Should You Lose Your Job For Being A Jerk?

Have SJW's Gone Too Far?

Social Justice. It’s a modern term but has been around since time has begun. It’s been social commentary fodder for books marking its place in time. Think The Scarlet Letter, published in 1850.  The term mob rules and vigilante justice are forms of social justice. How often are those terms associated with the moral high ground?

Social Justice in 2018 has reached a point where it has potentially become unbalanced in how the accused are punished.

We are speaking of how men or anyone is punished for their civil behavior and societal transgressions when their behavior has not crossed the line into a criminal act.

The Me Too movement began as a good thing. It rooted out horrible men that used power over women. It’s wrong, no one should deny that. Since Me Too’s inception in 2017 it has spawned a new type of social justice, that is making the act of being a jerk cause for extreme punishment.

Keep in mind this is not a defense of men. This discussion is about how we dispense justice outside of the court system. People are losing jobs and livelihoods for their transgressions.

The question is should people lose their livelihood and for how long? Social Justice seems to suddenly have unlimited power to censure.

Consider the case of actor Mel Gibson. He had two forms of proof to his bad character. First was his publicized recording of being detained by the police in 2006. Gibson tossed insults in a drunken anti-semitic rant at the arresting officer. The recording was proof of where his heart was. Society and Hollywood judged Gibson.

Mel Gibson 2006 and 2001 mug shots
Mel Gibson 2006 & 2011 Arrests

Soon after in 2009 Gibson was outed again during a divorce with photos of physical abuse and audio recordings that may have been altered but still painted enough of a picture to see he was someone who flew off at the mouth with extreme words. It’s been over 10 years since Mel was punished by society.  What is the time limit to which we let him back in? We have no standard.

We could explore the importance of accused vs guilty. This matter is about punishment in general. Don’t misunderstand – accountability is great. I believe in it. If you have children you teach this concept to your children from the time they speak.

Like Mel Gibson, many have been punished by losing their livelihood. There is no jail time or being sent away to relearn proper societal behavior. Instead we jettison that person to oblivion. We turn our back on them like sweeping dirt under a rug.

What we do and do not tolerate has changed throughout history. One example is that the gay lifestyle now is celebrated.  In Ancient Greece homosexuality was accepted. Then it was not. Just 30 years ago homosexuality was taboo, mocked and condemned.  Did society have the right to make outcasts of gay people in the 1970’s?

The same could be said for those that smoke marijuana. The list of things we reject then accept as a society goes on.  In 2009 Christian Bale blew up on the set of Terminator in an ugly rant. Even he called it inexcusable. Had that happened now would he be ran out of Hollywood?

Beyond the timing of when a social justice infraction takes place is the question of do we have the right to take away someone’s livelihood as punishment?

Social Justice now demands that at the time we learn of an offense we make the accused an outcast. Do we have that right?  How far do we go? This isn’t a defense of people who clearly do wrong. It’s a question of who decides how people should be punished outside the legal system.

Some who have lost their jobs are slowly making their way back into the public eye.  Is taking away a person’s livelihood the only way this should be handled? To take the question even further, should we take away a person’s livelihood for just being a jerk? Because we’ve reached that point.

Nerdist FounderThat is how the latest case is playing out with Chris Hardwick. He’s the founder of a million dollar empire,  Recently he’s been outed by his ex girlfriend Chloe Dykstra in her online essay Rose Colored Glasses: A Confession.  From her article Ms. Dykstra infers Mr. Hardwick mentally abused her during their years long relationship. His downfall has been an instant elevator ride to the bottom. He’s been removed from the Nerdist history books as founder, scratched from multiple TV jobs and all but erased from our sight.  His punishment has all come without a trial, nor any credence to his response.  No one is diminishing Chloe Dykstra’s hardship. I for one think what she says is true. I think Chris has as much said he’s bad in relationships. His insecurity of holding onto someone in the L.A. lifestyle is no excuse. There is no excuse. The question is has his pitiful behavior in a relationship given cause for him to lose everything he’s worked for?

Unlike the recent MeToo (women in business taken advantage of by predatory men) movement where men have been losing jobs and companies they own due to criminal behavior, Chris Hardwick’s case is new territory. It’s now about civil behavior outside the workplace. He’s being accused of being a shitty person. Hardwick is not being accused of  being sexual stalker or sexual predator like others. Instead he’s being accused of being a jerk. A really bad jerk to put it mildly.

Chris Hardwick has maintained for years he’s not good at relationships. He’s owned up to his bad behavior without actually broadcasting it over the air or memorializing it in writing. No one is disputing that if what his accuser is saying is true that Chris is a jerk in his personal life.

That’s where we are now.  The question is now – do we punish people for just being crummy personalities?

In business, sharks make it to the top. We all know some very ugly personalities in the workplace that we ask in wonder, “How is this person in a position of authority, let alone employed here?” To that end, karma usually catches up with them. Sometimes it does not, but on balance those people are moved out of those positions or fired from their jobs left to soul search and hopefully learn from their bad ways and change for the better in their next job. That has been the way of things. The natural order and the business world solve the problem of ‘bad eggs’ for the most part.

Sexual harassment in the workplace has come a long way in my lifetime and still has some work to go, but it is beginning to be applied to those at the top like it has those at the bottom. That’s a good thing.

As for Chris Hardwick, it may yet come out he has committed some form of physical or sexual abuse. Until that is proven, should he lose all he has worked for because he’s a bad person in relationships? For years he was the darling of the millennial generation adhering to every hip norm becoming the poster boy of all that is cool. He made being a nerd or geek okay. Now he is suddenly not okay because current Social Justice demands people lose their jobs.

But again… social justice has now worked it’s way outside the workplace – to affect livelihoods. We need to get that right. Chris Hardwick’s case illustrates this need and we should all be a bit more careful lest that stone be cast at our own glass house.

Holistic Thinking as Family Advice

by Lars Hindsley

Years ago I read a book The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge — actually I listened to it, many times. It was about thinking in totality, seeing things from a distant view, or top down view where an installed system that is successful can be self-sustaining. While the book does in fact expand on feedback loops being influenced by interconnected outside forces, my article focuses on two of the lessons I learned from the book I’ve applied to personal life.

Systems Thinking as Family Advice

I like to give back so today I want to explain systems thinking in regards to my life and my children’s lives so that you may apply it to your own.

The book The Fifth Discipline is not just about simple systems perspective, but that is what we will focus from here out.

The other night I was installing a new shower head system in my shower. The boys and I are in the bathroom with all the parts. I admiringly appreciate my oldest son is keen to state we should be reading the directions to our youngest son. This may seem strange that one son is dictating this information to another but it is part of systems thinking being instilled from one family member to another.

Let’s back up. Since the time my eldest son received his first set of Lincoln Logs I instilled in him that he should always use directions. To this day he always refers to directions when building or assembling things. Why mention this? Reading the directions in full and having them in advance of a project is in fact a form of systems thinking. You know the end before you begin.

You see when you step back and view things on a whole you are better prepared to work within that system even if you are only going to operate strictly within a small segment. Now I’ll return to my story of the plumbing.

The Hindsley Boys

The boys and I are working along and I stop to show my eldest son how the threads on the parts run standard in one direction. However if you have ever wrapped a string or wire around anything you know to wrap counter to a thread’s direction. Both my sons learned early how screws, or bolts on nuts operate, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”. We needed to put Teflon tape on the faucet part but you should wrap the tape in the direction of the part going on which tightens over the tape otherwise the part you are attaching will simply bunch up the tape, and that is counterproductive. Imagining what will happen in advance can avoid mistakes. Systems thinking is more than this, but for the sake of teaching children, I simplified the logic.

In systems thinking, you imagine in advance what will take place. Then you can troubleshoot before something goes wrong and avoid pitfalls.

Systems Thinking

When I read about systems thinking for the first time, I was committed to learning the nuances of it. It went well beyond linear cause and effect. I listened to that audio book over and over again. The result was a lifetime of rewards.

A few years later I took a job as VP of Marketing for an Internet Service Provider (ISP). These were the early days of the Internet when everyone was fighting for dial-up customers. In my job interview I laid out a system of success for my would be boss. I got the job because I gave him a clear top down view of the future. Better yet, I made it happen. The plan I offered, I executed. But it took time. In fact there were times of doubt along the way I had to answer to. Knowing what would come next gave me confidence in my responses which in turn gave the people who hired me confidence things would work as planned. They did. They went from a small market competitor to the dominant market leader.

Systems thinking is not something that shows immediate results. You must have patience to see the system come to fruition. In the case of my job at the ISP, three months into it they had spent $35,000.00 on my plans and had yet to see a dime of profit, but they did see enough of the system building that they held on. A year later that company had over a million dollars a year income. Their patience in my planning paid off. They had their own agenda and when the company reached a certain size they sold it; that left me to find employment somewhere else but I took pride in my achievement.

I learned a valuable lesson in that experience. Patience. I remember having to explain myself to my boss and it was a trying time when the system was building. But I know now that you can believe in systems thinking. Of course it helps to have a solid plan.

But systems thinking is far beyond the world of business. Cause and effect is a big player in what systems thinking is all about. When you turn on the water in a shower there is a system in place which you must ‘familiarize’ yourself with. You learn at a early age the system of showering. When you first turn on the water, you want it to be warm — so you overcompensate with hot water to get the warm water flowing through the plumbing. Then you counteract that with backing off the hot water and adding cold water to regulate the temperature. But — there is a system in place. You know that when you first turn a knob you must “wait”. Waiting is important. If you don’t wait what happens? You could make another change before the system sends that hot water through the pipes and reach you; otherwise making another change of more hot water before the first bout of water reaches you will result in over-compensating hot water and you’ll be scalded. Who has not accidentally done this? In systems thinking you must turn the knob and wait, then again you turn the knob and wait. Keyword: wait. That is the system of regulating warm water in the shower.

This same logic applies to all parts of life even in relationships. From reading all the directions in a plan before beginning to building a business or taking a shower, systems thinking is something we can all benefit from. By you teaching your children the logic of systems thinking at an early age you grant them the wisdom of patience and more. They learn to set expectations properly and the ability to understand things greater than what lay before them. It starts with you however, you must lead by example. I think my eldest son relies so much on directions now because he’s always seen me use them and seen the benefit of doing so. Just last week he was assembling a bed with his grandfather whom had no use for the directions but near the end, my son stepped in with the directions and solved an otherwise difficult problem with ease. My son understands the importance of seeing things holistically. He practices systems thinking now and I see him doing well in life for it. For yourself and your loved ones, I suggest you learn more about systems thinking.

For your information, here are all five disciplines according to Peter Senge.

1st Discipline is Personal Mastery
2nd Discipline is Building Shared Vision
3rd Discipline is Mental Models
4th Discipline is Team Learning
5th Discipline is Systems Thinking

You’re In For It Now

by Lars Hindsley

Lars in recording studio

You’re in for it now
Fate has lingered and I propose a toast
Destiny has been commissioned to find you and…
You’re in for it now!

Fate will have you somehow
Stumble into the arms of change
Toss and turn you around, and…
You’re in for it now!

Destiny’s beside you
Forcing your hands behind you
Destiny’s beside you
Forcing your hand – behind you

You’re in for it now
Fate has lingered, no room left to boast!
Destiny has been commissioned to find you and…
You’re in for it now!

It’s the key to your fate if you can brave it
It’s the pain of your past if you can take it
You’ve crossed the line, incommunicado
Up to your shirt-tie lost without bravado

Destiny’s beside you
Forcing your hands behind you
Destiny’s beside you
Forcing your hand – behind you

You’re in for it now
You’re in for it now
You’re in for it now!

Roses are Red

Casting a King
by Lars Hindsley

It’s fast and it’s furious
Hurts the way it should
Find em hiding in the corners
Pain someone else once took
If you worked at love much harder
They’er putting pepper on the ball
The working waves of passion
The weight of it all…

Now! I looked hard, I looked silently
And I fell hard, she fell hardly
What happened to me, what happened to me
I think out loud… What happened to me?

Roses are red, roses are red
If we had a fight, I’d forget what was said
Roses are red, roses are red
If love is blind I’ll get you out of my head

Now who’s to know the reason why rascals find love?
Isn’t something more important, to accidently find the one
So who’s fooling who? No don’t change the rules
We’re heading straight for danger and I mean you

Roses are red, roses are red
If we had a fight, I’d forget what was said
Roses are red, roses are red
If love is blind I’ll get you out of my head

I was a crazy cure which she believed
I was a flash on her she could decieve
Now she’s a reckless hunter looking for me
And now I’m desperately focused to find myself king

You say you want me serious, don’t you wish you could
I see you fear’n in a corner, love once misunderstood
If we ran from love much further, I suppose we’ve said it all
Yes we’ll treat it like a fashion, I think we’ve done it all

Starts the Sigh

Pass me by
By Lars Hindsley

So this is how it starts again
Right past the tentative
Just past the refrain
Yet pass me by you won’t see me again

Chances they trifle
Trifle by
Sing to the greeting
Stop with a sigh

Can’t ever be sure
Lexicon of sighs
Resort to a look
Straight through the Eyes

Gone gone
Gone away
Never sincere enough
Never time to say (here starts the sigh)

To learn the word
Learn the word goodbye
To be vocal
Only means to sigh

But if you care to show or try
You’ll leave at last that whispered sigh

Seek No Solace

by Lars Hindsley

Seek no solace, it’s your furthest friend.
Seek no solace as a means to an end,
find your edge, take control again.
Seek no solace, no mans land.

Unrequited logic, phantom fears,
believe in your wisdom it will get you there.
Choke emotion, now or never,
the stranger inside you is dancing clever.

How can the mind decide this way?
push the character to reprove?
I’m the only image of what I see that stands tall,
what the mind sees is where it moves.

While solace is a memory you need to regret,
even though you have the answers you can still fail the test.

Systematic instinct,No Solace
heroes will notice,
take control.
Seek no solace

Reflex arrogant
crush what’s real,
the image they’ll see can’t touch what you feel
Your darkness hides your colors,
you’re the strongest color too
When you’re own darkness blinds you
Solace finds you.

Wide, Wide Eternity

Angel of Solace
By Lars Hindsley

As the Days and Nights gone by, I sailed the widest seas
And all the winds of change could never beat the best of me
I loved that wide wide sea
Until I docked the shores of Eternity

Her name? I’ll call her Eternity
Her shoreline it’s my destiny
For now that I’ve met her
She’ll never leave me

So go on get tough tell me your mentally strong
But once you find her shoreline and it won’t be long
But you won’t belong,
Because her hearts with me

I’ll never be late for a chance that won’t come again
We’ll cringe at the thought that we’ll never know when
I’m fearing my fate …is a wide wide eternity
While forcing my fate is a key that won’t set me free

Now the days and nights go by …I sail the widest seas…

Now the days and nights gone by, I’ve sailed the widest seas
And all the winds of change seem to beat the best of me
I loved that wide wide sea
Now I find I’m sailing, searching for Eternity

Forced Fate

Forced Fate
by Lars Hindsley

You epitomize why I should try
The main thing is you want me
Keep electing a wider view
Keep praying this dream comes true
I’ll keep forcing my fate with you

Drawing near
You’re selecting
This heart’s bound for you
I can’t slow up we both might realize
The boundary we both knew
I’ll keep praying this dream comes true
I’ll keep forcing my fate with you

Only the wind knows
There is nothing you can do
Destiny is a friend to it
Soft or sullen or as harsh as it may be
It will leave you in the night awake
It will leave you in the night awake
It will leave you in the night with…
Forced fate.

I’ll keep praying this dream comes true
I’ll keep forcing my fate with you
Staying in step beside you
Only the wind knows
There is nothing you can do
Destiny is a friend to it
Soft or sullen or as harsh as it may be
It will leave you in the night awake
It will leave you in the night awake
It will leave you in the night with…
Forced fate

You know why here I won’t be denied
You will not evade now

My destiny is made not found


Your Audience Finds You

File this under helpful advice in understanding life. It’s about a modern day adage of sorts.

There are many sayings in life.  Some become hackneyed expressions, while others hold deep meaning.  One saying I’ve learned years ago has become one that came back to me time and again to teach me a lot about life. It’s about being yourself or being true to yourself, and yet it goes beyond living life on your terms. The saying is:

Your audience finds you.

I first heard it as advice when I was the front for a local Delaware band.  We were making the rounds with radio stations pushing for airplay.  Who I heard it from, I do not recall.  It wasn’t something profound when I first heard it.  It was just one of those… “Yeah you’re right”  moments of acknowledgment.  I believe it was a fellow musician from a band that mentored ours.

Our conversation started with me explaining our band’s sound.  I was defining how I sing, I was explaining we had two guitarists that traded off lead guitar solos and how that gave us more than one flavor.  In response I was told, “Your audience finds you.” Its meaning was clear right away. We didn’t need to worry if people would like us, the people that did like us would appreciate us and become our fans. Our audience would find us.  And that story — a seed in time, grew inside me.

Over the years I recall that analysis and observation about how the music industry works. It applied to business.  Many folks had these crazy ideas for usable web sites, from gaming forums to odds bettors, and even bonsai tree enthusiasts.  I remembered to myself and assured people with their idea, “Your audience will find you.”

There came a point in time I gave that advice to myself; about love.  I realized that I was a unique guy lost in an obscure part of the world where someone such as myself couldn’t stand out. More than that, I was never interested in being tough and strong. I was a paradox. I became insensitive and outwardly uncaring but genuinely sensitive, only I had to get to know you first. I wasn’t special. I just wanted to believe I was because my mother raised me to believe I was.

My foolish and far too romantic side  made it hard for me to get the right woman to strike up immediate interest.  I was …an acquired taste. 🙂  I said to myself, “Don’ t worry Lars, your audience will find you.” I knew that a woman that had similar interests would one day cross my path — Oh, and she never did. I eventually forced myself to accept others. Until that day came, I believed I could just be everywhere at once hoping to put myself in the right woman’s path. Again, a foolish boy thinking he was a man.

Lars Hindsley

Of course that is why I wrote the song Forced Fate.  Those two words in terms of love mean you can’t make a woman love you, but you can put yourself in her path to find you. My theory seemed so possible.  Wow could I spin my own lie and live it.  You can force fate to some degree. Yes I know,  those two words — forced fate are somewhat paradoxical.  Forcing fate is something I’ve been at for some time.  I knew I’d never sing in a band if I didn’t go after it. The mind moves towards what it sees.  I knew that if I wanted to play football, I’d have to try while I still had my youth.  I did that very thing at the age of 27.  It was never too late.  And the people that played in my band and played football… were like me.  We had the same outlook on life and the same energy and will to achieve.

In life, your audience will find you.  The people that share common interest find each other.  People that love alike, people that hate alike.  People that have strong family values, people that have no interest in family; the different types of people there are find each other.  Followers follow and leaders lead, but they share characteristics that are alike.

When we dress it is an expression of our values, our interests and more.  We find ourselves attracted to people that dress in a manner in which we agree, even if it’s uniquely different than our self — even if it seems diametrical.  We find each other based on being alike deep inside, and sometimes on the surface.  Of course clothes alone don’t define a person but it is a starting point.  As we open up to learn about the people we meet we draw closer to those that share our interests.

Perhaps my underlying message here is be yourself and those that are like you will like you most for the real you.  No matter what it is. May your audience find you.

The Future has the Last Laugh

What is it that we all yearn for in our lives?

The answer? Control.

We are all just one breath away from losing everything, from our health and jobs to love.  Life is fragile, we long to control our destiny. As for money,  we try and earn money to ensure our future, to give us control over the future.

Many of us we can’t let go of the need for control.  And why should we?

We all have an agenda.  We live our lives by our needs and desires.  Morality plays some part for some of us, while for others — getting from point A. to point B. has no rules.

All of these lives are points in time crossing each other affecting the control of others over one another destiny.   A car crash could mean a loved one won’t come home today.  A heart attack could leave the breadwinner of a family out of work affecting everyone, opening a path for someone else.

In my life — I admit I cannot control everything.

You can’t make a woman love you but you can put yourself in her path to find you.  In that, you force fate.

While I work for survival,  I don’t allow the lack of control in some areas to affect the happiness I seek.

We all look to the future with very little true consideration. Some of us have well laid out plans. Some of us have an agenda playing everyone as mere pawns.

But in the end, the future has the last laugh.