Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"It's much more important to be kind than it is to be clever..."

In our home, we get a physical newspaper delivered, listen to the radio, and most of our music, these days, is purchased on vinyl, played on a record player that skips if we walk too hastily across the floor.  When we're not obsessively tweeting, blogging, facebook stalking, or swiping, we are, ironically, a bit stuck.

I can't explain why.  But I like ink smudged on my fingers. I like having to shift the antennae of the radio for the optimal signal. And I like a scratchy recording of Ella Fitzgerald found only in a musty-smelling record store.

When I read that the Magliozzi brothers (known as Click and Clack) the famously funny, generous hosts of public radio's Car Talk, had decided to retire, I wanted to share a quote from the article here. You can't share print with the masses.  Or can you?

Take a picture of the quote, Tyler suggested. A bit backwards, perhaps, but here:

Peter Sagal, the host of another weekly program on NPR, "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!," said in a blog post on Friday that getting to know the Magliozzis over the years "made me realize that in radio, maybe in life, it's much more important to be kind than it is to be clever.  And that instead of being different every week, it's more of a challenge, and more of a reward to your listeners, to find a way to be yourself."

So, from Peter Sagal's blog, to the inky pages of the New York Times, to a photo in my iPhone, transcribed here, I quote something I feel so strongly about, I'd shout it from a rooftop, if I could get to mine. If the landlord didn't lock it, I would. 

I don't need clever.  In radio, in life, as Sagal says (and in books, I say...especially, especially in books) I don't need it.  I need kind.  I need true. I'm always looking for that.  Out there. Within myself.  I just thought it was perfectly articulated by Peter Sagal.   


  1. Oh, I LOVE that. And I completely agree!

  2. Excellent quote! Hubby was pretty sad about the Car Talk announcement.

  3. I want to put that on the wall of my classroom.

  4. I want to get back to radio again, and Ella Fitzgerald on vinyl has to be divine. Wonderful quote--I couldn't agree more.

  5. Kindness over cleverness any day.
    And may I say how nice it is to hear that you get a daily newspaper? That’s becoming more and more of a rarity.

  6. Ah, yes, being yourself is the most important thing. And if we're not kind enough, it is better to try to be that than to be clever or popular or someone we're not. Great post!

  7. So true, Melissa. And can I just say I love that you still rock a turntable?

    Your post (and Peter Sagal's comment) reminds me of the graduation speech that Jeff Bezos made to Princeton University that had the same message, "it's harder to be kind than clever." He goes on to talk about gifts vs. choices, ultimately what becomes the story of our life. Here's a link to the speech: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-06-22/tech/30026156_1_airstream-puff-caravan-club.

  8. I love the quote -- but am sad that Click and Clack are retiring! I love that show - and love how they laugh at all their own jokes. And they truly are so genuine with everything they say.

    As for Ella Fitzgerald - I grew up listening to records from the Library of her. And all the rest from that era, and I still love to hear all those songs. So good to hear that you are a fan, as well.