By Steve Moran
Often, coincidences turn into writing prompts. This is a perfect example of that.
Over the last few weeks of travel, I have had great conversations with senior living leaders, senior living entrepreneurs, and friends who have mentioned in passing there are industry people who hate me. … Maybe that is too strong and it should simply be, really dislike me. Three different people in different places who don’t know each other, or at least don’t know each other well, said this.
There was no condemnation — in fact, maybe just the opposite. There was even some admiration ,or at least recognition that when someone is willing to stick their neck out and challenge the status quo, there are bound to be haters.
Not New News
First, I am not talking about those of you who send me emails where you disagree with something I have written or talked about. I can think of a few people who might read this and think, “I hope he is not talking about me.” I am not talking about you.
Those emails, those messages, make me and the whole team better. We appreciate your passion for making things better.
This was not a startling revelation to me. I already knew this would be the case. On occasion, I hear from these people, usually followed by “I am unsubscribing.” I even know of one hater who has blocked me from seeing their social feeds, which seems so junior high school.
And … rather than being the bigger person and ignoring it, I let myself be sucked into the drama and figure out how to see the blocked feeds anyway. Which is of course completely embarrassing, and I am only telling you this because I read someplace that confession is good for the soul.
My self-image is of a nice guy, which means I never want to offend anyone just for the point of being mean or arrogant.
But I am also committed to tackling important ideas and looking at both sides of an issue, even if it makes people uncomfortable. I know broadly that I have talked about some things that are wrong in senior living and that many think we should not talk about those things as a way to protect the industry.
Conversations With Haters
The final coincidence was walking through a bookstore and a seeing book titled Conversations with People Who Hate Me. I took a picture of the book, then downloaded it to my Kindle app, and it is a fascinating read.
It got me thinking. If you are a hater, I would love to have a conversation with you on or off the record. And since I suspect some number (maybe most) of my haters are not readers and won’t see this, I hope that if you know of a hater you will pass this offer along.
I Am Serious
I have a standing policy that if I write something and you think it is wrong, stupid, ignorant, whatever, you can write a response, and no matter how blunt it will be, I will publish it. The last time this happened was in 2019, but the policy still stands.
The Funny Part
There are things I believe today that I did not believe once upon a time. I have written about those things as well. When we are getting it right, we are curious and open-minded. We have to be willing to get things wrong and to change our minds. Sometimes we are just plain wrong, and other times circumstances have changed, making old truths obsolete.
I know some of the finest leaders in the senior living industry are regular readers, that they don’t expect me to be right all the time, and they don’t expect to agree with me all the time, which is a good thing. As we wrestle with ideas together, we are better human beings, the senior living industry is stronger, and most importantly, all that makes the lives of the people who live in and work in senior living communities better.
If you are a hater, let’s have a conversation and make the world a better place together.