In my line of work I’ve had the opportunity to meet some famous people: Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Tina Fey, to name a few. Meeting famous people is a bit like getting wealthy. Everyone wants to do it because we are convinced that life will be more exciting and happier, but the moment you get there, something leaves you flat. Not that these folks aren’t nice people. Some are. But the meeting and conversation leaves you feeling less fulfilled than you thought it would.
Unless, you have the chance to meet a truly great man. Two weeks ago, I met one and it was one of the highlights of my career. I spent an afternoon with Dr. Jim Dobson and we taped three radio shows together. As we got to know one another, I asked myself what felt so different about him? Was the joy that I was experiencing stemming from the fact that I had read his books, seen him on television over the years and heard him interview folks like Billy Graham on the radio? Nope. It wasn’t any of those.
Something about my time with him was different. I have felt this on two other occasions when I met extraordinary people. Jim Dobson is a man with unmatched authenticity and integrity. When he speaks, you know that truth is falling from his mouth. When he smiles, he stares at your face and you know that he means for you to feel joy. The lines on his face speak about the wars he has fought for the beliefs he holds dear to his heart. And you just know, that he has been, and continues to be a warrior for the things that about which he feels passionately. Men like this are rare.
I do believe that what left me understanding his greatness had nothing to do with his notoriety. The truth is, many who have read his work and heard him speak don’t like him at all. They find him too narrow, too abrasive. But these are exactly what make him so authentic. He is a man who has been driven by his beliefs, not in his own abilities, but in his God. He knows God. And he loves that God.
I hope that you are on the lookout for great men. They are there. One may be in your neighborhood, in your school, your office or in your church. They are there, I believe, because they, too, have rubbed elbows with older great men who have taught them to live as no other. Find them and learn from them.
I hope that you enjoy the radio shows that Dr. Dobson and I did together and I hope that you listen. Hear what I heard in his voice and learn from him because we can’t afford to miss integrity like his when we have the chance.
NOTE: My interview with Dr. Dobson airs today, April 23, and again in May (time and date TBA). You can listen online on the official website and find out when the program will air on your local station here: http://drjamesdobson.org/Broadcasts/Archive