A recent blog post — "The Alternative To A Rising Career" – received an unusually large reaction from readers of Net Cotton Content.
The Reaction Split Evenly By Generation.
The members of the Greatest/Silent Generation and Baby Boom questioned why I would write disparagingly of myself.
Comments: "What good can come of this?" "Why would you write such things about yourself?" "This could come back to haunt you." "You need to figure out the underlying psychological issue, get some therapy, and move on with your life."
All of the feedback was loving and caring. (Thank you for your messages.)
Some suggested my public self-doubt might repel potential clients. Some said it would make me less employable.
A message to those writers: I know you are right for your generation. There was a time when vulnerability was the Kiss of Death. (Or at least Death's Light Petting. Just to put you in the mood to die.) I hear you.
But I Am Different.
As the last child of a WW2 veteran, I am technically a Boomer, but my Boomer idealism was trumped when I delivered the newspaper reporting Watergate at the age of 13, so I am every bit the Jones. (A quick briefing on Generation Jones came from Richard Pérez-Peñajan in The New York Times on January 6, in "I May Be 50, but Don’t Call Me a Boomer.")
But this post isn't about that.
The Later Perspective
The younger members of the readership (at least those who responded, so I do not claim that is a statistical conclusion) differed from the more seasoned readers.
Younger readers (those under 55) reported that this was "the best post ever," "so funny and honest," "brilliant," "truly how we live today," "what is right about America," and so much more — the praise and appreciation was so vivid and gushing that I'm going to leave it at that. (My heart is warmed, but we musn't let the writer's head swell. Because this post is about the very opposite.)
What Is Too Much Honesty?
I live somewhere between our parent's anxiety about revealing anything online and our children's willingness to reveal everything online. I report deeply but narrowly. I am an amplified introvert.
My voice, my tone, and my soul are wrapped in the open disclosure: I want to be better.
And, to be better, I acknowledge — with humility and without embarrassment — that I am not yet what I will become. And, therefore, today, I might be enough for you.
But you deserve better.
Who Deserves Better?
- If you are my beloved, you deserve a better husband.
- If you are my child, you deserve a better father.
- If you are a member of one of my peer groups, you deserve a better chair.
- If you are one of my coaching clients, you deserve a better coach.
- If you are a reader of Net Cotton Content, you deserve a better writer.
- If you are my friend, you deserve a better friend.
I want to be that better husband, father, chair, coach, and writer. And I'm not just moaning about it.
I'm Betting On Getting Better.
I'm making substantial investments in becoming the better human you deserve.
I'm spending time, money and energy on becoming better. For you. (And for me, too, of course. Mainly, it's for me.)
It's not too late. What are you doing to become a better human?
And who knows — because you told them — that they deserve better from you?
Isn't that the way to become truly interdependent?