Gary Crow Presents Audio Tidbits

Accepted By Whom

"The question for the child is not ‘Do I want to be good?' but ‘Whom do I want to be like?'" (Bruno Bettelheim) A second question could be added to Bettelheim's insight, "By whom do I want to be accepted?" As children grow, the answer to this question becomes the answer to, "Whom do I want to be like?" Kids actively try to be like the people by whom they most want to be accepted. Sure, this includes many adult "role models" at home, at school, and most anywhere the child spends time. Importantly, though, it also includes the children with whom your child wants to be friends. The kids your child seeks out as friends and how skilled he (or she) is at friend picking is one of the least explored but most critical dimensions affecting whether he is "good" or not and how he understands the meaning of being good. When all is said and done, he will be as much like his friends as like you. As Oliver Wendell Holmes suggested, "Imitation is a necessity of human nature;" and your child is imitating his friends. Please tune in for the rest of the discussion.


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Dear Steven

I ran across this from Steven Wright. "When I get real bored, I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot, then sit in my car and count how many people ask me if I'm leaving." It got me to thinking about how often my annoyances are due to other people being bored and having nothing better to do.... "Dear Steven, Get a life. If you have nothing better to do than sitting in your car counting how many people wish you would go do something else, it seems likely you do not have the mental capacity to get a life without serious psychiatric assistance. Unfortunately, even that may not help. You may be just too far gone." Tune in for the rest of the story.


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Happiness Is A Habit

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." (Martha Washington) An ever-present positive approach is the trademark of people who follow Washington's lead. It's not the pasted on smile, glad hand, and "Isn't everything wonderful?" phoniness that some slick types try to pass off as the genuine article, just as it's not some kind of nonsensical philosophy that says things like, "Some good comes out of even the worst experiences." Rather, it's believing there is a way out of the darkest forest and that they will find it. It's remembering the good news in their lives as they receive the bad. It's hanging in there with themselves and with others when a lesser spirit would hang it up. It's a personal philosophy that says, "On the happiness scale from 1 to 10, I have made a conscious decision to never go below a 7, no matter how discouraging it gets." Making this commitment to themselves is how they sustain their positive approach every time, with everyone. It's also how they make sure that, for them, happiness is a habit, not just a happening. As Abraham Lincoln said, "People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be." The message is that happiness isn't a reward reality bestows on the favored few. It's a gift each person may choose to give himself. Tune in and be happy.


 Get MP3 (2.2 MB | 2:25 min)

When A Leader Isn't Needed

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." (Rosalynn Carter) There are dozens of perspectives on leadership but all of those perspectives have at least one idea in common. As Carter suggested, to be an effective leader, one needs to have a vision for the future and a clear sense of mission or purpose. The leader then "leads" from here to there. A successful leader, then, is one that arrives at the predefined destination, with the followers right behind. One hears a lot about national leaders, state leaders, community leaders, and even family leadership as a necessary quality of a successful parent but one might wonder. If a business or nonprofit organization fails, it's usually seen as a failure of leadership. Those in charge fire the Executive and get a new leader, hoping for better times. If that doesn't work, the organization eventually folds and everyone moves on to other ventures. With the national, state, and local governments and to some extent with families, that doesn't happen. Rather, things get worse and may get better and then they get worse again but not much changes. Government and families are not much different than they were ten years ago or twenty years ago or fifty years ago. The same is true for the schools, public services, and most all of the institutions and sub-institutions in every jurisdiction. There are better times and worse times but there is a persisting sameness that characterizes things over time. If not a leader, then what? Tune in to see.


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Santa Will Be Pleased

Christmas is a magical time. WOW! A tree in the house, excitement everywhere and Santa is coming. Yes indeed, the jolly old elf himself. Tune in to learn the secret for pleasing Santa.


 Get MP3 (1.7 MB | 3:40 min)

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