A Lesson from Lasso

I found out last night that the TV series, Ted Lasso, ends at season three! This was a surprise I didn’t want and If you have loved this joyous and life affirming program you will also have mourned this revelation.

As the founder and former director of a film festival dedicated to positive films that uplift, I have rejoiced to see television series like Ted Lasso and Schitt's Creek on our screens. In a world increasingly plagued by division, entitlement, and aggression, these shows serve as profound reminders of what we desperately need at this moment.

Seeing Nate included so lovingly in this final episode showcased a particularly important lesson: Within us all lies the capacity for both benevolence and malice.

We are, in essence, reflections of one another—flawed in some aspects, exceptional in others, and sometimes, even the best of us, behave appallingly. What resonates deeply with me in Ted Lasso is the prevailing message of kindness to one another during our moments of imperfection.

Even in the face of deliberate betrayal by Nate, Ted continued to show kindness and compassion towards Nate, granting him the necessary space to discover the lessons that await him. It is undeniably challenging for humans to admit when we are wrong, and accusations, rejection, and anger from others, in the response to our own poor behaviour, can shame us out of the ability to own our behaviour.

It’s common practice in workplaces and other institutions to use scolding, enforced rules, and punishment as the key ingredients for fostering change in others. This conviction persists, despite the countless relational disasters and the glaring lack of transformation that accompany this approach. What eludes us when we embark on this path (one I have traversed far too often) is the realisation that when people feel attacked, they shut down, dig their heels in, and withdraw. It's an innate survival instinct. This response holds true even when we are being "attacked" for our own deplorable behaviour.

In stark contrast, when we are offered acceptance instead of accusation, patience instead of impatience, and kindness instead of judgement, an immediate sense of safety envelops us. This is the grace we all crave. Within this sanctuary, our minds and hearts relax and this acceptance from others may even allow room for us, as it did with Nate, to face our shortcomings, admit them, apologise and accept this darker side of ourselves.

And, HUGE BONUS, this atmosphere of kindness helps heal the deep-seated demons and traumas we all carry within.

Thank you Ted Lasso team for the important reminders, your work is wondrous.

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