I got a chuckle from reading this article about two of cable TV’s pundits having a back-and-forth over the recent “Rally to Restore Sanity” held by Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Stewart spoke during his event about the fear mongering and constant hyping of political minutiae perpetuated by the 24-hour cable news media. What I found funny is that some of the criticism from people in the media came via Twitter, yet another arena where interested individuals can hear up-to-the-millisecond opinions about the failings of any given political party. The steady stream of criticism and persecution is so overwhelming one has to imagine that silence would be the only action left that would provide any shock value. Too bad there’s not any of that forthcoming, eh?
I believe Stewart meant well with his message about the danger of ramping up panic, but he may be overestimating the number of people who are paying such close attention to the media. While talk continues unabated, action waits with patience in the wings and the audience yawns in indifference. The assembled punditry (as well as anyone with an interest in making a difference) should take a moment to read John C. Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently. In this book, available in eight digital summary formats from Soundview, Maxwell provides five principles and five practices that anyone can use to connect with an audience. The hallmark of any work by Maxwell is the way in which he tells stories from everyday life that illustrate his principles. There are some gems in Everyone Communicates, Few Connect and unlike the majority of what you hear from cable news outlets, Maxwell’s tales will leave you with a smile on your face and the desire to do something better in the world.