Sorry, But You’re Wrong

by Bill Brenner on February 9, 2012

I got a lot of response to yesterday’s post about possibly killing this blog (Thanks for all the support!). Everyone asked that I continue, but supported my idea of expanding the topics.

I still have decisions to make, but y’all gave me some great ideas on how to take this forward.

I did get one message to the contrary, though. And because I disagree with the writer’s point, I’m going to share it with you. I’ll keep the person’s name out of it, of course.

Mood music:

The writer said:

All I will say is that a blog like this is probably not doing you any favors.

When you know a person for business purposes, you dont want to know about their psychological disorders. If you want an extension of our writing, great. But a blog titled like this makes people who know nothing about you have predisposed notions that there would be something off about you.

That could be ignorance on their part, but why put something out there that is otherwise none of their business, when it shouldnt be an issue in dealing with you?

Blogs like this have got people denied jobs and all. Ignorance? Probably. But either way, how does a blog named for this subject otherwise help you? I cant see a single way it would unless you want to prove the ADA should apply to you.

My thoughts:

–I don’t write this blog for favors, and certainly not for sympathy votes. I write it because good people have been screwed over because of the stigma, which you actually describe quite well. I reached a point in my life where speaking out and sharing what I’ve learned was more important than what people might think of me.

–I knew I was taking a risk when I started this. Fortunately, everyone I work with supports me. The simple reason is that I proved my worth long before I came out with these stories.

–You’re absolutely wrong to say no one wants to know about this stuff. Within days of starting the blog, the vast majority of feedback came from people in the security community who have their own demons and were grateful that someone was talking about theirs. Depression, anxiety and addiction run deep in our community, and when people have a place to talk about it and find ways forward, it makes them better contributors to the industry, does it not? I think it does. By the way, a lot of the folks I speak of are in upper-level jobs — the kind you do business with.

–Part of doing this blog is to help people see that they need not be held back by adversity. That too is good for our community.

–I do agree that I risk being viewed only through the prism of what I write about. That’s why I’m considering changes. But that change isn’t going to be to reverse course. I continue to believe openness is the best approach.

Thanks for the feedback.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

AnneAddison February 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

As a successful nonprofit consultant and writer, I’ve heard the same sort of criticism from colleagues, friends, and family. I hear it, I understand it, but I have decided not to buy into it. In 1999, I started the Preeclampsia Foundation (www.preeclampsia.org) entirely on the premise of knowledge is power – knowledge starts with truth, and truth starts with honesty, even when it makes people uncomfortable. Thank you for your bravery – it inspires me to keep on.

hotzona_groundzero February 28, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Bill,
Keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t give a rat’s ass about what others have to say and believe in your convictions. Write for you, write for your cause and write for those that possess the ration and reason to understand.

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