Regina Brett Talks about Giving Thanks - State and Federal Communications

November 8, 2011  •  

Regina Brett Talks about Giving Thanks

Regina BrettRegina Brett has delighted readers with her book, God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours. A cancer survivor with a terrific world view, Regina’s regular column in The Cleveland Plain Dealer has reached scores of people over the years.

Yesterday, I visited with Regina about “The Regina Brett Show,” a weekly call-in radio show she hosts on Northeast Ohio’s NPR affiliate station, WKSU 89.7 FM. On November 16, the topic of her show is Giving Thanks. State and Federal Communications is proud to be the sponsor of the show that evening. Don’t miss it!

For those readers who are new to your show, would you tell us about The Regina Brett Show?

I say it is a show that is more about the internal affairs, the inside things that people are concerned about – relationships, education, health, marriage, and children. We’re not a public affairs show. There are a lot of public affairs shows out there. This is more of an internal affairs kind of thing.

Your subjects range from large issues to personal ones, from the serious to the whimsical. How do you pick the subject matter for your shows?

You know, it’s kind of a group effort with the producer and the sound technician.  We brainstorm and we ask, “What are people concerned about?” And it’s a little tricky because you want to do something that is current events. So we ask, will it still be current a week, or two weeks from now? We try to think of things that are kind of evergreen, that are going to always matter.

The show on November 16 explores Giving Thanks. Can you tell us who your guests will be?

We are going to have a couple of people who have been through a difficulty and really can look back and see in the rear-view mirror all of the things that were gifts along the way. I think gratitude isn’t something you just celebrate on Thanksgiving. It’s an attitude you take toward life. And I am hoping we’ll have a man who trains executives on how to use a happiness-and-gratitude approach in business. Gratitude is an attitude you bring into the world. The show will be about how you apply it in daily life.

Giving thanks seems like a “no-brainer” for all of us to embrace. Why do you suppose we sometimes forget about it, or perhaps have difficulty seeing things in our lives for which we should give thanks?

You know, I think it so easy to lose sight of it because we pretty much take it for granted. I went for a walk yesterday and I remember thinking, wow, I can see these leaves, I can smell fall. I can walk – all these I just do all the time. And I don’t really pause and say, somebody doesn’t have these abilities.

So I think, even though times are tough economically for many people, we still are so blessed with abundance in this country and in our lives. I think we lose sight of gratitude because we don’t have to struggle.

It always amazes me in other countries on Election Day people will wait hours and hours to vote, or walk miles and miles because they just got the right to vote. And here in America, we always do these percentages of how many people didn’t go to the polls because we just assume we have liberty and freedom. We walk out the door saying, “Of course I have my health.” It isn’t until you lose it that you become grateful for it. I think in some ways, the flip side of it is we are so blessed we sort of take it for granted because things are so good.

Even our economy, as rough as it is for people, we still – when you look around the world – I mean I have water when I turn on my faucet and I don’t have to worry about typhoid. We take for granted even the poorest of the poor in America still have so much more than most of the rest of the world.

What are you thankful for this year?

This year I am especially thankful for my new granddaughter! She is four months old. I am grateful for having that next generation and that pure joy. There is nothing like a grandchild to keep you in the present and grateful because everything to them is a huge discovery.

I really enjoy your show. That’s something for which I am grateful.

That’s so sweet of you.

I really do appreciate your support for WKSU. It’s just such a treasure. To be able to turn on the radio and have something that can sooth you and feed you and be a grace in your day, instead of people shouting at each other. It’s just such a great gift we have.

I can’t wait to have this show with a live audience. It’s a neat energy to have people in the room, to feel that connection and feel that human energy.

We’ve only done this live once before. It was for a Father’s Day show and we had it here at WKSU. We had an audience of about 25 people. It was a beautiful show. It was neat to be able to see an audience. Every show is live on the radio, but I am usually looking at a microphone, so I have to imagine there are people listening. When you get to look out and see an audience and say, “Oh my gosh, there’s an audience!”

Do you prefer one over the other?

You know, they are both energizing in different ways. When I have the microphone in front of me, I visualize someone at home fixing dinner, or someone on the road, leaving work late. And there’s that solitude, like we’re in this together. Like you’re that voice on the radio that gives somebody hope when they’re alone.

And then when you see a crowd of people, it’s like a celebratory thing where we are all enjoying this radio event, like we can all be part of this thing together. The Father’s Day show was fun because people would come up and ask a question or share a story and kind of engage in a different way. So, I like them both.

Your work is a great generosity. Thank you for giving us your time.

I so appreciate that people want to listen to WKSU. I think it’s a great gift. We often take for granted that there is public radio – the idea that we have this format that really is open to everybody and every idea. They often say it is food for the brain, but I think it is also food for the heart and soul.

I appreciate all the support people are giving, the people listening, and especially for you guys to support the show next week.

We are excited to be a part of it. Take care, Regina!

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