Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Psych. 101

Psychology 101: if you tell someone something enough, they may believe it.

If your child does well on an exam, you wouldn’t say, “Wow—I’m really surprised, because I thought you were kinda dumb.”

No, you praise his hard work and efforts and congratulate his success.

Positive reinforcement is known to do wonders for anyone, not just school kids. When a team plays hard, and a coach cheers them for being great, the players try even more to do their best and win. When we hear about how great an organization is that we’re involved in, we feel proud to be a part of it. That includes being a citizen in the greatest nation on earth.

Here are a few quotes some of our great leaders have said about America:

"Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood -- the virtues that made America." -- Teddy Roosevelt

"There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." -- Harry S. Truman

"We must always remember that America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people but because of what people did for themselves and for one another." --Richard M. Nixon--

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country." -- Calvin Coolidge

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis." - --Abraham Lincoln

So, what happens when our president speaks about Americans in a negative light? How do we respond when the person who should be standing up for us the most, who should be our greatest champion and hero speaks less than positively about us? President Obama has referred to his fellow Americans as being “behind,” being “soft,” even “lazy.” He says we’ve “lost our ambition and imagination.”

When he talks that way he seems to be forgetting who he is, that he is an American too. If America is lazy, so is he. If America is behind or soft, so is he. If America is losing its creativity and imagination, so is he. We are all America. And I think I see a different America than President Obama, even right here in my own home. I see hard work, creativity, and imagination every day from my husband all the way down to my kindergartener.

I still see the American spirit that is stronger than sentiment, more powerful than pessimism, that is undying, unyielding, and unwavering.

Mitt Romney said, “The American people are the greatest people in the world. What makes America the greatest nation in the world is the heart of the American people: hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people.”

He also said, “The principles that made this nation a great and powerful leader of the world, have not lost their meaning. They never will. We know we can bring this country back.”

Maybe it does take some people a few semesters of psychology, and maybe it does take some people a couple of parenting classes and self-help books to learn how to lead and inspire others. It’s about believing in them, encouraging them, and reminding them of who they really are.

As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

That’s the kind of leader America needs. That’s the kind of leader we can find in Mitt Romney.

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