Tuesday, July 24, 2007

blink and obama

I just finished the Obama book, and at the end of the CD it had his speech from the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Wow. That was one powerful and moving speech. All I can say is that I hope that the people who seem to feel apathetic and cynical about the hopes of our country will rise back up and not let cynicism keep them from hope, and from doing something about the way the world is. I know a lot of my friends were so depressed after Bush got re-elected, literally really traumatized. But now, I hear many of these same people saying things like they don't think Barack Obama can get elected, that our country is still too divided by race, that the same people who elected Bush would not elect Obama even if they don't like Bush now.

I don't believe that for a minute. I believe in America, and I believe in our people. I think that even though people re-elected Bush, it was a very narrow vote and there are many swing voters. There were many people who wanted to give him more time to see what he could do with a 2nd term, and there are certainly right-wing fundamentalists and die-hard Republicans who would never vote a different way. But I think there is a narrow minority who would not elect someone because of their race, not a vast number of people. Now he may not even get the Democratic nomination but I just think it's disappointing to hear people who WOULD vote for him in the regular election not wanting to vote for him in the primaries because they don't think he'd be elected, especially because the people have not really paid enough attention to him, like take the time to read his book or hear his views. (Same goes for any candidate). Listen to him talk, he has what it takes to get elected if more people heard him give a speech and not just snippets of the debates. Obama is smart, eloquent, down to earth and real from everything I can gather. And he's incredibly moving. I'm impressed. He could do something to unite America and to remind us of the beauty of our roots, our history.

Now on to blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, the audio CD I started yesterday (none of the titles listed in my last post were yet in at the library, I requested them). He talked in the first part about these studies by John Gottman (whose book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail I have) who got some attention for being able to predict, well, duh, why marriages succeed or fail but within something like a 3-minute snippet of video of them conversing. One key, he found, was contempt. Contempt included rolling eyes and insulting the other person from a position of being "higher than" the other. It was a condemnation of who the other person was. He also mentioned that in terms of being able to overcome insults, criticism etc depended on whether one was in a positive sentiment override or negative sentiment override. Basically, in the positive state, one would just attribute the insult or slight to them being in a bad day, and would forgive easily. When in a negative state, small slights were interpreted worse than they were, and even apologies were not accepted. People I think tended to stay in these states - they weren't something you flitted in and out of easily. It indicated the state of the relationship. (You can read the Chapter here)

I found this interesting for several reasons. One thought I had was that I'm convinced my mom and I are in a negative sentiment override mode and have been well since my childhood, and I wondered how we can get beyond that. I need to look into that... even when I apologize it doesn't seem to register, and she never apologizes but that's another story altogether. I don't think that info is in blink, but probably in Gottmann's book. Mom and I tend to get upset at one another at ridiculously little things, and I want to move beyond that. I also want to make sure my daughter and I don't get there (or Sam but he's so laid back it is more of an issue with Savi) as she goes into the teen years soon. I miss my babies!!

Lats on friendship, two of my wonderful amazing close friends will be coming from out of town this weekend and I'm having a party and it will be soooo fun!!!

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