Why I’d Rather Watch Family Guy Than An Inspirational Movie

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“Dude, you’re into Family Guy?!”

This question was asked via E mail yesterday by a guy I’ve known for the last six months. He’s a very successful businessman, just a couple years older than me and we just have the same outlook and philosophies on, well, a lot of stuff.

When Len and I first met, I’d just received my Master’s diploma from Columbia University and, frankly, I was on cloud 9 about not having to study any more! He knows I’ve written four books and he’s even read one of them. But, maybe it’s because of these things he categorized me into this snooty, academic based lifestyle of interests and desires.

A few years ago, a study came out that examined the CEOs of some Fortune 500 companies. What they found was kind of surprising. First, a CEO was more likely to watch The Simpsons than Wall Street Week. Second, the CEO was more likely to read Sports Illustrated than Forbes or other business and economic focused mags. If you think about this, it’s a “Duh!” answer, right? I mean, a CEO spends all day at his/her desk, in business meetings, talking about products and services and stocks and blah blah blah. When that CEO gets home at night, I’d imagine a little escapism is in order.

I certainly don’t put myself in the same category as a Fortune 500 CEO. Yet, after spending all day at my desk, when I want entertainment, I flip on Family Guy or Squidbillies or Beavis & Butthead. I read a ton of different books, but I don’t read a ton of motivational or self help or inspirational stuff. You might guess otherwise. Instead, I read a ton of psychology, Fantasy and just general fiction. Lately, it’s been the King Killer chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss.

In short, even though I have a grad degree from an Ivy League university, please don’t box me in. I’m not an academic. I don’t get off on dense, academia intended for great thinkers. What I DO enjoy is being able to communicate. And if you put yourself in an ivory tower, you can’t communicate with people who aren’t in that same ivory tower. As I write this, I’m wearing a pair of jeans that’s at least six years old, a free T shirt I got at Kappa Sigma Grand Conclave in 2011, my barefoot feet are up on my desk and Billy Joe Shaver is crooning out a drinkin’ song on Outlaw Radio on Sirius XM. Not exactly the image of an academic, huh?

Yet? This is me. It seems like we spend so much time trying to impress other people with our wealth, our knowledge, our education, our appearance. Whatever. There’s time to be professional and there’s time to be oneself. And, if you’re the type who gets up every morning and puts on designer duds and is perfectly groomed with all the right products, good for you! If that’s you, that’s awesome!

I guess I just had a little cringe when my buddy assumed things about me that aren’t true. We’re all individuals. And yet? Stereotypes exist. Not only do I fall into some stereotypes (as you do, too), I also tend to stereotype people (as you do, too.) It’s kind of human nature to look for the patterns in people based on the information they provide. Thing is, I’d love to see us not immediately pidgeon-hole people into boxes they may not already inhabit.

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