Hear Ye, Hear Ye….
Let me start by saying you can call off the suicide watches for yours truly. I am doing just great. As a matter of fact even better after all your wonderful responses to “You’ll Never Know” last week. Ted’s Head has never created such a firestorm of sorts and that was beyond interesting.
The ego in me says, “Wow, some of you got it.” Then the arrogance of such a comment brought me back to earth. Who the hell am I to say whether you got it? Guess what? Maybe I didn’t put it very well. For the moment I want to dwell on the process. A thing called communication.
We bombard and are bombarded by various messages all day long. They can be verbal, written, or non verbal such as eye contact or body language. They float somewhere in the spectrum and then are received by one of us. Whether we are genuinely receptive is another story.
We create barriers of some sort or let’s for the moment call them filters. First of all is the source. Whether it is writer or speaker we have something more than ambivalence towards them. We have some sort of gut feeling either positive or negative. For me it’s whether it’s Sandra Bullock or Nancy Pelosi doing the talking? Peyton Manning or Donald Trump? Duh!
Then if you are talking about something I know or believe in you are on the mainline to my brain. If not, I am starting to shut down. Positives get put in the cranial cavity for future reference and cons hit the circular file. I may respond for further clarification and then take appropriate action. Next.
It is actually very cool this happens probably hundreds if not thousands of times a day. Sender, message, recipient. Simple and yet so complex. To me the growing process involves trying to catch as many of these vibes as possible. Sure I will chuck some but I at least want to take a good look to see if they hold some degree of water. That’s probably not the norm.
If I am hard left or right I can’t let anything get past my fire wall of defense. I have worked hard to get to my position of the last thirty years. Don’t want any free thinker screwing up a good thing. I am comfy and don’t need any other noise in my life. I can’t say I blame you. Takes a lot of hard work to buck the tide.
On the other hand I dare any of you to sit down and listen to Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow for a bit. Separately of course. See if there are not two or three things they say in the course that make sense? Abortion? Guns? Economic theory? Not all ideas but at least something where you can say I agree. A starting point. But we don’t want to give even an inch. Can’t show any weakness…except of course in our thought process.
I am so struck by the road ahead and our response to the bends and curves. We have got to rethink so many aspects of our country and our lives. We have to have debates but they should be enlightening not divisive. We have got to utter the word that so many find impossible. COMPROMISE. And that means being able to put our radio on receive as well as transmit.
I work my ass off trying to do it. It ain’t easy. I labor through Charles Krauthammer as well as Maureen Dowd but in the end it is invigorating. The only way I can get my juices going is to think of new things. I have to take a problem and try to dream up some way to fix it. I don’t think I am anything special.
To me one of the greatest triumphs and at the same time failure of our body politic is Simpson Bolles. Here was a bipartisan commission that came up with a blueprint to get us out of our financial morass. It was presented two and a half years ago at the behest of Obama. It was shelved by him and the Congress because they could not stand the thought of giving up sacred cows. Ditto Immigration. Ditto gun control.
If each one of us were to concentrate on the task at hand we could accomplish some scary things. If we could hear disparate views and really try to think them through. If we could taste different foods, different ideas, different genres and just savor them for a moment before spitting them out. The worst sin is not to even taste them at all.
If we would just communicate and throw out the filters, the preconceived notions and prejudice we could make some really sweet music. This is not just a feel good concept. Maybe not my future but my kid’s and grandkid’s is in jeopardy and wasting that well being is not an option to me.
Ted The Great
Over 25 of you responded to last weeks epistle. I actually had written it a couple of months ago. Some of you were concerned for my well being including my sister and I thank you. Some of you read it a couple of times and couldn’t figure out what I was saying. One of you wrote back and asked if I had cancer. I don’t. Someone said they read it in the morning and after the fourth or fifth paragraph they wanted a drink. Kathy said it was really dark. Some had some deep insights and they caused me to pause. Most of you just read and wondered. I guess that’s what this is all about.