I Am Not As Dumb As I Look


As I may have told you, in the car I spend one week listening to conservative radio and one week listening to liberal. I am not a glutton for punishment but it just makes sense…listening that is.

As is appropriate, one is in attack mode all the time and the other plays defense. But you do get glimmers of sanity here and there. With the true exception of Olbermann and Beck. They are certifiable.

I also scour the various newspapers for editorials and columns. I hope others do too. I took note of how the papers played the employment report last Friday. They said it wasn’t bad but the gains might be weather related. They want to see 4-6 months of the same before we are declared cured. Can we please get positive?

This has nothing to do with politics or Obama. It has to do with feeling better about things. Is it me or do we see one crisis after another ? I have been five down on the golf course more than once…and come back. Not because I am good but because I always try to think on the up side.

Having been involved in depression in both an academic and personal sense, I can tell you it is not so much the facts of life but how you view them. Cognitive psychologists will speak of erroneous thinking. Basically you read things wrongly and draw the darker conclusions.

If I let out a loud yell, someone might think I am upset. Another might think I hurt myself. A third might think I am nuts. Maybe I am calling the dog. Same action. Different responses. You have the power to think positively or negatively about anything. Half empty or half full. It is really your choice.

I guess it is the plight of man, but it still fascinates me that we can get so down as a city, a certain demographic, a country. Elizabeth Edwards wrote a book on resilience. Now if that isn’t a poor woman that should have been depressed. Sure there is bad in the world but there is a hell of a lot of good.

I watched a segment on 60 Minutes last night. It had to do with impoverished kids in the county which encompasses Disney World in Florida. Over one thousand children in the school district are homeless. Incredibly sad and sobering as I sheepishly sat down with my dinner and glass of wine.

But the real truth was the families that were hell bent on making it. By hook or by crook. I have seen people in a homeless shelter that are determined to get out. What separates them from some one who has given up or wants to wallow in self pity? A little thing called soul. They reach down, look life in the eye and say let’s get on with it.

Johnnie Miller was announcing the Honda Classic last weekend. I was astounded how many times before the player hit a shot he pointed out what could go wrong. The water. The sand. Out of Bounds. Is this the way the guy naturally thinks? Do we?

Let’s take something near and dear. The Boomers. We are all talking about this group as a boat anchor. How about the potential for good? Schools are hurting. Can’t they be volunteer teacher aids? How about CFO’s helping out school districts and non profits?

A good buddy of mine drives a bus for senior citizens. These are not just nice to do things but the difference between a program continuing or being dropped. Yeah, I am trying to get your butt off the couch but I am also trying to demonstrate how you can look at a generation differently. Goes for all of them. The X’s, the Y’s, the Me’s.

Think about all the negative energy we expend by bitching and moaning. And in true Irish fashion the bad feelings stay with you a lot longer than the good times.

Imagine if the pundits and lawmakers spent their time coming up with positive solutions rather than calling press conferences to put something down. How about the daily emails you get? What if instead of taking shots, those fertile brains came up with solutions ?

I am “pondering” over Social Security and Healthcare. I am wracking my meager brain to come up with a good course of action. Not because I am bored but I think that I as a citizen have to do so. It’s okay, we are padding the walls to my office.

We all have so much talent, both young and old. If we ever harnessed that power in a positive way instead of all the hand wringing, we could be scary good…or at least scary happy.

Yes, I am not as dumb as I look. Neither are you!

As always

Ted The Great


Factoid: They estimate over 200,000,000 golf balls are lost in the US every year.

Prayer: Lord, let me be one half the person my dog thinks I am. (Sorry, I forgot it last week)

3 thoughts on “I Am Not As Dumb As I Look

  1. Thanks Ted, love your perspective. Spend the day with Molly who says multiple times in one week, “this is the best day of my life!” Today she declared, “This is the best lolly pop I have ever had!” The other day it was, “I love my family and everyone in this world, even the bad guys because they need love too.” Did she learn this or is it innate? Will she become a skeptic? Hope not!

  2. I appreciate your perspective, your heart’s cry for sanity, and your plea for seeing the good. Sometimes, if I’ve listened too much to the general public, I turn to one of my favorite little books–Are You As Happy As Your Dog?–which begins with “I met a man who told me, ‘For years I was so miserable that I prayed to God daily to let me be as happy as my dog!'” It’s a cheap antidote to hang out with my daughter’s chocolate lab who is perpetually happy, enthusiasic, appreciative and in love with life. Maybe my prayer should be “Let me be half as enlightened as the dog!”

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