By Chris Croll
If you have not yet watched the streaming video series “Ted Lasso,” I highly recommend you do. The show centers around an American football coach, Ted Lasso, hired by the new owner of a UK football (soccer) club to manage her fledgling team. Lasso’s positivity and cheery optimism raise eyebrows everywhere he goes. Within the first few episodes, viewers realize that Lasso’s good mood is not just a shtick; he views being happy as a choice he makes every day. The irony is that Lasso has just as many reasons to grump as everyone around him, but he chooses to ignore the haters, empathize with his detractors, and give others the benefit of the doubt.
Coach Lasso legitimately wants the people around him to win, not just in the game of football but in life.
The reason Lasso is such an endearing character to so many is that his message is timely. He illustrates for us that you can have great conviction but conduct yourself in a way that is not snarky, rude, or condescending to those with opposing views. The show’s success centers around the fact that Lasso chooses empathy over self-righteousness every time. Even when he has reason to be smug, Lasso is humble. When he has reason to be furious, Lasso forgives. Eventually Lasso’s Ned Flanders-meets-Mr. Rogers kindness wins over even his harshest critics.
Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a community where everyone behaved like Ted Lasso? I want that for Loudoun County.
While I do not claim to be anywhere near as virtuous as Coach Lasso, I have tried to use my voice in this community to help spread empathy. For 48 months, I have written columns about topics related to education, parenting, mental health, the pandemic, psychology, and family. I have done deep dives on what it is like to be a child dealing with anxiety, selective mutism, food allergies, giftedness, and ADHD. I have offered readers blunt talk about racism, perfectionism, youth suicide, and the need to protect transgender kids. I have even shared highly personal stories about how COVID has impacted me and my family.
One of my favorite Ted Lasso quotes is, “If you care about someone, and you got a little love in your heart, there ain’t nothing you can’t get through together.” Loudoun, we can get through this challenging time politically, economically, socially, and “pandemically” together, as a unified community. We just need a little love in our hearts and a dose of Ted Lasso-sized empathy for one another.
The next time you get the urge to type a negative comment, scream at an elected official or gloat after a victory … please pause for a second and ask yourself, “What Would Ted Lasso Do?” Let’s choose to model our behavior after Lasso and make Loudoun County a better place for all.
Chris Croll thanks her loyal readers for their support these past four years.