This is going to read to some as holier than thou, but it’s really holier than I’ve been. I’m not telling you what to do, after all. I’m just telling you what’s on my mind.
I was driving to a business meeting tonight listening to a radio station when I was overcome by the urge to swear at the host for behaving in what I deemed was, well, an ungentlemanly fashion. It wasn’t the first host, time nor even station that has roused that quick, biting anger in me, but I’m trying to make it the last. I decided at that moment to be done with it.
Honestly, it took a lot of energy not to pop it back on before I arrived at my destination. Habits are hard to break and decent topical radio is hard-to-find. There aren’t a lot of choices in talk, especially given my picky nature when it comes to the music that interrupts the voice on the microphone, but I did it.
I love talk radio, but I don’t love the place to where some have let it devolve. It goes the same for television. Why do we listen to and watch the things that we dislike? For all the complaining we do about the stubborn “my way or the highway” attitude of our government or a certain team owner, why do we let people with that same attitude dictate the tone of our sports fandom or community perception?
So here are my new vows: if there’s a radio or television show with an unbridled, consistent, negative and deconstructive tone, I’m done with it. If there’s a radio or television show that interacts with the customer (caller/viewer/reader) as if they’re wasting their time or an idiotic fool, I’m done with that, too.
I’m not saying this is what everyone needs to do and this isn’t a case of “if you don’t have something nice to say…” because that’s ridiculous. Criticism is part of life and part of good conversation and discussion. I’m not even saying I’m not or won’t be employed by a place with co-workers who fit the aforementioned descriptions. What I am saying is that it’s very easy to get into a bad place and I don’t need that coming close to influencing my daily goings-on.
This isn’t to start a comment war where folks bash specific people for what they do. In fact, please don’t. We can be above that. Perhaps this approach will stop my new program(s) from ever reaching super popular status. Maybe that’s why my shows haven’t worked in the past. I can handle that.
I’m not a great person. In fact, I’m got more improving to do now than at many other points in my life. I’m a horror with the way my jaw and vocabulary come unhinged when I’m in a locker room or certain company, and my temper isn’t the best. What I am, however, is committed to entertaining in a positive manner and treating others the way I want to be treated.
Honestly, if the only purpose this post serves is to go public and hold my feet to the “be a good dude” fire, it’ll work for me. In a sense, maybe I need to put pressure on myself to perform.
My friend Chris “The Bulldog” Parker paraphrased the way to play sports as “Work hard, have fun.” It works for life. I’m pretty sure I’ve got the working hard thing down and I have a lot more fun when I’m happy.