Tag Archives: Asker

ASK JASON ANYTHING: How do I party like Jason R. Peters?

It’s a writer’s job to know a little bit about everything, and to thoroughly research anything he doesn’t know. ASK JASON ANYTHING is your opportunity to challenge Jason with a question of any kind, whether it’s scientific or religious, financial or social, political, historical. It can be something you already know, or something you’re genuinely curious to learn. You can ask trivia or knowledge or advice, and every Thursday, Jason will do his best to answer. (Read more atwww.jasonrpeters.com.)

Today’s question:

How do I party like Jason R.?

While this question relates to a very specific, memorable event with its own complex set of high and low points, it speaks to a broader aspect of my personal philosophy.

The asker posed the question after seeing me, a normally fairly reserved individual, fling myself at high velocity into all manner of hijinx. This was asked tongue-in-cheek because don’t seem like the guy to party with abandon. I get to work early, I dress conservatively even in my own home, and I’m fairly bookish.

However, there are times when I believe it is necessary to sink into the moment. This doesn’t mean sacrificing your principles or betraying your own values; on the contrary, you should embrace them more tightly. But most people spend their lives lamenting or idealizing the past and fearing or romanticizing the future. This kind of  introspection is understandable, and even healthy — to a point.

But there are a few times in life where you just shouldn’t worry quite so much about what tomorrow brings, or regret what you did yesterday. You should let go and experience the moment. A clenched fist cannot give or receive, but an open palm can do both. It is the selfish or frightened mind which clings tightly to safety nets. Make your mind like an open palm (an open mind is an open door) and things can be taken from you, yes. When you learn to be okay with that, you will find yourself learning and receiving things you never before thought possible.

How do you “party like Jason R.”? You party like you mean it. In other words, you don’t party as lip service to the person who invited you, or even to yourself. You party like you were given the gift of life from God Himself, fun activities to immurse yourself, enjoyable food and drink, and more good friends to share a moment with than I, at least, deserve.

I believe Dr. Richard Purkey put it best:

“Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you have never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though heaven is on earth.”

 A lifetime of disappointments and aches and pains have taught us to be cautious. While caution has its place, there is also something to be said for reckless abandon, without which most of mankind’s greatest discoveries would never have happened.

ASK JASON ANYTHING: Where should I go to meet good men (for dating)?

It’s a writer’s job to know a little bit about everything, and to thoroughly research anything he doesn’t know. ASK JASON ANYTHING is your opportunity to challenge Jason with a question of any kind, whether it’s scientific or religious, financial or social, political, historical. It can be something you already know, or something you’re genuinely curious to learn. You can ask trivia or knowledge or advice, and every Thursday, Jason will do his best to answer.

TODAY’S QUESTION:

Assuming I’m going to date no matter what, where should I go to meet good men?

Our first installment of ASK JASON ANYTHING is a whopper if ever I’ve heard one. What a loaded question — especially since I myself am a man. (Don’t believe any rumors to the contrary.)

The answer, at least to me, is simple, though it is heavy-laden with ramifications and implications.

The single best place to meet good men, for the purpose of dating (which is what the asker intends), is CHURCH.

I have never met better men than the men I meet in Church, or through other church-related functions. I have never met more upstanding, generous, kind, sensitive, responsible men than those whom I would truly consider godly.

But what if I’m not religious?

This is always the trouble giving advice, isn’t it? Any advice I give is going to fall into my own world-view. For example, if I think drowning isn’t healthy and profitable, I’m unlikely to tell you to jump in a lake, even if YOU tell me you don’t like to be dry. Instead, I’m going to advise you to seek God in all you do because God is part of my own world-view. You don’t have to accept it, and you don’t have to accept my advice.

Even leaving God outside the equation for argument’s sake, my answer would not change. Even if I myself were not “religious”, I still know that all the best men I’ve ever met, in the longest-lasting, happiest marriages were church-going men. In fact, most of the best men I have ever met, among them Brett Lybrand, Ben Farrar, Stephen Durst, and Dr. J. Larry Yoder, aren’t just avid church-goers…they have careers in ministry. Their wives (of the ones who are married) are among the luckiest women on earth, and I’m convinced if you asked any of them, they’d tell you the same.

There is another kind of man you might meet in church, and that’s the kind of man like many of my other friends who have in their adult lives turned to agnosticism or secular humanism or some other belief other than Christianity. Nevertheless, the moral and ethical character they exhibit is no doubt thanks in part to their involvement in spiritual endeavors. A man doesn’t have to know the truth of metaphysics to be a good man; he just has to have the kind of generous character that spiritual pursuits provide.

Wait a minute; I’ve known some church people who were real scum.

And you always will. Just because someone attends church does not mean he is perfect by any stretch. It’s not as though the villains are blocked at the door; on the contrary, we want villains in church in hopes that they might repent of their wickedness, or at minimum offset some of the injury they’ve caused others if they accomplish some good.

But having worked in ministry, in law enforcement, in military, in music, in hospitality, in retail, and having socialized in ministry, in bars, in workplaces, in parks, I can honestly say that the percentage of really good men you will meet is far higher in church than anywhere else you can consider. Not only that, but the quality of character of the truly good men is even higher than anywhere else.

What if I were to advertise that I have no interest in being “saved”?

When I was younger, I placed a great deal of emphasis on “saving” and “converting”. And there are many people who still do. But none of the men I’ve described above does. Don’t get me wrong; they would love nothing more than for you to have a true and meaningful relationship with God, not for anything they would get out of it, but for what it would do for you. However, the men I described and named have been lifelong friends with unbelievers at every end of the spectrum. They are not offended by someone unwilling to “convert”.

However, the idea of using  church for other means is a sticky situation ethically speaking. But as a Christian, I can tell you that other Christians will accept ANY opportunity to bring you to church. Even if your goal was to argue with the Sunday School lesson and try to spread some anti-Christian agenda, a true church will still welcome you. (Though not every church is a true church.)

But if it troubles you to be in church for any purpose other than the primary one church offers, official “church” is not the be-all/end-all of my answer.

Instead, I would advise to seek out other church-like agencies to meet men. Soup kitchens, volunteer organizations, charities, and non-profit ministries or studies which have no agenda you would find troublesome are all excellent places to meet the kind of men I’m  describing.

The thing I want you to ask yourself about any venue you’re considering as a place to meet men:

WHY ARE THEY THERE?

Ask this question about single men (or married!) hanging out alone in a bar. Why are they there? What do they hope will happen?

What about dating sites; what’s the motivation for most men who use them?

The workplace? That one’s obvious and not quite as vile as the others; they’re there to earn a living. Not necessarily to enter a relationship fraught with complications inherent to any office romance.

Now contrast the above examples with church or soup kitchens. Why are the men there? Some may have illicit reasons, but the majority are there for one or all of three reasons:

1. To better themselves

2. To serve their community

3. To serve God

Even if the third makes you uncomfortable, I would wager that the first two are a sign of good character that’s rare in most men you’ve ever dated.

Have a question you think will stump Jason? Send it to jason.r.peters@gmail.com and check www.jasonrpeters.com next Thursday to see if your question was answered to your satisfaction.