There’s Poop In Here Somewhere! (EP. 83)

There's Poop In Here Somewhere!


Most of us have heard the story with the punchline, “There’s a pony in here somewhere.” As the story goes, there were twin boys, about 6 years old, with very different views of the world. One was always happy and looking on the bright side of things; the other was unhappy and seeing the dark side of everything. The only thing they had in common was a love of animals. Curious, the parents took them to a child Ph. D. psychologist to find out more.


Most of us have heard the story with the punchline, “There’s a pony in here somewhere.” As the story goes, there were twin boys, about 6 years old, with very different views of the world. One was always happy and looking on the bright side of things; the other was unhappy and seeing the dark side of everything. The only thing they had in common was a love of animals. Curious, the parents took them to a child Ph. D. psychologist to find out more.

The psychologist took the unhappy one to a room filled with ponies. But instead of yelling with delight, the little boy burst into tears. “What’s the matter?” the doctor asked, confused. “Don’t you want to ride or play with any of the ponies?” “Yes,” the little boy sobbed, “but if I did I’d only irritate it and hurt myself.”

Next the doctor turned to the cheerful one. Looking to test the boy’s happy outlook, the psychologist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the lad emitted exactly the shout of delight the psychologist had been hoping to hear from his brother. Then the boy scrambled to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began enthusiastically digging out scoop after scoop of poop with his bare hands. “What are you doing?” the psychologist asked, just as baffled by him as he had been by his brother. “With all this manure,” the little boy replied, grinning, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!”

Today’s key question: Which one are you? I work to be the happy one, seeing the good things around me; I have to fight constantly not to fall into the seductive trap of negativity. Being happy and positive takes constant work and attention. Being negative is easy and is a slippery slope; I must take care not to get much of a start.

Today’s key point: Being positive and looking for solutions to issues and to make improvements from a positive base is the only way to create real and lasting change. Conversely, being negative and seeing the world with its pluses and minuses from a negative perspective will eat at you, and will never, ever lead to worthwhile and lasting change.

Everywhere we look we can find hugely positive news and improvements. Globally, extreme poverty has dropped by 50% in the last 30 years. Europe, once frequently at war, has seen peace for 70 years. Domestically, incidents of racism are plummeting while the standard of living, how comfortably we live, for everyone is soaring.

I am not blind to the faults we have as a nation, nor do I want to sweep any of our issues under the rug in a fit of Pollyanna-like myopia. I am also not blind to the stunning accomplishments that America, our country, the world’s oldest democracy, has generated in the last 300 years or so.

I am making the case that we can best address issues, can find the best solutions, only if we take a clear-eyed view of who we are, and where we have been, and how far we have come. Let’s look at another example, another story, also involving a young person, this one of my own invention. In this example, you have a high school-aged child, who is having mild panic attacks about some upcoming tests in school and the SATs. The last thing you would do is remind them of past failures and point our their current weaknesses. And if your student takes that negative tack themselves, the best thing you can do for them is to remind them of their past successes, and emphasize their current strengths. You will, of course, acknowledge the importance of the tests, and recognize and help them work through their weak areas. That’s the path to success with your student. And our country.

If the above seems abundantly clear, then why take the negative approach when it comes to improving our communities and our nation? And if we don’t take that negative approach ourselves, why do we allow it in others, the media and with our politicians?

In the areas of race relations in our country, we have gone from slavery being legal in the 1860s, to electing–twice–a black President. Along the way, all vestiges of institutional racism have been eradicated. Yet if you pay attention to the cries of “racism” and “racist” in conversation, on social media, and in the media in general, you’d think that the segregationists had won the Civil War, the military and schools were still segregated, and David Duke was President.

In the area of women’s rights, similar stunning progress has been made, yet the book, and now a movie, The Handmaiden’s Tale, a dystopian story about a future where women have no rights, is getting lots of play everywhere from the media, to politics to Halloween costumes.

In the important areas of our lives, rights, freedom, standard of living–improvements abound, only to be exceeded by the level of complaints and accusations. What’s going on here? Well, there are two things going on here; 1. The focus on what’s wrong absent even a cursory acknowledge of what’s been made right, is the plural version of the “I’m a victim” movement, and, key 2. The people and entities who are focusing on the negative with little or no recognition of the upward slope of progress and improvement, are sacrificing the chance for real and lasting change in exchange for personal or political gain. Far more than simply missing the point by focusing on the negative, these people and entities, e.g., political parties or special interest groups, are impeding progress by way of getting attention, and making their own personal or political gain more important than real, tangible progress. Bitching and pounding your fists can get a lot of attention. It can stroke a person’s ego. But not only is it ineffective in creating progress, it is counterproductive. Keeping your head down, staying focused and staying positive, is hard work, and often goes unheralded. But it is the right thing, because it gets the right stuff done. Let’s do it, let’s do the right thing–together.

Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s seek solutions in our everyday lives by staying positive and staying focused. Let’s demand that our politicians and other leaders recognize our glaring deficiencies, but learn from, take heart in and build on the continuing success we have, in many cases, paid for in staggering amounts of time, blood and treasure. And take heart. Remember, Revolution 2.0™ is coming. Please stand by…

Links and References


Victimhood–The Easy Way

Criticism Is Cheap And Easy


As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind.  You can email me at, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.


I publish two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.

Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; when people truly need a hand up and not a hand out, be there. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
Will Luden
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