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For God’s Sake, Take A Compliment.



Recently I received a complement that really got me thinking.  Someone came up to me and said, “Jon that shirt looks really good on you.”  I said, “Thank you very much.”  As I walked away I thought to myself, “That’s one of the weirdest conversations I’ve ever had.” As I thought about the phrase “That shirt looks good on you”, I realized that I was being complimented for being a hanger.

As I thought about it more I came to the conclusion that what was actually being complimented was the shirt.

The person didn’t say, “you look very nice, and I like your shirt”.

Now the person who said this is not the weirdest weirdo in the conversation, because I said, “Thank you”, as if in some way I could take credit for how good the shirt looked.  I didn’t make the shirt; I picked it out from a pile of ten other shirts just like it.

I was complimented for something that had nothing to do with me,
and then I took credit for it.


An Attitude Adjustment

Monkey wrench

I don’t think that I need to spend too much time making the point that bad attitudes spread from person to person like a virus from that monkey in Outbreak.

You’ve probably spent 15 minutes with hungry kids right?

You’ve visited the post office on December 22nd.

Ever seen an NBA game?

It’s almost impossible to contain a bad attitude.  This is because, in the moment, none of us will admit to having them.

When you confront someone on having a bad attitude they always have the same response don’t they?

“I don’t have a bad attitude, I’m just being realistic.”


Who We Are & Who We Can Be Pt. 6

In the history of television there is no more despicable man than Seinfeld’s George Costanza.  George is lazy, compulsive, manipulative, a skinflint, and a poor latex salesman.

What’s interesting about George isn’t merely that he’s a bad person, it’s that he might be America’s most beloved bad person.

No matter how terribly George behaved over 9 seasons on America’s greatest sitcom, the television audience never stopped rooting for him.

George Costanza, while dishonest, was quite possibly the finest depiction of the banal and neurotic nature of human depravity ever presented in western culture.  His sad-sack suffering was always the result of his inability to be considerate of any desire other than his own.  This impulsiveness was consistently the source of his own undoing.

Which makes him a lot like you and me.

George’s behavior revealed his nature, and his nature influenced his behavior, in a downward spiral that was as entertaining as it was revelatory of the human condition.

I’d suggest to you that we don’t hate George because we identify with him.

We tend to root for unsuccessful people who are flawed in the same way that we are.  This is probably because it helps us feel better about our own lack of success.  We also tend to vilify both the successful and those whom we find to be inferior to us.  In short, we hope to elevate our position by squashing the field.

George is unique in that he makes us feel better about ourselves,
without having to knock him down to look better to others.


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