Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's all you...

Whatever happened to personal responsibility?  It seems the going thing is to blame somebody or something for just about everything.  Are we truly just becoming cogs in a wheel that is turned by another hand? I hope not.

When my kids were little, I had a no tolerance policy (or so I thought) about lying.  Lying really makes me angry.  I told them that if they did something wrong, they would get in trouble for it.  But if I found out they lied about it, they would get in much more trouble.  So they might as well fess up from the start, as "moms always find out...and moms do...sooner or later".

I have to admit I am too often guilty of lying by omission.  I don't like to hurt people's feelings so I have always tried to live by the rule "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."  I've come to believe that's not always a best practice even though it has good intentions.  It's a difficult habit to break, however.

Many people seem to want to believe the worst in others.  That's why gossip (and political commentators) are so powerful. The quickness to blame is seldom balanced with the same speed to credit.

How have people developed this fear of admitting they might not know something?  I suppose they think it makes them look stupid, but the real question is why they don't know it.  Have they not been exposed to it?  Have they not had enough practice with it?  Did their own laziness attribute to the lack of knowledge?  Did they not ask?   Do they think we all learn by osmosis?  No, too often they are hoping to slide their ignorance under the radar of observation.  I've got news for them.  It doesn't work as "moms always find out...and moms do...sooner or later".

The worst to me is when one is caught in error, they seek to blame everyone but themselves. Do they really think that?  Do they really not understand the concept of personal responsibility, or are they lacking the integrity to admit when they don't know something or do something wrong.  Maybe they are just higher on human scale than I am, as I seem to do things wrong all the time.

Do yourself and our society a favor.  Teach your children that lying won't get them anywhere.  Teach them the joy of learning new things, but that sometimes it is hard to learn those new things, and that's okay.  Teach them that it's okay to not know something, that that is an opportunity to learn.  Teach them there are no stupid questions. Teach them that it is not necessary to put someone else down, in order to build themselves up. Teach them personal responsibilty.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


My Connecting Threads Quilt Design uses assorted tones of purple batiks.  I get to be entered into a contest by sharing this.  I do love contests and winning.  Actually, it's fun to experiment with fabrics in the patterns on the kit builder on their site.  The totals for the fabric calculate along the way.  It's a fun idea. I can't wait for them to add more quilt patterns to the mix.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Having been in the news business for more than 15 years, I feel I have the right to comment (and criticize) on the news business.  And today, I just have the need to rant a bit.

When will the networks learn?  Yesterday, the worst storm in practically forever, hit the central United States.  It spread from Texas to Maine covering the area with ice, snow, and gale force winds.  It is estimated that 100 million people were affected by this storm.  Thousands of schools were closed across the area, including Chicago schools for the first time in 17 years. Major highways including portions of I-70 and I-44 in Missouri and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago were closed.  Four states declared national emergencies.  I could go on..... Yet what did two of the major news outfits lead with?  Egypt.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I know that the uprising in Egypt is a huge international story.  I'm not saying don't do a good job of explaining what is happening there, and how it affects the rest of the world, and why I should care.  But what I am saying is most people, stuck at home, or stranded somewhere, want to know about the storm.  The storm is affecting them, personally, now.  Lead with the storm. And please, don't wait to cover the storm until it gets to New York (where the network is), since most of us don't live in New York.

And as a side note about the Egypt coverage....what is this infatuation about sending your anchors to the story?  Katie Couric has no business covering that story.  She's an anchor.  Leave her and Brian Williams in the studio.

I usually don't like ABC news coverage best. (That could be because my news life was working for a CBS, and then an NBC station), but on this one they got it right.  They led with the storm.  Yes.  And then they sent an anchor, but a veteran international news correspondent-turned anchor, Christiane Amanpour to cover the situation in Egypt.

Now, back in the day, I remember a discussion about what is news supposed to report:  What people should know, or what people want to know. ( The question came up on a nothing happening local news day when I led with Michael Jackson's hair catching on fire while he was performing in Kansas City when many of our local people had made the trip for the concert.) What people should know, or what people want to know....That sounds like a kind of arrogant question but I suppose the right answer is both.  But if you don't give them what they want, they aren't going to stick around for what you think they should know.