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And The Survey Said

With the recent passing of Richard Dawson my thoughts go back to the show that made him a big star “The Family Feud”.  I always liked the game and the idea of families actually competing against other families.  It was always entertaining to play along and come up with an answer that you knew had to be on the board.

There probably isn’t anyone out there who is unfamiliar with “Family Feud” because it  appears on the Game Show Network.  However, the updated “Family Feuds” do not compare to the original with Richard Dawson as the host.  He had a way of making the show funny and entertaining.  Every lady on the show got a good luck kiss and the men a firm handshake.  He was very quick with his comebacks which were usually making fun of the contestants weird answers.

Each member of the family individually had to give an answer to the survey that was on the board.  The survey usually had between 4 and 10 answers that were listed from the most popular to the least.  One hundred people were surveyed for these questions and those surveys made the boards for later shows.  If the contestant gave an answer that was on the board the team got the number of points the survey had for that answer.  For instance if 20 people said the answer the contestant gave, the team  received that many points.  After the first round Richard would announce that the points were now doubled, then tripled.  A strike was given if the team member did not get one of the answers on the board.  Three strikes before all of the answers were revealed resulted in the other family getting a chance to steal all of the points with one correct answer.  When a family got 300 points they won the game and had a chance to play big money.  Two of the family members were picked and one went off stage.  They were both asked the same questions and had to supply a popular answer.  Their scores were combined and if they reached 200 points they got $10,000.  If not their point value was doubled and that is the amount they received along with a chance to defend their championship against another family the next day.

The “Family Feud” was intriguing.  It had me picturing in my mind what members of my family I would have on the show if I were on there.  Mostly though it gave me a chance to yell at the TV when I had a good answer that the contestant just couldn’t come up with.  So many times we would watch as a family member just couldn’t even come up with a guess..They got the big buzzer and big X.  Of course it is much easier sitting there in my living room answering the questions than it was for someone on stage with millions of people watching.  Somehow though at the time I didn’t take any of that into account.

My memories of that show brings me to the basic backbone of the show which were opinions.  Everyone seems to have an opinion but I think more and more our opinions are alike.  For instance with the elections coming up this year we have received many phone calls from pollsters trying to track our opinion to issues and candidates.  What is really interesting to me is that they can interview maybe 2,000 people with samples designed around percentages of the population.  The population of their survey may be 2 million people.  Yet from the small sample of say 2 thousand they can conclude within 2 % how people will vote or how people think in that population group.  My conclusion is that because we all watch or hear the same media be it TV or radio we start thinking alike or similar to a large number of people.

It’s funny looking at the pictures in my high school year book from 1975 and comparing them to pictures of graduating seniors today.  Almost every guy in my class had very long hair.  That look was popular and it was the in thing.  I worked in a clothing department for men at that time.  A new suit had just came out.  It was called the “Leisure Suit”.  When guys came in looking for a suit they loved those “Leisure Suits”.  We sold those colorful shiny shirts to wear under them along with beads.  The  idea that they could wear them in a casual setting or wear a tie with them too made it a suit for all occasions. Today we don’t see many “Leisure Suits”.  If you happen to spot somebody wearing one it makes you think they are in a 1970’s time warp.  What was popular and the “in thing” back then would be laughed at today.

The “popular” Leisure Suit look

I’m thinking of other popular things in their time.  The yo-yo comes to mind.  How about the hula hoop, bell bottom pants, elevator shoes, the mini skirt and the list goes on and on.  I remember when I first came to college it seemed like everyone I ran into had a cigarette in their mouth.  People didn’t think of the health effects at that time.  At work I remember when break rooms were filled with smoke and smokers.  Today if people want to smoke they have to go outside and so many feet from the building.  My point is that times change and opinions change.  Things that were accepted back then are questioned now.  Things that were questioned are now accepted.  It has to be hard to ride the waves of public opinion yet in many ways we all do.  It is natural to want to be accepted and popular.

If you seek it everyone will give you an opinion.  The common phrase is “If I were you” and then they will give a detailed step by step of exactly how you should handle the situation.  We need to be careful about the advice we seek and from who.  In the Bible we see examples of mentor relationships such as Paul with Timothy.  Seeking advice from a God fearing moral based person can be a very rewarding thing!  Not being careful in who we seek advice can leave us drifting in the wind of popularity.

We all have known that something was wrong but did it anyway.  Even though maybe nobody else knew we did.  We felt that feeling that just wasn’t right in our being.  We felt the guilt after the incident and knew down deep it was wrong.  It may have been a “popular” thing to do at the time, but God puts a little gauge in us that measures if we are staying on the path.  That is why the lie detector test works.  It is natural for measurable physical differences to occur when someone tells a lie.  When that steady line becomes erratic just as the question is being answered it is slotted into the untruth category.

Just as the backbone of the “Family Feud” was the survey, the backbone for the Christian is the Bible.  Sometimes watching an old “Family Feud” show we can see how dated it is.  How the “popular” answer back then is laughable now.  The Bible stays the same and has throughout the years.  It is the foundation of our faith and the hope that lives within us.  When you need answers to life’s questions go there.  It will lead you on the right path no matter what the survey said.

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2 thoughts on “And The Survey Said

  1. Yes, the Bible is the standard we are to live by and the Holy Spirit lives within believers to guide us to the truth.
    Thanks for the memories. I loved Richard Dawson and Family Feud also.
    Blessings, Leona

  2. Jeanie on said:

    Lewis, you have a wonderful way of clearly summarizing and explaining things such as the Family Feud game:)

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