If you are a friend IRL or follow me on the inter-webs (for some reason some people do that), you’ve likely seen me mention a guy named Ted Lasso from the eponymous “Ted Lasso”. The show is a masterpiece on the importance of choosing in life. Despite deep pain, Ted chooses to react positively.
Begin Summary: silly college football coach goes to England to manage a pro soccer team. Hijinks and wackiness ensue as Ted manages a bunch of underperforming professional prima-donnas. Wins on the field and wins in life follow. End summary.
Back to the point. Despite his cheerful demeanor, Ted Lasso is in deep pain. He is an alcoholic or has at least an alcohol abuse problem. He is still struggling with the suicide of his father and the guilt he feels from it. He is in pain from the failure of his marriage and in even greater pain because of the distance from his son. He is terrified of his panic attacks. He is hurt. He is hurt deeply.
Despite the despair and pain, Ted chooses how to react to it and how to live a good life. I don’t think his uber optimism is a coping mechanism. His optimism and his vows not to quit and help people are signs of his freedom. He chooses to react to the terror (he cites Queen’s Under Pressure in an episode) in this world with hope and courage. He chooses to go through the dark forest. He chooses the darkness because he believes there is light on the other side. He chooses to be kind and vulnerable and hopeful.
Life is about choices. Life is about choosing. He chooses to be a good person despite the incredible amount of pain. He believes in romance and good in the world because things will be OK if you do the right thing. He chooses to take care of the things in his realm of control. He chooses to live a good life even though he has every excuse to be a product of “environment” and use it as an excuse to be a terrible human being. He doesn’t. He chooses hope and kindness.
We all have a choice. Choose hope. Because it’s the lack of hope that kills ya.
Josh Beavers is a teacher and writer. He has been recognized five times for excellence in opinion writing by the Louisiana Press Association.
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