Posts Tagged ‘tolerance

22
Apr
13

Don’t Keep the Faith—Share It!

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

When you are passionate about your faith and passionate about respecting others’ beliefs, it’s amazing the kind of connectivity that transpires. When my father passed, I heard from many whose lives he touched, people from different political, religious, and ideological backgrounds. “Tremendous” was passionate that we each choose what we are going to live our lives for and go all out doing it.

He claimed it was one of the only three decisions that you ever needed to make in life. Decide whom you are going to live your life for, make it yours, and die by it. He respected those who lived life with a tremendous passion and chastised those who didn’t. As the late, great Margaret Thatcher said, “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” My father personally witnessed this in his sales career, in his home life, and in his church. He believed it with all his heart.

“Tremendous” Jones spoke to many thousands of groups throughout his lifetime. Some were of a religious or faith-based affiliation, but the majority was not. That never deterred him from veering off point or changing the message to share his faith. I used to wonder why he would take on such a sensitive topic when facing thousands of business people from all walks of life and beliefs until I finally understood. He was just living out loud. He was revealing his most authentic self and just being.

His faith is what drove every second of his life and to not share that would be dishonest with others. His life was a showcase of the grace of God, the forgiveness of Christ, the wisdom of books, and the help of others in a man’s life. And he just couldn’t keep it inside. To do so would be to let others think that his strength to live tremendously came from his own mental and physical strength, and nothing was further from the truth. He never told you what to believe; only that you must answer this question for yourself and live life like you mean it!

27
Dec
12

Are you Slacktose Intolerant?

dilbert-slackerOffer the lazy an egg, and they’ll want you to peel it for them.

– A Proverb

Slacktose intolerance, also called loser phobia and hypomalaisa, is the inability to digest poor performance, lack of initiative, and failure to accept responsibility. Slacktose-intolerant individuals have insufficient levels of desire to digest those who display repeated bouts of negativity, an inability to digest any amount of responsibility avoidance, and suffer from chronic aversion to thumb sucking. Symptoms include disgust, irritable bowel syndrome, and even the primal fight-or-flight instinct in those with a heightened sensitivity.

Recommended treatments include speaking to the infected individual regarding their condition. If they do not seek immediate aid they are to be removed from your world. The Centers for Disease Control should start including laziness in their list of highly infectious-diseases due to the amount of damage slackers can do to an entire organization. The good news is, once the affected area has been cut out, recovery rates are 100 percent!

I can remember hearing the late, great Zig Ziglar say, “Are you a SNIOP? Someone who is Sensitive to the Negative Influence of Others?” Why, yes I am!! That described me to a “T”! I am a flexible, easy going person, but when faced with lazy or indecisive individuals my righteous indignation meter gets pegged! I am sensitive to the influence of negative and lazy people! In fact, I am so highly allergic that I suffer violent reactions! Charles Horace Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo clinic said, “You must avoid sloth, that wicked siren.” Amen brother, even the medical field recognized that laziness is a horrible disease!

It’s a universal truth: if you are unwilling to learn to help yourself, how on earth am I going to help you? In the world of psychology, it’s called “enabling”, i.e., doing things for people that they could or should do for themselves. This can happen in both our professional and personal worlds and is a recipe for disaster. Nothing good ever comes of this, not in a million years. Once you accept there is no cure for the afflicted you can lay off taking guilt trips and the repetitive rationalizations. They simply must heal themselves.

An organization that is slacktose tolerant suffers from weak management. A relationship that is slacktose tolerant suffers from enabling behavior. In each case the person provides excuses or otherwise makes it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior through the sound of silence, i.e., indifference.

The greatest battle is the one within the self so stop trying to “fix” other people’s issues by allowing their type of behavior to continue to manifest itself. Don’t refuse to take action for fear of their angry response to you cutting them off and out. And be proud when they call you intolerant and self-righteous because that’s exactly what you are; slacktose intolerant with a supreme respect for the power of the individual self to control their own destiny. There is not going to be any meeting of the minds. But then again, you already knew that. Saint-John Perse said, “The only menace is inertia” and that’s one menace we can all take immediate action to avoid.

02
Aug
12

This is a free country, right???

I remember back in the mid ‘90s when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy under President Clinton was unveiled. Many of my fellow soldiers thought this relaxing of standards was wrong based on the fact that homosexuality is deviant behavior. Being analytical, I told them that adultery was as well, and we knew several soldiers who were having affairs. My point was that no sin is worse than any other sin from a Biblical standpoint, not even suicide.

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” No matter how much worldly progress we make on this planet, man is wicked to the core, plain and simple. It’s called the human condition and we all suffer from it; not just certain groups or lifestyles, all of us.

You’ve got to give respect to get respect. When you come across someone who believes the Koran or the Book of Mormon and expresses their beliefs, do you vilify them? I doubt it, at least in this country. Not yet anyway.

We all enjoy freedom of choice. If God gives each of us the choice between Heaven and Hell (heck, he even allowed Adam to decide what to do with the forbidden fruit), why do we need to vilify others for their choices or their beliefs?

Hate the sin, not the sinner. As a Christian, I look to the Bible for my guidance on the definition of marriage. I also have several gay friends for whom I would do anything. Christ consorted with all kinds of sinners, even very righteous ones. That doesn’t mean he condoned their lifestyles; it means he loved them.

There are people in other countries who will kill you for your beliefs. We don’t do that in America so stop trying to condemn and verbally stone each other! The double standard is revolting. The founder of Amazon.com is pro-gay marriage, as is Ben and Jerry’s, yet there is no attempt to have them barred from various cities for not reflecting, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “the views of the city.”

Tolerance and judgment are two different things. I’m a publisher of motivational material. I don’t allow negative people to rent space in my life. Does that mean I’m judging them? No! It means I do not tolerate certain attitudes. When I worked for the government I had many different clearances. That meant I could not associate with people whose lifestyles were deemed risky. Did I judge them? No! Did I tolerate hanging out with them? No.

There is no requirement to personally tolerate every type of behavior or lifestyle. We are each free to set our own standards and, for many of us, those standards are Biblical. Our founding fathers fought and died to allow us these freedoms, and our nation exists so that each of us may live according to the dictates of our own conscience. Are you are a little out of step with society at large? March proudly anyway. You are free to do so.

28
Jun
12

Are you freer than you were four years ago?

The Fourth of July. A time when we celebrate our independence as a nation. It is a time for us to celebrate our patriotism, our freedom from oppression, and our love of all things individual. Our freedom and our democracy with which we have been blessed are direct products of the sheer determination of our forefathers who worked to establish the United States of America as a free country.

Freedom of choice?

We have a choice to be wealthy or poor. We have the choice to live a healthy lifestyle or an unhealthy one. We have a choice to be agnostic or religious. We each have every opportunity to live our lives as we see fit. Equal opportunity does not guarantee equal outcome. Those who achieve more are vilified, unless they are in sports or the entertainment industry. If you have ever run a business and not had to fire someone, lay someone off, or get hauled to  court, I’m not sure you even showed up for work.

Are we even in the business of celebrating the individual? Seems anybody that is different than what we think, what we earn, and what we look like is the enemy. Differences have come to reflect “evil”. We are less united as a nation; partisan politics has made our common bond a distant memory.

I can remember the first time I saw the Borg on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It still scares the bejesus out of me, the thought of a huge hive where any bit of individualism has been assimilated into one collective consciousness. But as we give our individual freedoms to a collective bureaucracy, this is exactly what is happening to us.

Free to disagree?

I shied away from the debate club as a teen because I could never vehemently argue one side of an argument. I could always see the other person’s point of view. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” If you listen to the news, or read the blogs, we have no first-rate minds. And they definitely don’t want you to have a first-rate mind either. You can tell by the tone and spin in their “investigative” journalism. That’s not news, that’s entertainment.

Have a different set of morals than me? I’ll coil up and bite you by spreading venomous lies and hissing vulgarities about you. I’ll make you and your family a parody on comedy sketches so everyone can laugh at how ignorant you are. And yet we are busy wringing our hands over the escalating problem of childhood bullying, refusing to acknowledge that they are direct reflections of the adults in, or out, of their lives.

I used to love the days when I could carry on a discussion with someone who had a completely different viewpoint than myself without it degenerating into snide tones, and unsubstantiated quips. Don’t agree with me? You must be phobic, an idiot, a pathetic loser, or just a jackass. Sounds real grown up, doesn’t it?

Do we have to tolerate fools gladly?

During my time in the military, I lived in many different countries. There are governments that do not respect individual freedoms, liberties, or the basic equalities that we take for granted in America. I, like every other service member, took an oath to defend these rights against all enemies, foreign and domestic. 

With the influx of foreign nationals into our country, we see that some of these intolerances have made their way onto our soil. Some groups demand that we respect their laws and religious ideals, but refuse to respect those of others. Their way is the only way so your freedom of choice is dictated by them.  Ayaan Hirsi Ali said, “Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.” Tolerating others’ injustices to basic human rights isn’t respecting another nation’s sovereignty or religious beliefs, it’s just wrong.

This Fourth of July remember, while we are still free to do so, that we truly must live free or die; that if we’re all thinking alike, nobody is thinking; and that suffering fools gladly is madness.

06
Mar
12

To Deny or to Die: That is the Question

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been sentenced to death by the Iranian government for converting to Christianity. He became a pastor in the Iranian city of Rasht and was convicted of apostasy in 2010. He would not recant his Christian faith and was thereby condemned to death. Numerous world leaders have expressed their concern and outrage while others retort that Iran has complete sovereignty over who they put to death and Christians have killed many in their time, turnabout is fair play.

But let’s take the high road in this event because that is certainly what this husband, father, pastor, and yes, Christian is doing. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A man who hasn’t found something he is willing to die for is not fit to live.” If you consider Pastor Nadarkhani’s predicament, he chose to die rather than deny. He is truly fit to live, like a mother willing to die in childbirth to give life, a soldier willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield for the freedom of generations to come, a youngster who goes out on an icy lake to save a beloved, flailing pet only to drown.

No one who persecutes anyone for their beliefs is capable of living a tremendous life. In fact, the gospel of Christ declares that His sacrificial death was an unconditional act of obedience to God’s ultimate love and is a gift we are all free to accept or reject. The heart of Christianity is about unconditional love and sharing the gift. If I kill you because you don’t accept my gift, what does that say about me? But if I love the gift you gave me so much that I am willing to die for it rather than deny it, what does that say about the giver and the gift?

The Holy Bible states, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” In the case of this pastor, I would say he has found the true meaning of life; a love that transcends everything, to include bowing to the demands of those who seek to take his life. We live life for a time and then face death.  How much more tremendous can our lives become when we discover that the true meaning of “a life worth living” is intricately linked to “something worth dying for?”




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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