June 11th, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Al Franken is a Senator. He is currently serving as a Junior Senator representing the State of Minnesota. It is a crowning achievement – one to which only a select few even dream of aspiring. And who knows what more? A prestigious appointment – a seat in the Senate’s Appropriations Committee? Who knows. But look, regardless of what he does in his legislative career, nothing will touch Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley. Nothing.
As far as I’m concerned, this is how Al Franken will be remembered. Should be remembered. And nothing he says will have the breath of recognition as the closing line of every Daily Affirmations sketch on SNL, delivered as he turned to himself in a mirror, in his desperate longing, tenderness: “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And dog-gone it, people like me.”
Brilliant. Stuart Smalley pointed a satiric finger at the growing school of baseless, “feel-good” therapy. Every Saturday night, he enacted for all of us the absurdity of building self-esteem by what is tantamount to lying to oneself. No amount of repetition is able to make the truly unbelievable, believable.
As fathers, we play an important role in establishing our children’s identity – their name, their call. Amidst the uncertainty of a forming identity, being Stuart Smalley to your child is useless. As they “sway and buckle in the wind,” to try to post them up with words you yourself do not believe will do more harm than good. They will look into your eyes and know that you are being untrue.
Don’t be like Stuart. We have to be interested enough to make a search, to discover the greatness of our children. As we tell them who they are, they have to be able to look into our eyes and think, “He really believes it.”