Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’
Today I was listening to the Rush Limbaugh show in the background while doing something else. So, not paying real chose attention – just listening for something interesting.
One of the segments was on why women dislike Sarah Palin. Why would women – especially women – dislike Sarah Palin? It would seem to me, on first pass, that Sarah would be a positive role model. What is there to dislike about her as a role model?
One caller spelled it out. She (Sarah) is: too pretty; too successful; she is a good mother; she loves camping; she can hike up a mountain; she can be mom to a special needs child; she is wealthy; she has a regular segment on Fox News; she can hunt and fish and she can field dress a moose. In short, she can “do it all”.
As the caller said, “What is not to dislike about her?”
So the bottom line is that some women dislike Sarah Palin because of her success. The following segment on Limbaugh was on Status Anxiety. Folks who are jealous of other people’s success. I think this book may have been mentioned on the show. (Sorry, was not listening that close)
This is a book about an almost universal anxiety that rarely gets mentioned directly: an anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we’re judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. This is a book about status anxiety.
We care about our status for a simple reason: because most people tend to be nice to us according to the amount of status we have (it is no coincidence that the first question we tend to be asked by new acquaintances is ‘ What do you do?’). With the help of philosophers, artists and writers, the book examines the origins of status anxiety (ranging from the consequences of the French Revolution to our secret dismay at the success of our friends), before revealing ingenious ways in which people have learnt to overcome their worries in their search for happiness. It aims not only to be entertaining, but wise and helpful as well.
Isn’t it interesting – people who are jealous of other people’s success. Why? Didn’t we all start out – when we were born – with “nothing”? Isn’t it the case that we are the product of every decision we ever made?
If we all start out with nothing and if we are all the product of every decision we ever made then why should anyone be jealous of anyone else without the concomitant understanding that we are responsible for our own success or failure?
If anything, successful people can be role models. How did they become successful? What did they do to become successful and how is this different from people who are not successful? Successful people – rather than people to be derided – can provide an aspirational vision. That is why we have heroes – people we desire to emulate. Where would we be without aspirational vision and those successful people that model the way for us? To be jealous of successful people and dismiss them is to throw away the proven templates of success.
Dealing with Status Anxiety
From Yahoo News… Sarah Palin’s Version of Paul Revere’s Famous Ride.
You might have learned that Paul Revere warned colonists “the British are coming,” but according to Sarah Palin, Revere warned the Brits too. On her East Coast bus tour, Palin said that Revere, “warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms by ringing those bells.”
The video has gotten almost 2 million views on YouTube (watch it). But since Revere didn’t warn the British and didn’t use bells, Palin is taking a lot of heat for her account of history. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Palin, “You realize that you messed up about Paul Revere, don’t you?” Palin responded, “I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. … Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there. That, hey, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms,” she explained. “He did warn the British.”
Many of Palin’s supporters agree with her, and some are trying to create a new revised version of Paul Revere’s midnight ride on Wikipedia.
Here Palin had an unplanned opportunity at two different points in time. She had an opportunity to: 1) provide, in an informal public setting, what she knows about american history. 2) a few days later confront a historical mistake that she made. What did she implicitly tell us about her knowledge and character in these opportunities?
The real key here is, “I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere..”. She shows herself to be one of those that “can’t be wrong” along with the follow-on of denial and “finding a way to be right”. In some cases, the path for people caught in a lie or mistake is denial followed by contrition. At the time of this writing Palin is in denial. Only time will tell if this will lead to contrition (I’m sorry, I made a mistake). Another path is commitment to her position and irrational behavior. If she takes this later route then we will learn even more about her character and judgement.
Why can’t people admit when they are wrong? In some cases, it’s a lack of self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, the inability to accept criticism, and any combination of the above. The inability to take criticism, learn from mistakes, move on and become better takes a toll on one’s career. Worst of all these folks lose the trust of friends, colleagues, or followers. They do damage to the organizations, companies, or nations they lead or influence.
Why the inability to admit mistakes matters in organizations and nations.
I watched this with some interest – they are the President and First Lady. So knowing what they think on various issues might give some clue what’s coming down the pike in America.
The Art of Listening Deeply
When someone speaks, listen carefully. There are many levels of listening. You can listen to what someone says in a very literal way. You can listen to what people are saying in a political correct way – but smoldering under that politically correct language may be a baser discourse which remains unsaid and would not be acceptable speech in a particular venue. And, you can listen to the unspoken language of taken-for-granted assumptions that define the fabric or framework of thought.
This last way of listening is by far the most interesting because it often discloses the very important paradigm by which one conceives the world, the people in it, and a system of values. Sometimes people who are speaking are not aware of the unstated and unquestioned assumptions and paradigms that color their thought. If they are aware of them it might not be polite to disclose them in public. That is, what you really think. Best to clothe them in politically correct language and surface-speak to avoid any impropriety.
When Barbara Walters asked Michelle Obama the question about childhood obesity I thought this would be a good opportunity to practice listening at these various levels. Here is how it went down.