CAVE people, Don Allen Holbrook, Don Holbrook, Economic Developer, IEDC, inappropriate blogging, International Economic Development Council, libel, professional attacks, professional ethics and conduct, slander, The Dark Side of Social Media and the Internet, uninformed experts, vigilante governance
Many times we are asked to conform to other folks expectations and what they believe to be the best route to achieve the best interests of the masses. The problem with this approach is that unless someone has been in the gauntlet and was engaged in the process they really can’t make a decision of how they would have approached the issue or solved the problem with their own version of a solution. Appearances are important to many folks, but the appearance of something can be deeply deceiving.
I have found in my own life that many folks who have not stood up for their principles when all is at stake cannot comprehend the true measure of integrity and honor. It is easy to speak of such things when you are not called upon to defend your statements. It is even easier when you have nothing at stake to take a position of saying what is the best course.
In the end, it is always those of us that ride out into the tempest and tilt our lances at the trials and tribulations that each day puts before us knowing each time we are completely exposed and all depends on our own abilities to survive, feed our families and live within the honor and integrity code that we feel befits our character. Some of us raise the bar and will not wither at public scorn and ridicule but will stay the course of what we in our heart of hearts know is right and just.
This type of approach is not for the feint of heart. If you say you are honorable and just then you will be tempted and tested by live fire in real life. To those of you that choose this chalice I salute you, brothers and sisters. Stay the course the truth is always the best approach and being candid and true to yourself is absolutely most important in all such endeavors.
One of the most trying situations I know for me has been my defamatory attacks by some very malicious social media bloggers. They think they are the jury and arbitrators of what is true and factual in matters of which they have no knowledge or factual evidence to support their claims. These vigilantes justify their actions because they believe the first amendment protects their freedom of speech. It does but they have failed to understand that while the First Amendment protects Freedom of Speech, it does not tolerate trampling on someones reputation and destroying their livelihood for the other persons own personal satisfaction. It does not allow for people to make up facts and allegations of their own making and purport them as the actual facts to support their attacks on someone’s reputation and good name.
I have not responded to such malicious vigilantes demands for my own facts because in my opinion they would just distort them and/or more than likely they would begin to bombard my clients with their false and defamatory remarks and further damage my career with my current and former clients. These malicious folks have already denoted on their blogs that their intentions are to do just that, so I have not responded to such threats and will not. Furthermore, these folks have attacked me at my professional industry level by emailing my colleagues over a 100 of them about their meritless claims. These folks have emailed my professional membership in my social circles and attacked my reputation asking for me to written up on ethics violations and/or removed from the professional and civic membership.
No, we must stand our ground against such scoundrels and not allow these cyber bullies to prevail. I know many of us would give up but that just makes them feel justified in their illegal actions. To any of you that stand for what is right and face such perils, I feel for you and salute your integrity and honor for standing up for your principles.