This is a different kind of Bachelor blog post. It is not a judgment or critique. It is rather a reflection – a comparison if you will. Though there were a number of opportunities for humor and criticism on Monday night, it was also apparent that The Bachelor, most likely unintentionally, is an excellent platform for life lessons. In this case, the lesson was consideration.
Let me begin with a little context. Years ago my wife, Trista, and I were the first couple to emerge from The Bachelorette. That experience was tremendous and has afforded us numerous opportunities. We are extremely grateful for all of them. However, along with the good comes the bad, in this case taking the form of unfounded, unkind and usually unclaimed public denigration. Though we have grown thick skins, there are still difficult moments. For example, the other night at the firehouse one of the guys was trying to figure out my middle name (It’s Allen after my great grandfather by the way). He did a quick Google search, which inadvertently pulled up a blog site in which a number of comments were directed, in a quite hurtful way, at our daughter, more specifically to her name – Blakesley. The perpetrators could not have known that Blakesley is Trista’s mother’s maiden name. That Trista’s grandfather, James Blakesley, had four daughters (I can’t even imagine!) and with that being the case, his surname would end with him. They could not have known that Grandpa Jim, as we called him, would die this year, shortly after a visit by his granddaughter whose name brought tears to his eyes when announced. They could not have known because they did not take the time to consider it, choosing instead to criticize, curse and otherwise poke fun at a girl, who at the time was only a couple of months old.
Traditionally, The Bachelor begins with the arrival of the limos and the precious cargo within. The girls emerge and are introduced by first name only (yes I know sometimes an initial is included to differentiate those with the same first name but you get the point I hope). From that point on, The Bachelor – in this case Nick – is tasked with rapidly getting to know them as much as is possible in a single night (albeit an extremely long night). It did not go unnoticed to me that Nick proclaimed at one point in the evening that he, “was trying to speak with everyone.” In other words, Nick’s consideration for the women on the show and the effort each had made to be there for him was made apparent. It was a tiny moment showcasing a powerful concept, one that is rare in life these days, let alone on The Bachelor.
I can’t help but contrast the way that Nick handled getting to know the girls on the show with the cruel comments made in regard to Blakesley’s name. It was refreshing. As I watched the remainder of the program, I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the women a bit as well. Alexis, whose shark dolphin costume went from a bit dopey to totally endearing, The Danielles (L & M) whose intelligence and charm shot them to the top of my list along with Rachel – the articulate lawyer with terrific poise despite the circumstances. There were others too of course, some of whom I’m still on the fence about but for whom – thanks to Nick and his example – I will certainly afford the time and consideration to get to know before passing judgment or making comments. Thanks Nick! I can’t wait to see what next week brings…