Friday, April 10, 2015

A Conversation Worth Hearing

Greetings All:

I don't have a photo to launch this post.  I almost always lead with one but not this time.  If anything, this blog post is going to be more basic, more stripped down.  There will be only one cite, it's below.

If you read this blog (and if you do, thanks!) then you know I'm a Tim Ferriss fan.  I read The 4 Hour Work Week about six years ago and have followed him ever since.  I don't endorse everything he does but I respect how seriously he takes his work.

He also interviews some really cool people.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins, and a long list of other very successful people.  I don't listen to all his pod casts.  Now that the weather is warmer, I hope to listen to more of these.  They are stellar interviews.  Tim Ferriss respects his guest's time and is prepared for an interview.  Even the podcasts I don't love give me a few tidbits of knowledge to take away.

The one I just finished listening to is not one of those.  I loved it.

I did not think I was going to like it, in large part because of the subject/guest- Glen Beck.  That's right, Glen Beck, the arch-conservative talk show host.  The man who self-labeled himself to The New York Times as a "rodeo clown."  (no citation available, I have personal knowledge of reading this fact.)  The man who I mocked when FOX News fired him (or so I thought).  The man whose views of the world I profoundly disagree with in large measure.  This man, my favorite interview by Tim Ferriss.

Yes, you read that correctly, my favorite interview.  In the 1994 movie, Pulp Fiction, John Travolta's character, Vincent Vega has a line that has resonated with me over the years. Here it is: "That's a bold statement."  I suppose the reason it has resonated with me is that things in my youth I held with utter certainty are not quite that way now.  So it is with more than minor deliberation I arrive at this position:  Yes, Glen Beck is my favorite Tim Ferriss interview.

So why?  Why did I come into this conclusion?  In part, it is Tim Ferriss' interview skills.  He is clearly the Charlie Rose of the younger crowd.  It is, in large part, to the stripped down honesty of Mr. Beck.  Oh, and I'd be remiss not to mention the impact this interview had on me.  (Did you think that the author of this blog, a lawyer and an only child, would not include himself?)  

In all seriousness, this interview caused me to recognize that I had failed miserably to view Glen Beck as a fellow human being.  I had previously viewed him as an angry right-winger who lacked the intellectual capacity to do anything more than lob bombs at those attempting to make life better.  Years ago I came up with the expression, "It's easier to break a window than to make stained glass."  A guy like Glen Beck is someone who would first come to mind as someone gleefully flinging a brick into the window of society.

Then I heard this interview.  I recognized that I had not taken the time to hear this man.  I had failed to acknowledge the courage it must have taken to confront his addiction to alcohol and drugs and get sober.  Someone who took one class at Yale and earned the respect of his teacher.  Someone who said in this interview our principles, not our interests, should drive our decision-making.

Our principles, not our interests.  I have to quote Jamie Foxx, playing the role of Staff Sergeant Sikes, in the movie, Jarhead, "That's some heavy dope..." (Dope not being a drug but something of powerful knowledge.)  When I heard this line, "principles, not interests," I was blown away by the pure candor of that line.  

I still think Glen Beck is wrong on many, many things.  And yet in listening to this podcast, I realized that I was wrong to dismiss the man just because I dislike his politics.  Dr. Stephen Covey, of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, stresses as one of his habits, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."  I've heard this before.  However, I think with this podcast, I finally followed through on taking this advice to heart.

Please check out this podcast and let me know what you think.  It's just my two cents, but after listening to these two guys chat, I am convinced it is a conversation worth hearing.

Be well my friends,

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