Friday, December 7, 2007

Pinheads are bored and winners read

When I was a kid my grandma hated when we laid around bored. She also hated it when we had the TV on all day. So, for us, that was a double edged sword, because what better way to stave off boredom than to watch TV.

"Shut that TV off," she would say when we turned it on when she was out of the room. "If you can't find something to do I'll find something for you."

She was good at finding things for us to do. One time she took me down to here library and had me look through history books. Another time she had me go through the house counting all the doors. In her old home, there were hundreds. I'm pretty certain I never did get an accurate count.

One day she took me to the store and bought me a notebook. "Write down your thoughts," she said as she handed it to me. "There's no reason you should ever just sit there. You have a of ideas in your head, write them down. Make a list."

Like my parents, grandma was frugal too. She didn't just take us shopping and buy us a bunch of junk we didn't need. For the most part, I'm certain she treated us the same way she treated her own kids.

"You don't have anything to write, draw a picture of that clock on the wall," she'd say. "Find something in this room and draw it for me."

In a lot of ways, when I'm reading Bill O'Reilly's books, and when I'm watching his show, I'm reminded of my grandma. Especially the way he's always using big words and telling us to "look it up. Grandma used to do that all the time.

Perhaps that's why I love vocabulary, and why I love history, and why I love to write, and draw, have intelligent discussions, think, read, learn, etc. It's also why I'm frugal myself. I learned it from my grandma, and my parents too.

While some people may think O'Reily is a blunt hotshot, I think he's a great and noble person doing something someone should have done a long time ago.

And my grandma loved books. What a better way to stave off boredom. Not only can you entertain yourself, you can learn in the process. Even if you're reading filth, you can't help but to learn something by reading.

In, "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids," O'Reilly explains to kids that there are four different reasons to read: 1) to get facts, 2) to get ideas, 3) to learn something 4) for excitement and entertainment.

He writes that, "according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the adul around you are likely to spend seventeen times as many hours watching the tube as they do reading books. And a Gallup poll taken in 1999 found tht six out of ten adults read only ten or fewer books a year."

Sometimes I fall into this category, but even when I do I'm still reading magazines, newspapers, and news on the Internet. Like I said, I love to learn. I can't help but to keep up on the latest news and politics. I love it. I suppose I have grandma to thank for that.

I love the following paragraph from O'Reilly's book:

"If you read on a regular basis, you'll be smarter than most of the people on the planet. And being smart is good. It leads to financial success and, most importantly, to a life full of adventure."

He also writes:

"A Pinhead is a kid who is bored. Even if you don't live in the most exciting part of the world and don't have a gazillion bucks to spend on entertainment, you have more than almost anyone else did in all of history. You have gadgets, libraries, clubs, and sports teams. You have community filled with activities and, most of all, you have a mind. A bored kid, I admit, is hard for me to understand. Look around. Think. Do something. Learn. If you're bored, you have only yourself to blame, which gets us nowhere. Forget the blame. Rev up your mind.

He's right. I can hear my grandma saying the same thing.

Not everybody has a grandma like mine to challenge them, and that's why I think Bill O'Reilly is definitely a winner in my book.

If you are reading this, you are not bored, and you are nota pinhead.

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