Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dr Laura Schlessinger

Dr Laura Schlessinger, for those of you who don't know, is a radio talk show host who gives advice to parents, couples and other odd ducks, on the air from noon until three in the afternoon - where I live. She is what you would call an ultra conservative, fighting for the life of unborn children, or any other scenario that would be best for children. She tells adults to shut up and grow up, get with the program, and do what it takes to raise those kids they have put on the planet. Even if you aren't an ultra conservative - you find yourself agreeing with her advice most of the time. It is practical, and often helps to confirm to the callers "what the right thing" to do is. They often just call to get the proverbial kick in the butt they know they need. Even when you don't agree with her advice, her take is often an intelligent challenge to your own thinking to help you sharpen your own reasoning on any issue.

I have listened to her for over 13 years now during my daily half hour trip of picking up my children from school. I have "watched" her grow through her irritable pre-menopause years to the more grounded days we are blessed with in our fifties and sixties. She gives me hope :-). Her patience with some of the callers is impressive. Her authenticity alone is inspiring, regardless of your own political, moral or religious views. She lives her talk and is open and frank about her own challenges which include an estranged mother now dead, and a son serving in Iraq, which required her to grow up before her listeners eyes - or better - ears. To give him, her only child, the freedom to live this level of a dangerous life, by mastering her worry, being proud of him and cheering him on with her daily "hoohaaa" - which can break your heart and quickly send a prayer upstairs to keep her son safe - did not come easy or overnight for her - or her listeners. She does not ask any level of growing up from her callers she isn't willing to do herself, which ultimately is the power of her program, or any human being for that matter, who wants to inspire people.

As far as ultra conservative, moral people go, what makes her so likable even to people on the other side of the isle, is her lack of self-righteousness, her flexibility in her advice without giving up her core principles - quite an art - and her "what's best for the kids is what's right" approach. We can't ever have enough people to remind us of that.

What makes her unlikable or annoying to many is her certainty of her world view, which is of course the very same reason people who like her, call her for advice.

Since she has such a large audience of especially mothers, there are a lot of interesting, useful, funny, or deeply touching posts on her blog you might enjoy.

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