Stuart is – in my book – a good blogger who puts a lot of work into very well considered posts. I have a lot of respect for his views. I also want to challenge what I feel is one implication of what he says. Stuart argues: “Here is a collection of brainpower being wasted with ranting and personal attacks,” and continues “My suggestion is to be challenging in a more positive way.”
Yes, I’ve been thinking I want to add a post or two setting out an alternative view and I mean to do so. And what follows is provoked by Stuart’s comment but I’m not suggesting that he is taking an entirely opposite general position.
I think some of the best blog entries – my own and other people’s – are the rants. This is not an accident, nor is it a mark of some fatal moral flaw. I believe the world of organisations gets stymied if we subscribe to a narrow view of politeness and being positive. There is more to life – much more – than the purely rational, yet much business discourse avoids completely many powerful “negative” emotions.
I really distrust the idea that some emotions are “negative” and others “positive”.
What makes blogs fun – at least for me – is when I get a sense of a real flesh and blood human being behind them.
I love Improv and its principle of “Yes, And” – but this doesn’t mean that we simply go around being agreeable. That would be deeply dull. Sometimes the best way to show up to a relationship is to say No. Sometimes we won’t even see the way forward until we Stop doing what isn’t working. One or two of my strongest friendships are with people I strongly disliked and disagreed with when I first met them.
Also, consider this. Until a week ago, I just felt queasy about Lovemarks. I wrote a couple of mixed cautious posts elsewhere about my views. Then I read Chris Lawer’s original post which definitely qualified as a rant on the subject. (Chris has toned it down a little since, pity). This catalysed my views, energised me, and made me realise that I don’t have mixed views on Lovemarks, I have a deep gut dislike of it. Then I post a rant, and several other people come out in support. It isn’t reason alone that has brought us together, it is passion – in this particular case, in the form of anger.
A few years ago, I sat in an encounter group whose facilitator said “I like anger, it can be very energising”. At the time, as an anger-phobic, I felt rather alarmed by this view. Not any more.
And no, I am not saying all expressions of anger are good. But I am saying that Anger gets a bad rap a lot of the time. Used well it can be powerful force for good. (Consider Jesus and the Money Changers; What is that got Bob Geldof to create Band Aid?)