Crying Wolf: You're Wrong about Nazis. But You're Right There's a Problem

Over the 20th Century, the precise use of language helped shape our understanding of the problems around us, the solutions needed to solve them, and the opportunities ahead.

When Trump sounds off in racist and wildly inaccurate Tweets, it matters. When climate change deniers in positions of power talk about “belief” instead of about “evidence”, it matters. When right-wing pundits lament the loss of the imaginary ‘melting pot’ of America rather than seeing a more painful and complicated truth, it matters. Yet there’s another problem that has grown exponentially with the rise of Trump and his fast and loose use of language. It’s one that affects those of us on the left of the political spectrum.

When Good Men Do Bad Things

“Do you trust yourself?” the therapist asked me a few months back. I considered the question. “It depends,” I admitted after a long pause.

It seems axiomatic to me that good people do bad things, selfish things, stupid things, ignorant things. Some of what’s happened with the #metoo movement is proof positive of this, at least those cases that aren’t about rape, assault, or a gross abuse of power (and expectations of immunity).

So what happens when a good person does a bad thing?

* Published in "The Good Men Project"

Treat Your Creativity Like a Blue-Collar Job

Many aspiring writers view their creativity through a lens of sacredness or specialness or inspiration. As in, “This is my sacred craft,” or, “I’m an important person, a special person, and I have something important to share with the world," or, "I need to cultivate my inspiration."

This is the kind of self-important chatter that will leave you with writer’s block so thick it feels like a 2-ton rock sitting on your chest. 

The Man Who Stood in the Corner

People know me these days as a pretty outgoing guy who enjoys parties, has given more than a few public readings of his books, and recently split his pants dancing at a friend’s wedding. I have a successful business that has me putting myself out there in dozens of ways every month, from webinars to chatting with strangers.

But things weren’t always this way. 

* Published in "The Good Men Project