Thursday, April 24, 2014

Things I've Learned from NPR Lately

Ok, by "lately" I mean...two months ago...but, that's how we roll.  I have mentioned before that I listen to NPR a lot in the car.  This is why I'm notoriously behind the times with knowing what songs are "hip" now.  I do, however, get to learn a lot from the folks over at public radio.  (Who, by the way, have such ecclectic names! I am always wondering if having an interesting name is part of the hiring requirements over there, or if people change their name when they become NPR reporters.)  An-e-ways.

Two separate stories struck me. Firstly was an interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist.

One of the things Mr. Tyson spoke about was his dislike with people calling him, and other very intelligent people, "gifted".  He said, no, he had to work very hard to get to where he is now.  I think that this is very important to remember.  We do have God-given talents and propensities, but there is still actual work involved in our success.  All too often we look at others' achievements and discount them because "that's their gift".  Similarly, we decide that we "can't" do something or another because we just aren't gifted in that area, or we don't have the personality for it.  While it is true that certain tasks are more difficult for some people than others, it does not give us a free pass on life.  Whether we are strong or weak in a particular area of our lives, there is work required.

The second piece that got me thinking was some remarks from correspondent Miles O'Brien, who recently had a partial arm amputation due to acute compartment syndrome after an incident with a heavy case falling on his arm.

O'Brien was actually on NPR to report his story on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but he stayed on at the end of the piece to speak with the NPR host about his injury.  O'Brien was marvelously upbeat about his life moving forward, and said something to the effect of  "Life is a series of challenges, some that we chose, and some that are sent to us..." 

What hit me most about his words at the time was the fact that there are challenges that we chose.  Think about it.  There is so much in life that we don't chose--shouldn't we be more choosy about what we do chose?

This ties in with something I learned from watching the first episode of Call the Midwife ('s on PBS, it can go w/ stuff from NPR!) with Steven the other day. (Yeah, he bought it for me, and watched it with me.  I like him.).  One of the midwives says something like, "Sometimes we just have to deal with what the Lord sends."

A friend of mine says that I am like Nurse Lee. I'll take it! ;)

Sometimes the situations we are handed are less than (our) ideal.  A lot of times, actually.  So, we work to make our strengths stronger and our weaknesses smaller, we pick our battles, and we roll with the punches.  Why? 

Because life. Life is work.  Life is joy.  Life is beautiful. 


  1. Before I had a full household I used to love listening to NPR! I may have to start tuning in again.

  2. Love love love NPR... not listening to it as much these days since the hubs is on the radio, but do enjoy it. I keep telling myself I'll start donating once they stop saying their news is "unbiased" though.

    And yes, to the names. Jack Spear, really?

    1. I'm so glad somebody else notices the names! ...and if Steve were on the radio, that's where I'd be for sure :)

  3. Ah yes, life is so many choices enjoy them work with them, and continue to grow in the Lord's love for us

  4. Yes, I love Fresh Air and all of the other peeps on NPR. I liked your point number one. I just read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He wrote the screenplay for The Legend of Bagger Vance, but only after he suffered some tremendous flops and failures! He wrote a screenplay for a really bad movie, tried his hand at novels, and it took time and trials for him to reach success.


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