Thursday, December 07, 2006

Seethers? You Need Seekers!

Yesterday, as I listened to the press conference by the Iraq Study Group I was struck by a question on the difficulty in accomplishing things in Washington that former Senator Alan Simpson responded to. Here was his answer,

“The sad part to me is that, you know, you see people in this who are "hundred percenters" in America. A "hundred percenter" is a person you don't want to be around. They have gas, ulcers, heartburn and BO.

(Laughter.) And they seethe. They're not seekers. They're not seekers, they're seethers. There are a lot of them out there. And we're going to get it from the right, the far right, we're going to get it from the far left, we're going to get bombs away, and everybody will say it can't work.

Well, we're just sincere enough to believe that it will and that all people with a "D" behind their name did not become a guard at Lenin's tomb, and all people with an "R" behind their name did not crawl out of a cave in the mountains, and that maybe we can do something. And that's what we're here for, people of goodwill in good faith. Maybe it's corny, maybe it won't work, but it's sure as hell better than sitting there where we are right now.”

I’d never heard the term “seethers” before, but thought that his definition fit in small towns also. Too often these “seethers” slow or try to stop progress in towns. I continue to try to figure out how to turn them from “seethers” into seekers, but haven’t figured it out yet. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more seekers in this world?


Becky McCray said...

Jack, thanks for sharing such a pithy explanation. "Seethers" vs. "seekers" probably applies many places, but I think the basic difference in outlook is more apparent in small towns. When it's the Same Ten People (STP) doing everything, it's also the same few seethers who oppose it all.
I don't have any suggestions for changing the seethers, but I do know that constant repetitive over-communication is an effective tool to neutralize their influence on others.

BoomtownUSA said...

You make a great point on the importance of communication. Too often in our small towns we spend too much time listening to chatter at the coffee shops, where opinions are often mistaken for facts. Communicating the facts can often help to dispell many misconceptions.

Matt Hirtzel said...

I have found that it is just easier to ignore those who are against everything. It takes a lot of energy to be positive and passionate - I don't have much left to convince those who don't wish to see the a twon succeed.

BoomtownUSA said...

Matt: You make a great point! You are probably wasting your time trying to turn the seethers into seekers. Thanks for sharing with us.