at the sky with ecstatic gleams on their faces invitesfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
cynicism into my tender heart.

I don’t favor prayer, Bible study or even consider a communion service to be particularly moving.

I’ve always been a great admirer of common sense, delivered with great humor and a background of intelligent reasoning.

Jesus, in describing his message, said it was a discourse which could be appreciated by those with a childlike perception, and therefore ends up confounding the wise.

Smart people think things need to be complicated. Education leads them to believe the more verbose they are, the greater the possibility of demonstrating the depth of their intellect.

When a reasonable simplicity is presented, which has great a great understanding of human nature and the functions of Planet Earth, it does confound the wise.

And honest to God–or Jesus–that always tickles my spirit.

 

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