Be nice, think of others before yourself, don’t hit
It’s amazing how lessons from the classroom and 1st grade and all of those things really do still resonate in adult life. Many of us have lost our way, though, and don’t adhere to the basic rules of getting along with one another. Even worse, parents out there now are sometimes not encouraging their children to abide by the rules. This is tragic in my opinion. We all need to learn to get along together. And if you can’t do that, I’m going to put you in the corner.
One great example of this, in the media lately, is the Conan O’Brien talk show. “Coco” as he is called, or “Cone Dohn” as my kids used to call him, has had a late night talk show on NBC for 15 years. A few years ago, to keep him at their network, they gave him a contract that said they’d move him up to the Tonight Show in 5 years, and at that time Jay Leno would retire from the show. But when the appointed time came, Leno threw a whining fit. This is where his mother should have told him differernt (and probably did. He’s just forgot his lesson). This is what I would have told Jay if he was in my classroom:
“Okay Jay, what’s wrong?” “He stole my TV show!” “All right, wait a minute. Did he steal it, or was it just his turn?” “He stole it!” “How long did you play with it?” “20 years.” “So, don’t you think it’s about time you let Conan play with it too? You’ve had it a long time, and it’s not only your toy. Remember how Carson let you play with it after he was done?”
But, life isn’t the classroom. And after awhile (a few months at most) where Jay was not doing well with his new show, demanded his old time slot back. He did not ask Conan what he though about it, he just said “No! Mine!” and grabbed the show again. This time though, he whined with lawyers, and won. Conan stepped down. And he didn’t go whining to the teacher about it (I always appreciate those kids in class!)
Flash forward 9 month later, and TBS offers Conan a show at 11:00. He declines, saying that he does not want to bump out the current 11:00 guy at that station – George Lopez. But Lopez begs Conan to come aboard, saying it will be beneficial for both of them, so Conan aggrees. See, Conan didn’t just take the toy. Lopez offered it to him. What nice boys. I’d give them a sticker.
Now, Conan is getting better ratings than Jay Leno and David Letterman, both on the major networks (Cone Dohn is on the cable TBS station) and George Lopez is seeing his best ratings ever because he’s got CoCo as a lead in. It’s awesome! It’s a great example of “whining doesn’t always get you your way”.
Let me sit down with Leno for a minute. You know he’s going to come whining to me after recess. “Mr. Edie! Coco stole my show!” “Now, wait a minute Jay. He brought that show from home. It’s not yours.” “But, It’s a better show than mine! It’s not fair!” “It IS fair Jay. You have yours, and he has his. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
I’ll probably get a call from Jays mother later today, but that’s okay. Jay needs to learn the facts of life. Whiners never prosper. (Okay, sometimes they do, but not in my class)
(Disclaimer: the details of the Conan/Jay problem were gleaned from various media sources, and may not be EXACTLY how the whole thing went down, but it’s the basic way it went and how I understood it from how it was explained to me. Just want to be honest. Liars are just as bad as whiners)