Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Audio and Transcript – The Earl of Chesterfield was not being extraordinary; he was being very ordinary and he keeps counseling his son that to be extraordinary, you have to fit in with and be loved by the ordinary. Are you getting that point of it? Over and over he tells him: Don’t go into a room and be the big standout, flashy dresser that will only make people jealous of you and make some people dislike you. There’s one letter where he tells him: Son, even if you know the answer to something and you know that they are stating it incorrectly, do not lord it over them. Be cordial and friendly in your observation that you had read it differently. In other words, he tells him to always let the other guy save face. Check out the rest in today’s transcript…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Steven in Georgia, next up. Hello, Steven.
Caller Steven: How you doing, Mike? Thanks for taking my call, I appreciate it.
Mike: You’re welcome.
Caller Steven: I just wanted to comment on all the things you’re laying out this morning. This basically reinforces the point that you always make, that there’s no reason for us to put all of our faith or time in trying to fix the federal government. We have to focus on states and local governments. This is clear with what’s going on with Obamacare. We have to strengthen our states and our local government so that we can have a weapon to fight back against this tyranny. Also, I believe the solution to this is largely not political. When you look around our society, when I walk around our society, I don’t see a political problem, I see a moral problem. I see a lack of virtue.
Caller Steven: We have to strengthen our communities. We have to come together as a people in our communities and solve these problems. If we don’t start doing that, it doesn’t matter what politician or what president or what congress is in place in Washington, DC, these problems are never going to be fixed or turned around. I’ve started reading the Earl of Chesterfield. I’ve gotten through the first six or seven letters that he wrote to his son. Man, it’s just amazing some of the things that this man was writing about. He really wanted his son to pay attention to the smaller things, pay attention to how he carried himself, how he treated other people. He also explained to his son how it’s important for you to continue to work at it because virtue is not something that’s going to come overnight. It’s certainly not something that you’re going to be able to develop. You have to be able to work at it. A quote in one of his letters, I’m sorry —
Mike: Go right ahead, paraphrase.
Caller Steven: Basically he was saying that it’s better to present polished brass rather than rough gold. That was a quote, and like I said I messed up the quote. Basically he was saying you have to continue to work at it and anything worth doing is worth doing well. I think those are values that we really need to get back to and we really need to start teaching our sons, especially me. I have two sons myself and that’s one of the reasons I started reading the Earl of Chesterfield, because as my sons grow up, I plan on teaching these things to my sons. I want them to grow up to be virtuous young men.
Mike: Steven, you warm the cockles of my heart. I’m listening to you talk and I’m nodding my head in approval, smiling from ear to ear knowing that my little foray into learning about the Earl of Chesterfield and his wonderful book Letters to His Son has actually affected the lives of so many men. I get letters every day from men who tell me that they are starting to read the letters. They’re just amazed. “Where have these treasures been!?” they shout. As you just said: Where has this been?
Here’s what I would say is an overlooked point in all that. The Earl of Chesterfield was not being extraordinary; he was being very ordinary and he keeps counseling his son that to be extraordinary, you have to fit in with and be loved by the ordinary. Are you getting that point of it? Over and over he tells him: Don’t go into a room and be the big standout, flashy dresser that will only make people jealous of you and make some people dislike you. There’s one letter where he tells him: Son, even if you know the answer to something and you know that they are stating it incorrectly, do not lord it over them. Be cordial and friendly in your observation that you had read it differently. In other words, he tells him to always let the other guy save face.
There’s another way to put this, Steven. Even though Dale Carnegie was not dealing with virtue — he was dealing with business success — Carnegie, in 1938, wrote a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. I read Carnegie’s book in 1990 and it influenced me greatly. I believe, now that I’ve read the Earl of Chesterfield — I’m like you, I read a letter every day. I have it on my iPhone. I have the app up. I have all three books. I read at least a letter a day. I believe now that what Carnegie was doing was regurgitating from the Earl of Chesterfield. It is obvious, if you read How to Win Friends and Influence People — there were eight principles in there — he’s basically teaching the Earl of Chesterfield for businesspeople. He’s basically teaching the writings for Letters to His Son.
Caller Steven: Exactly. Those things go back to humility, because no one likes a know-it-all. No one wants to be around someone who’s always trying to correct you and always trying to make it seem like you’re always wrong. He’s big on make it pleasurable to be in your company. He especially was big on that point when it came to the dating and courting of women. I take the heart and I try to not focus on the political solutions. There were times when I was a neocon. I’m pretty young in my political life. I’ve only been paying attention to politics for probably the last year and a half. I went through my neocon phase. I used to think that the partisanship and Republican v. Democrat would solve things, having to prove people wrong. I’ve started to wake up and realize that doesn’t get us anywhere. It doesn’t change any hearts. It doesn’t make people think. We have to carry ourselves as gentlemen and gentle ladies, as you always say. We have to treat people with honor, dignity and respect. We have to teach our children to do so as well.
Mike: Steven, you’re a man beyond your years, friend. God bless you and Merry Christmas. I am delighted to hear from you, sir.
End Mike Church Show Transcript