I Am Full of Myself Sometimes

I admit it.

On Saturday, I wrote Open Letter to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters after watching the news and seeing some of the silly signs the protesters were holding.

It was cold.  I was cold.

I was focused on myself.

I got so caught up in fighting back against these ideas, that I failed to realize my wide swipe at these folks would hurt real people.  People I know.  People that are hurting.

They didn’t need my lecture.  Most just needed my help.

Positive change is not about being right.  Without an understanding, being right does nothing but cause resentment.  When people focus on helping the other side, the real change begins.

We must seek to understand first, then offer help.  Once others see you’re not full of yourself, real dialogue happens.  Suddenly the weapons are put away.

I didn’t do that.  All I did was encourage those who already shared my beliefs and upset those who needed help.  I was wrong.

Please accept my apology.

Have an understanding night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

38 comments on “I Am Full of Myself Sometimes”

    1. Thanks Tiffany. If you average the last two posts out, I am 50% stand-up guy. I’ll chalk it up to a lesson learned.

      I appreciate the comments and tweets. It’s a more fun to write for/with people. No one likes crickets. :-)

  1. ” All I did was encourage those who already shared my beliefs and upset those who needed help.” Powerful words. and heartfelt. I’m sure those that can forgive will, and those who can’t will write you off…oh well. The important thing is you recognized the wrong and sought to rectify it. Good on you. I can be a self-righteous so and so myself so you’ve inspire me to continue to keep me in check.
    Sorry, Loco here. First visit, first comment.

    1. Thanks for the visit. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the support and hopefully others can learn from my mistake.

      We need to build a world of civil discussion. Not grandstanding and pompous attempts at teaching the world the only right way to think.

      Hopefully I never make this mistake again…

  2. ” All I did was encourage those who already shared my beliefs and upset those who needed help.” Powerful words. and heartfelt. I’m sure those that can forgive will, and those who can’t will write you off…oh well. The important thing is you recognized the wrong and sought to rectify it. Good on you. I can be a self-righteous so and so myself so you’ve inspire me to continue to keep me in check.
    Sorry, Loco here. First visit, first comment.

  3. It would mean infinitely more, Aaron – if you explained what you believe you were selfish about.

    Callous, I believe. You were callous in telling us to stop complaining and do something with our lives.

    As if we are not trying.

    If you are doing right by your family, in these times, you’re setting the world on fire, in my book. Many of us are at our wits end. We’d just like a chance. We’re doing all we can see to do. It is not for lack of effort or ability that many are succumbing to the state of the economy right now. This might be a thing to acknowledge. But you do your thing.

    1. Here’s what I was selfish about:

      1) Instead of listening first, I talked
      2) Instead of helping people, I hurt people
      3) Instead of remaining neutral, I took a negative tone

      I went against my principles of keeping people in mind first, and instead I wrote a post to make myself look/feel good. I was focused on me and it took folks like you to teach me the lesson that careless words will hurt people.

      I still believe that there are people out there always looking for handouts and government aid throughout their life. I still believe it is wrong. I believe that there is a way forward for people willing to work for it, but I also believe that there are many pitfalls along the way to reaching our dreams.

      My goal is to be an encouragement to my fellow 8pm Warriors, not a self righteous blogger who writes things to get attention.

      That’s what I did.

      1. On your “About Me” page, you begin with “I’ve dedicated my life to giving away a Billion dollars and making a difference in the world..” From this sentiment, would you not do what you can for someone worthy – now? From what you wrote, you seem confident that anyone can “make it” if we try hard enough. I proposed that you reach out and learn about the employment barriers of someone worthy, listen, and help him/her find their way. I suggested that it could be someone you choose, could be me, or could be someone like me, someone who is near the end of their rope, and seems like a decent enough person, but who is in a really, really tough corner right now.

  4. We all make mistakes. But those who can admit to making mistakes have a much better chance of seeing a problem from all sides. And those who can see a problem from all sides without bias are positioned to have impact, make a difference, and do good.

    The gentleman sees a problem from all sides without bias, the small man only only sees one side with bias.

    – Confucius

    1. Thanks Stan. You are always around to encourage people and I appreciate you.

      Some day I’ll write blogs like the last one to truly help people and not just toot my horn so I look good.

      Hopefully that day comes soon.

  5. I only have one question for the OWS protesters…
    If they “can’t get a job” with capitalism, how do they expect to get a job without capitalism??

    I thought “blogging” was about the authors opinions….not succumbing to being “PC”…

    (fair enough Aaron: I’ve written 4-5 blogs, only about two people in all of twitter AND Facebook read each one. *Crickets* suck~~> I havnt blogged since the one YOU asked for)

    1. Christy, I hear you so loud and clear that my ears are hurting. That’s why I wrote the post.

      My problem is that I did it wrong. If I was truly trying to help them “see the light”, then honey attracts bees better than vinegar. I failed.

      If I was just trying to be “Mr. Right” and make myself looks smart, then I did a good job. The problem is that isn’t how I want to be.

      I want to be better….

  6. We may not agree with each other about every issue, but I can and will respect others opinions. Some people have a hard time respecting others that do not mirror their beliefs or opinions 100%.

    I try to respect the opinion of others for one reason….

    I may not agree with other opinions but I will listen. Who knows, maybe by keeping an open mind and listening, I can learn and grow? Maybe we can find a solution?

    1. That’s the same way I feel. I want to learn, grow, and build things. Not tear them down.

      Seems like the best way to do that is to listen and understand first…something I failed to do this time around.

      Thanks for the comment Mark.

  7. It’s a tough line to walk: standing up for what you believe in and not offending those who believe differently than you. I’m impressed by your humility, though. I loved the post! I agree with it in theory but, yeah, to someone actually on there trying to make a difference for something they belive strongly about, I can see how it can be hurtful.

    1. Yeah, it hurt people. I got a lot more emails, calls, and DM’s than I’d ever gotten before. People were hurt. Good ones.

      Not just the losers that protest to get free pizza.

      That’s where I went wrong.

  8. Be yourself Aaron. Express yourself and don’t apologize. If I had more balls, I would do the same. Instead I say balls on your blog, not mine. (ha) You can’t make everyone happy and I look to Olivier Blanchard as one who speaks his mind and let’s the chips fall where they may.
    Go you!

    1. I Peg, I love your encouragement. I am not afraid of saying things that are unpopular, I am afraid of hurting the wrong people when I write harshly.

      I’m not God. A little humility goes a long way when trying to help people. Otherwise it’s just ego boosting self promotion.

      Not what I want to do with my life.

      Thanks for the support.

  9. Aaron, I fully understand your motivations behind that other post. Just wanted to say that. It’s very difficult for a hardworking, ambitious person to understand that not everyone is as rational as they are, and that many people succumb to their weaknesses. They fight for survival but sometimes they just don’t know how to. A great many folk are genuinely desperate, undereducated and disadvantaged.

    Those who gather under the #OWS banner are a huge group. Some will have legitimate grievances, others not.

    1. John, your thoughts were very influential in helping me see where I went wrong with the other post. Thank you for reaching out with the comments. They mattered.

      It’s important to see the other side, and I didn’t look hard enough. I shot first, aimed later. Ended up hitting a whole group of people that I cared about…8pm Warriors struggling to make it.

      Thanks for the patience.

  10. You have a right to express your beliefs too, Aaron! I ended up ranting a bit about OWS yesterday on my radio show ’cause I too find it so upsetting! Cut yourself some slack…

    1. A little ranting is ok, so are beliefs. I’m okay with that. However, I did myself a disservice when I managed to group hardworking 8pm Warriors who were facing challenges with the losers that just wanted free pizza, sex, and an excuse to protest.

      That’s where I went wrong and I did it with a bit of a “big shot” attitude. That’s what I’m apologizing for.

      I still generally hold the same beliefs…

  11. On your “About Me” page, you begin with “I’ve dedicated my life to giving away a Billion dollars and making a difference in the world..” From this sentiment, would you not do what you can for someone worthy – now? From what you wrote, you seem confident that anyone can “make it” if we try hard enough. I proposed that you reach out and learn about the employment barriers of someone worthy, listen, and help him/her find their way. I suggested that it could be someone you choose, could be me, or could be someone like me, someone who is near the end of their rope, and seems like a decent enough person, but who is in a really, really tough corner right now.

  12. Hi Aaron,

    Occupy Wall Street is very tough. Over on my site a friend of mine wrote a post for me that I thought was an interesting post because it sought to analyze statistically some of the main tenets of the movement. Many readers read it as a condemnation of the movement and accused the poster and me of being rich, uncaring snobs.

    The funny thing about that is I actually think there are a lot of great things about the movement.

    The posts about Occupy Wall Street that I see reflect a growing problem in our society. We like to use words and phrases like “all” or “all the time” or “everyone.” Are there some nutjobs in the movement? Oh yeah. Are there people who just want attention? Ayup.

    But there are also people who are totally screwed because they spent 6 years getting an advanced degree, are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and can’t get a job because there aren’t any available spots in their field. And that’s because people are working longer. And that’s because…you see, it could go on and on forever.

    To answer some of the other comments, yes it’s important for a blogger to answer to his or her own gut, BUT (and this is a big but), one must remember that issues are seldom black and white. Painting with a broad brush, especially in the online world, can only invite people on the other side to feel angry or hurt.

    By the way, one might argue that anyone who blogs is full of him or herself. We are writing with the expectation that people will hang on our every word, comment, share, and do jumping jacks. And the really crazy thing is that a lot of people do. It’s a strange, strange world.

    1. Margie, I really appreciate you and your insight. I think this was definitely a case where I grabbed a brush that was way too wide.

      There are many great folks that got painted on accident. Hopefully I’ll learn a lesson.

      Thanks for the thoughts.

  13. I really like ur honesty and u know, I kinda responded the same way u did, and I too feel somewhat ashamed, lost a couple friends because of it. However all is not lost, there is time yet to make amends

    1. There is always time to fix things. However, it’s always easier to avoid breaking them in the first place. Hopefully I’ll learn a lesson and avoid having to write apology posts.

      Thanks for sharing.

  14. Aaron, you are a good man. You have a good heart. You are compassionate. This is who you are. You write from a place within that feels passion. There may have been hurt feelings, there may have been complaints. But, what sets you apart from many is the obvious pain that you feel because of your community’s pain. What matters is that you heard the pain and you responded. What matters is that you really care about your community. I am glad that I have met you here in the blogosphere. You kindness is inspirational. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be good to yourself. Hug your family and…
    have a gentle night.
    Claudia

    1. Thank you Claudia. You say so many kind things to me and I hope to live up to them.

      I’m so glad I met you too and it’s made this whole 8pm Warrior project worth it. Thanks for the encouragement and generous words.

  15. Aaron, I was glad to read your apology. As someone who lived not in the USSR, but in one of it’s satellites, I agree with your perspective that what we now know as communism destroys initiative. Not unlike the lack initiative when working for a very large company, where what you do is not noticed or appreciated.

    From my perspective Occupy Wall Street is not asking for socialism or communism, but a plea to change our economic system. A change perhaps best described by Jeffery Sachs in” The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity”.

    We all as part of this country should demand investments in the future, not instant profits at the cost of destroying the future, economically and environmentally. The past 30 years have done the opposite to the benefit for a very few at the cost of the majority. Without a change, our future will be grim for the majority and even for the tiny percent of those who have benefited from what I would consider obscene profits. See 9/21 WSJ for an example: Larry Ellison and his multitude of mansions all over the world.

    The choice is up to us all.

    1. Bence, thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to look up those articles you mention.

      I appreciate your perspective on the Occupy Wall Street movement and am now seeing other sides of the movement that I didn’t see at first. I owe it to folks like you for helping education.

      Thank you.

  16. I don’t think you should have apologized, but I have little patience for those who don’t want to get off their ass and work.

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