If you only speak with people who agree with you

Posted: June 23, 2007 in Leadership

"If you only speak with those who agree with you, you are consoled. If you speak with those with a different perspective, you grow." With that I respectfully submit the following:


As much as I agree with most of what Mr. Vonnegut say – I consider him a brilliant author, etc. – I am reminded of an old movie I saw in my youth. The name of the movie was "Kill the Umpire." In it, the fool of the movie sat behind the umpire in the baseball game and expressed his disagreement with the umpire’s calls with the old familiar, "Kill the Umpire." Finally, the umpire got sick of hearing it, turned around, took off his mask, and asked the fool, "If you think you could do a better job, why don’t you become an umpire?"


So, he did. He went to umpire school and a good chunk of the movie is spent on the rigors of umpire schooling. When the fool graduated, he was umpiring his first game, when out of the crowd came the all too familiar scream, "Kill the umpire."


You are old enough to remember the actor, William Bendix, who played the fool in "The Life of Riley" on radio and TV. So, if you ever saw him, you will get a mental image of the look on his face, at the end of the movie, as he seemed to say, and actually said, at the end of every episode in the series, “What a revolting development this is."


Of course, without critics to try to force course corrections, this administration would be like Captain Queeg, in the “The Caine Mutiny”. So, in that respect there is a real difference between criticism of government workers and politicians and umpires in a baseball game. Still, those who refuse to or haven’t had the opportunity to step up to the plate should be loath to get too critical of those who do.


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