Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When I Grow Up...

Tonight I want to talk a little bit about what I want to be in life. I don't mean what I want to do for a job, that whole "When I grow up I want to be a truck driver." (Though when I was a kid I had a t-shirt that said exactly that, thanks for giving me BOYS hand me downs Mother). I mean who I want to be as a person, what I want to bring to this rather amazing world of ours.

Now y'all know I love Craig Ferguson. You're probably all sick of me posting stuff of his on my blog. Well, tough. Because it's my blog and I'll post Craig Ferguson if I want to.

That out of the way, Craig is a prime example of the person I want to be. The person I sometimes am, but can't always hit the mark like he does. It's not because I think he's cute and funny. Yes he is those things. But what I really admire is his intelligence, passion, respect, joy, articulacy, wit and sense of wonder.

I have so much respect for someone who embodies those values. Even more someone who is articulate enough to express them. I want to be someone who not only shows intelligence, but also is able to see the joy and wonder in the world. I want to be someone who can laugh at the absurdity of life, but also wonder at the awesome stuff too. I want to have passion for things I do and believe in. I want to be able to express myself in an articulate manner. But more than anything, respect for myself and for others is really important to me.

Now I've shared some of the videos I find hilariously funny from the vast library on YouTube of Craig Ferguson's work before. But now I want to share with you a few other bits and pieces, which to me, illustrate qualities that I really admire.

Let's start with this one, which I think is one of my favourite pieces (or rants, he is known for a rant or two, is Craig) he has done:

What I admire most about this piece is his absolute passion for the subject matter, and the fact that he does not dumb his argument down for his audience at any moment. He still approaches the subject with some humour, but you can see the passion in every word. I love that he takes on subjects that MATTER, rather than just joking about the same old stuff everyone else is, because it's fashionable or topical or appeals to his sponsors. When it means a lot to him, he will get in there and speak up. But never in a disrespectful way - notice that while he's criticising the deification of youth, he's also pointing out that inexperience is part of being young, that it's not something to be ashamed of.

Another quality I would like to be known for is the ability to speak articulately on ANY subject. That doesn't mean I want to be an expert on every subject, but to have the ability to learn about new things my whole life, and be able to have an informed opinion and understanding, and to be able to converse/discuss or present on new things all the time. Craig has an incredible skill with this - he works with only a couple of writers who give him some form and ideas for his show, and is known for only using reminders and guides on his teleprompter rather than having it all written for him. And he'll have a go at almost any subject.

I always loved the character of Coker in John Wyndham's "The Day of the Triffids" who was a professional orator who's slogan was "Subject no object."

I also want to share with you a quote of his that I found:

"Cynicism is the true refuge of the pseudo-intellectual. Cynicism is easy. Joy is an extremely advanced spiritual and intellectual tenet."

I love this. Oh how I love this! I truly believe that it is easy to sneer and smirk at the world, to always believe the worst. To be jaundiced and jaded, scornful. Most cynics believe they're oh so intelligent for this attitude.

But I disagree. To fill your life with joy, to look for the positive as much as possible. Some equate it with naivety or being a "Pollyanna", or viewing the world through "rose coloured glasses", but I don't believe that is what the opposite of cynicism truly is. We all know that life can be cruel, or pointless at times. But cynics tend to have that view as the default. I think that even in the most difficult of times, there can be moments of joy and wonder to be found. In fact, those are the things that make the difficult times pass a lot quicker.

Then there is the ability to laugh at yourself. For example, I love this little montage from one of Craig's opening monologues of him totally making fun of himself:

It's juvenile, it's silly, and it's delightfully self-deprecating. I want to be able to laugh at myself and be an idiot sometimes. I want to be childish, silly and goofy, as well as being articulate, intteligent, passionate and respectful.

So who do you want to be? What qualities are important to you? Is there someone that you truly admire as a person and want to embody the same qualities as?


BruganCampbell said...

I have always, always put my Godparents on a pedestal. They represent love, respect, kindness, class and from the outside - a perfect marriage.

If I can gain a small part of any of those qualities, I'll be chuffed!