The radio is on in the background right now. Not music, though. Talk.
Talk radio can be a very informative thing so long as you accept the fact that whatever is being said is much like what you’ll get on television. It’s not news per se, just someone else’s opinion of the news. The downside is that you tend to get the impression that the only person in the entire world who knows the truth is the person who happens to be in front of the microphone. The upside is that sometimes you get a little something to write about. Like this time, for instance.
The gentleman on the radio at the moment happens to be one of the most listened-to people in America. Though I don’t listen every day and don’t agree with everything he says, I will admit he has quite a way of saying it. His voice and his opinions have earned him a lot of money and a lot of power.
Though he enjoys much more success and influence than most of us ever will, there is always a little room for improvement. A poll was taken recently that showed his audience consisted of many m ore men than women. The reasons for this gap between male and female intrigued him. What faults did women find in him? What was it they didn’t like? Was it a personality thing? Worse?
So today, he is in the midst of what he has called a Female Summit. All calls coming in must fit two specific criteria—they must be women, and they must articulate exactly what it is about him they find so offensive.
This has been going on for about an hour now, and I think this poor man has gotten more than he bargained. There have been calls regarding his abundance of coarseness to those whose opinions differ from his own. And his abundance of pride. And his abundance of self-satisfaction. And just to even things out a bit, there have also been plenty of calls about what he is lacking. Consideration, for instance. And manners. Self-control, too.
Never let it be said that women will not offer hard and uncompromising truthfulness when asked to do so.
In theory, the Female Summit has been a rousing success. In application, though, maybe not so much. Because rather than take the honest criticism, the man on the radio has spent the vast majority of his time defending himself. It’s not his fault, you see. It’s the media or his enemies or the fact that he’s been battling a cold lately.
Which as gotten me thinking: would I want to do this? Would I really want to what other people think of me? On the surface, yes. Having the truth of how others really see me would be very informative. It would highlight whatever good points I might have that I may be unaware of, and it would allow me to work on those rough parts of me that I, for whatever reason, either gloss over or ignore.
Sounds good in theory. But in application? Not so much.
Because like this very intelligent and successful man on the radio, I’d probably spend a lot more time defending myself than humbly accepting criticism. Because deep down, no matter how much I might want to know the truth about me, I want to believe the lies I tell myself more. Like how I’m just fine, thank you. And how there is nothing I really need to change about me, but there sure is a lot everyone else needs to change about them. I’m okay. It’s the rest of humanity that’s messed up.
Do I really believe this? No. Just the opposite, in fact. But like the smart man on the radio, my pride gets in the way of me being a better me sometimes.
We could all improve ourselves, I think. We could all be better. But changing who you are, even if it’s for the better, is a painful process. Someone once told me that no one ever changes until the pain of changing becomes less than the pain of staying the same. Those are wise words.
I don’t know if this radio show will have a Female Summit next year. Right now, the odds seem pretty small. No one wants to spend three hours in front of a national audience rationalizing the things they do and say. I think this man wanted to change, I really do. And I think he believes he can change. But change won’t come just because we think we can. It comes only when we believe we must.