Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
I am not following. Do you go to AA meetings to talk about the addictions of millions of people other than yourself?
This seems very absurd and you should stop Wasting their valuable time. They have far more important topics to cover and real people to help.
What a disgrace.
It is my job to heal the wounds that you Goons have ripped open in our discussion-board and blog communities, Laugh. I have things that I have done that were aimed at helping everyone concerned. This particular job has been a tough one. I may need to learn about some new tricks. If the Al-Anon program can teach me some new tricks, it would be irresponsible of me not to make use of the benefits that it offers to us all.
I would not say that I attend to discuss your addiction. I talk here about your addiction on a daily basis. I don’t need a new outlet to talk about that stuff.
It’s more than I want to learn new techniques for healing the wounds created by your addictive behavior. I want to learn what I can do differently to produce better results for all concerned.
I’ll give you a concrete example of what I am getting at. The program has a book that sets forth daily reflections. Yesterday there was a passage that was listing some resolutions to make for the new day at the beginning of it. It said something like: “show good cheer to the people you encounter this day.” I certainly see the merit of that one. But there was one line that made me uneasy. It said: “Criticize not one bit.”
Okay. My father used to say: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That line expresses the same general spirit. So I see where the passage in the Al-Anon book is coming from. As a general rule, we all should refrain from criticizing others and focus any improvement efforts on ourselves. I get that. I agree with that.
But I say that you Goons have committed fraud and that you will be going to prison following the next price crash. That kinda, sorta sounds like a criticism, does it not?
I am a journalist. Journalists tell stories that people need to hear about to live better lives. Some of those stories are happy ones. It would be big news if we discovered a cure for cancer. But not all important stories are happy ones. Watergate was not a happy story. But there were two good journalists who told that story and I don’t think that there are too many who would say that they were wrong to do so. If I don’t mention the financial fraud and the prison sentences, the financial fraud is going to continue and the prison sentences are going to be longer than they would be if it didn’t continue. It seems to Rob the Journalist that I am obligated in conscience to tell the story of financial fraud and prison sentences.
The Normals don’t like it when I do that. When I had my column at the Out of Your Rut site, there was a fellow who used to come by each week and leave a comment or two. He wasn’t the biggest believer in VII in the world but for whatever reason he made an effort to say something each week. That made me happy because the dynamic on a blog is that, when people see someone else leave a comment, it gives them the courage to leave a comment. So this guy was helping me out in a big way and I was grateful. I had one column where I noted that Jack Bogle did more than anyone else alive to bring on the economic crisis. I also included language pointing out that Bogle is a great man from whom I have learned much and so on. But this fellow did not like it that I said what I did about Bogle and the economic crisis and he told me so. I explained why I felt that I needed to say that. He did not respond. And he did not comment on my column entries ever again.
Do you see?
I do not think that I am wrong to talk about financial fraud and prison sentences. But, if I am handling things improperly even in some small way, I want to know about it. Reflecting on the words “criticize not one bit” may or may not help me go about the job that I have been elected by circumstances to perform. So I think that I need to place myself in circumstances in which I am exposed to those sorts of words. I am not saying that I will stop referring to financial fraud and prison sentences. I am saying that I will reflect on whether there is another, better way to go about things.
I attend Al-Anon meetings to learn if there is a better way to go about things. I am not there to fix you. That’s on you. I am there to fix me. I am there to learn better ways of coping with the problems that you cause because of your addiction.
I hope that helps a small bit.