i spit in your general direction

I will be your best friend for two weeks if you make it through these next two paragraphs without falling into a hypnotic trance of boredom….

On your mark, get set, go…

A “Brain Trust” was the name given to a diverse group of economists, professors, and others who served as advisors to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the early hmmmmperiod of his tenure. These men played a key role in shaping the policies of the First New Deal. Although they never met together as a group, they each had Roosevelt’s ear.

The term “Brain Trust” was first coined in 1901 and used in a sarcastic sense in reference to the first American general staff of the U.S. President. In 1932, New York Times writer James M. Kiernan revived the term when he applied it to the close group of experts that surrounded presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt. The term has since been applied in general sense to any close group of advisors.

I wonder where he got that idea… (click insert, hmmmm)

I think that it is imperative that parents understand, like Roosevelt did of his presidency, that they don’t have all of the answers to handle the responsibility that they have been appointed to. Roosevelt understood that even though he was ultimately responsible, that, in no way, implied that he could not reach out and do a little research before making a decision.

There is nothing wrong with taking your initial gut feeling and bouncing it off of a few qualified and respected peers. I would say that it would be quite honorable to admit that you do not have all the answers and reveal that it is your intention to the best job you possibly can, the first time, by better preparing yourself. The alternative is to “knee jerk” to conclusions and “spit out” the first thing that enters your mouth. Most humans don’t understand the actual schematic of a thought process. It goes something like this…


The pivotal moment, as you can see, is your “mouth” and the quality of the substance you push from your lips.

The most important moment is “process”. The trick is actually allowing the opportunity to get there, and then giving it back to the brain to allow time to adjust the message to the listener. It is definitely the long way to go about resolution, but it helps to insure that the impact of the delivery is the same as the intention of the message.

Let me break it down for the guys a bit.

buy meI am in the process of buying a HDTV to complement the PlayStation 3 I just bought myself my son for his birthday. There are so many variables: size, brand, type, color, resolution, warranty, compatibility, and on and on. To prepare myself, I have read magazines, surfed the Internet, asked my family, friends, and even some strangers, shopped a few stores, observed, listened, shared, prayed, and cried a bit.

And guess what…

I still have not committed to a decision! I need more time to insure that I am not going to regret my action.

So why is it that if we are going to commit to a major investment like a TV, automobile, motorcycle, boat, or set of golf clubs, we take our time and submit to a “Brain Trust” to help us make the right decision. Then when it comes to our greatest investment, our children, we settle for whatever we get? Could you imagine leaving these types of purchases up to chance? Would you just settle for the first thing that came out of your mouth? Would you be willing to accept the consequences?

“Just the thought of what you might get stuck with electronically has caused me to throw up in my mouth a little bit.”

My advice, if you would be so kind as to allow me into your “Brain Trust”, would be for you not to parent alone (even if you are alone, by definition). You can hand pick a diverse group of advisors during your tenure as a parent. Allow them permission to play a key role in helping to shape the decision of the “Big Deal” we call “Parenting”. Although they may never meet together as a group, they each should have your ear when you are in need of alternative views for difficult decisions.

Then you can “spit it out” with confidence that it is not only going reach the spittoon but make that impressive “ting sound” that makes all the other cowboys notice that your airborne fluids are thick, sticky, and full of substance.

But please be aware…

Asking others what to do will not always insure that you will get the best answers. It is still up to you to do what is right. You will have to answer for your words, actions and decisions.  Your “Brain Trust” may not be around to take the blame when the going gets tough.

So choose your friends wisely, or you may find yourself with a mouth full of spit, with no place to put it…


8 Responses to i spit in your general direction

  1. Hawk says:

    Charlie, you hit the nail on the head with this one. “Brain Trust”, how appropriate! Sometimes, it is very difficult to asses what is the best decision. In my case, I usually go with my initial thought when it comes to my children. Often times, I find my first instinct is usually on mark. However, when it comes to seeking the counsel of others, I do regularly. But, I am cautious as to whom I ask for feedback. These are individuals with whom I respect and admire. Those that have, what I consider, successful and rewarding parenting skills. I usually take a position as that of our former President, Ronald Reagan. He surrounded himself with bright and competent people, who possessed greater wisdom and knowledge in areas with which he lacked.

    I govern with a “Brain Trust” and “Reaganism” on some level.

    I will also say, there have been several occasions where I have ended-up with a mouthful of spit. Not so good of a feeling!

    Later my friend. A great post which I’m socializing.

    Mata ne…

  2. Chantal says:

    Hello Best-Friend-For-The-Next-Two-Weeks!
    This was great, and addresses a problem alot of people have in reaching out to others BEFORE parenting issues turn into dilemmas. And you’re so right that even if we are parenting alone, we aren’t truly alone…..I rely on my sister and friends for guidance when I’m facing rough patches with my kids. And I realize my “luckiness” in the great communication I have with my children’s father in regards to their well-being.
    My goal is to spit with substance even if sometimes I fall short of the spitoon! Because there’s nothing grosser than when your mouth is full of your own “substance” (which makes it wise sometimes to keep your mouth shut when you find you’re up to your ears in it)….
    Blessings to you, Charlie,

  3. Kev says:

    ??? Spit ??? How about flow, with the grace of God? We are given spiritual help ( as long as reach to the right places). At most times we don’t even realize it. That’s the beauty of it! I have personally been down the “oh my gosh! what now road”, When we look to the Lord good things come of it. He teaches parenting, life management, friendship, and feeling, without thinking and without remorse. Prayer IS the best decision and will govern over all. WE do not have the answer but our faith does, look to it, depend on it and worship it, then we and only then without all the other distrations, we know.

  4. Mike Ash says:

    this is better than you sold it to me…the diagram alone is worth the post

  5. raincoaster says:

    Another great post. Kev, if everyone were easily able to interpret God’s will, we wouldn’t have so many disagreements, would we? Clearly there are differences that arise within us, which we need to take responsibility for, and recourse to a brain trust is a great way to work past these blocks.

  6. I like the illustration of the brain trust — and the emphasis on personal responsibility. Good combination.

  7. Pingback: how big are your knockers « charlie’s house

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