Reset
X

World’s Best Mailing List

You'll receive a welcome message and updates twice a week.

Mailing List

Video Update: Will People Abandon You If You Share an Opinion?

Video Update: Will People Abandon You If You Share an Opinion?

Update: Click here for the 676,538 Frequent Flyer Miles video. Sorry for the wrong link in the email.

***

This video update was recorded after my recent trip to San Diego. What a great place! Thanks to everyone who came out to welcome me.

Note: my assistant makes a guest appearance early in the video, so even if you were upset about my support for healthcare reform, you still might want to watch.

If you can’t watch the video, here’s a short summary.

1. Why am I writing about politics on AONC? Personally, I don’t think of things like equality and access to healthcare as political issues; I see them as human rights issues. It’s sad (to me) that they have become so politicized, but regardless, I don’t see why I should keep silent about an important issue just because a few people will get upset.

2. Fellow bloggers and anyone else with a platform to share your views: will readers abandon you if you actually say what you think about an important issue? Not really. If anything, you’ll gain more trust and respect. Watch and see.

3. Even if some people leave, so what? Maybe the people who leave weren’t the best fit for your community to begin with. If someone is really so offended about one opinion that they’re ready to write you out of their life, the relationship wasn’t that strong to begin with.

4. When I think about big moral issues (equality, for example), I take the long-term view. Thirty years from now, I don’t want to look back and say that I had an opinion and a platform but never spoke up. As I said in the original post, the truth always emerges over time; the challenge is to get it right before history has been written.

5. Be brave. Take a stand. People care about what you think. Don’t worry!

***

This week I’m in Washington, D.C.. Next week is the product launch for Frequent Flyer Master, then I take a big trip to the Caucauses (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia), then I turn in my book manuscript.

Thankfully, I like all of these things, so it’s not stressful. Hope you’re having fun too, wherever you are.

###

Find me on Twitter: twitter.com/chrisguillebeau
Join AONC on Facebook: facebook.com/artofnonconformity

83 Comments

  • JR Cline says:

    People care what you think, but I’ve learned that people don’t care what I think and that is ok with me. Saves a lot of talking. :-) Have a safe journey!

  • This is a boring comment, but I agree wholeheartedly (on all of it). If you cannot be WHO YOU ARE in this online world, there is absolutely no point. You must be authentic or you will not find joy in your business. Your newsletter, despite my many subscriptions, is the only one I actually look forward to and read immediately. I think “hey! Chris wrote!”.

    Keep on being who you are. It is clearly working and thanks for encouraging the rest of us.

    Fangirl
    Kelly

  • Justin says:

    First, human rights have always been political.

    Second, enjoy Armenia. If you are going to cover all of the “effectively self governing” list, you may want to try to make it out to Nagorno-Karabakh, too.

  • Noelle says:

    Chris, thanks for your post. Amidst the wailing and gnashing of teeth about healthcare reform and even the presence of Obama in the White House (I live in a very conservative place), it’s a relief to have a calm voice reminding us (me!) that asserting our ideas on political and social matters in a respectful and rational manner is okay and even necessary. The world won’t end; the real friends won’t leave.

    Have a great time in the Caucuses. I am very interested to hear about your experiences there.

    ~Noelle

  • Barbara Sher says:

    Abandon you? I don’t think the people who admire your work will do anything of the sort.

    As I wrote you privately last week:

    Good for you, Chris. You have my respect for speaking out.

    Barbara Sher

  • “Even if some people leave, so what? Maybe the people who leave weren’t the best fit for your community to begin with. If someone is really so offended about one opinion that they’re ready to write you out of their life, the relationship wasn’t that strong to begin with.”

    Amen! Having been recently “unfriended” on Facebook by a couple of people who don’t share my views, I agree. Although. . . seriously, what is up with that? This country is all about tolerance, diverse opinions and patriotic dissent, no?

    It would be a sad day if I felt our relationship had nothing of value simply because we don’t share the same politics.

  • Tim Noetzel says:

    Way to go Chris! Regardless of where someone falls on a certain issue, what’s important is that we can actually have mature, intelligent discussions.

    I have far more respect for the people who disagree with me but do so respectfully and intelligently than for those who agree with me and refuse to listen to any other viewpoint.

  • Hey Chris:

    You are your own boss. The way I look at is that you have been able to do some amazing things with this website and inspiring people. That was your original passion, your goal.

    If your passion is starting change or shift and you want to share that perspective with others – do it! The worst thing that can happen is that you might lose some of your current audience but gain a completely new one.

    Change is always good. I have always admired people who do what they feel is right thing to do and persist in the face of adversity. So go ahead and share your opinions with us. It will just make us grow and learn further.

    Good luck!
    Tomas

  • Shawanda says:

    About a month or so ago, I saw a video of a Tea Party member being interviewed during the 9/12 march on Washington. Although ill informed, the woman being interviewed was very passionate about her misguided political beliefs. She said something like she didn’t want her grandson to ask her what her role was in the United States becoming a socialist nation without being able to respond that she did something. She even started tearing up she was so passionate about her beliefs. I laughed a little. I thought she was being ridiculous. Nevertheless, I respect her for speaking up.

    Even if people disagree with what my views are, I expect them to respect me and the personal experiences that shaped them.

  • Chris,

    Masterful explanation via video… When you believe something (when it’s your passion), what you talk about is a way of life — not simply an opinion. Thanks for the challenge to be courageous…

    DEW

  • ZenDarb says:

    “WILL PEOPLE ABANDON YOU IF YOU SHARE AN OPINION?”

    Yes.

    However, not me.

    I hold an opinion that is drastically different from yours. I work in the healthcare field and I can verify to you that lack of health insurance DOES NOT equate to the lack of health care. I can take you through multiple intensive care units and point out patients to you. You would not be able to tell which ones had health insurance and which ones did not. All receiving the same care.

    Nevertheless, the fact you hold an opinion that is different than mine in no way affects the reason I began reading your posts to begin with. I find your insight stimulating and will continue reading – even though you are wrong ;)

    Continue non-conforming – good stuff!

  • Baker says:

    Haha, I laughed aloud at two points:

    1) Libby helping w/ comment moderation

    2) “Have a nice life, ya know. See ya later.”

    On #2, I laughed because those are the exact words I say in my head!

    Keep being you, man. It’s working.

  • Dana Sanford says:

    Right on, Chris! It is diversity and freedom of speach that help make this a great country worth fighting for. I personally agree with your opinions, but, if I didn’t, I’m sure I would keep reading you.

  • Tyler McCann says:

    It becomes an argument of quality versus quantity. As a blogger or even just as a human being do you want lots of people around you who know relatively little about you and don’t have much of a stake in knowing you, or do you want to be grateful for the relationships and people you know that care about you, look at your perspectives and try to understand them, and will stick around?

    In blogging, in the economy, in life I will agree with Chris.
    Quality is greater than quantity.

  • Linnea says:

    I printed out something you wrote a while ago about Creating and Living by Your Own List of Values, and I keep it in a binder that I check almost every day (unlike the Life List and Annual Review notebook…that’s more like once a quarter). I’m glad you wrote it, and seeing you living your values is encouraging, even if I don’t share them all. I’m still sorting out what’s really important to me, and a lot of what you write every week is helpful to that process.

    Thank you.

  • Eric H. Doss says:

    Thanks for the update on the responses. I’ve gotten a bit of pushback from the comment I left on your previous healthcare/equality post. A few “Hey, I thought you were a Republican/Conservative…?!” I haven’t, as you mentioned, gotten anyone who is crushed by my views or deleted their subscription to my site, or at least no one that told me about it.

    I hope the relationship between myself and my readers is deeper than a disagreement over how to provide equality and equal access to health insurance. I hope that my readers respect me enough as an individual to value my viewpoints, even if they don’t agree. I don’t mind having a conversation about the best way to provide health cover or equality, but we have to be able to agree on a starting point for the discussion. In other words, if you don’t believe that health cover or equality is a basic human right, it’ll be a bit challenging for us to have a dialogue.

    I’m with you on this one. Good work.

  • My take on this is that blog is personal space to share thoughts on whatever is on author’s mind – if subject is not interested to me, I don’t have to read that post. Easy. It’s not like I paid to get a consultation on specific topic and consultant starts talking about something completely off topic. I think it’s a big trap to worry about what other people think about you and world is crazy about that today. Whoever person is they deserve the right to have their own opinion and being able to share it. Keep posting!

  • Donna says:

    It’s your site and I figure that’s the reason you do this. You don’t need to explain yourself. you are leading by example and that’s great. Good luck to you.
    d

  • Kerri says:

    You rock Chris! I’m so glad to read your post today :)

  • Charlotte says:

    Great post, Chris. Personally I’d rather be in a room with someone who has an opposite political/moral viewpoint and is real about it than someone who is afraid to share their beliefs or (worse) says what they think I want to hear.

    I really wonder about people who would rather be in a room of yes-men. Are their beliefs or moral system so fragile that they can’t stand up to someone with differing beliefs?

    I disagree with your opinion on this issue – but I think it’s fantastic that you’re being real. Well done. :)

  • Charlotte says:

    Also, Libby is quite possibly the cutest cat ever.

  • Oleg Mokhov says:

    The more of you that you put into your work, the greater the connection readers will have. And that means stronger relationships, increased subscriber count, reader stickiness, sales, whatever.

    The more of yourself you let shine through in your work, the more divided your stuff will be. But the side that digs what you have to say will like you a lot more. Much more than somebody in the middle: timid, not bold or interesting.

    Like you mentioned, if someone doesn’t like you because of one of your opinions, they’re not a good match – they’d be turned off by something you would have said in the future at one point or another.

    One last point: everything we write is technically an opinion. A how-to article is our opinion of how something could be done, based on our interpretation and gathering of facts. So writing about healthcare is on the same level, but rather than giving tips to do something technical, it’s dishing out food for thought.

  • So the cat IS real…

    I’m with you Chris, no reason to hide yourself just to please people. If you try to be “you,” you’ll wind up with a smaller, but much more devoted audience.

    Way to keep it real.

  • Crazy that people feel the need (and the right) to restrict what you (or anyone else) should talk about. Maybe it causes them stress because it doesn’t fit into the neat little box they put you in.

    Thanks for speaking your mind – as all of us should. (Or at least most of us :)

    Steve

  • Hey Chris! In this life there are those who go to the edge and those who conform. Your life is non-conformity man! That says it all!

    Be the most radically authentic person you can be and forget about what others think of you. I personally have broken every rule in the book in my first career as an Investment Banker__I wouldn’t have been one if I didn’t. Secondly when I came to the Net in 2000 I learned email, then surfing the web, then blogging, and then social networking. Been there. Done it. The lesson is there is no right way or wrong way__Just your way. The rules of etiquette still apply and manners, but as for your choices, they are yours to make___not ours. Glad you got the guts to stand up with integrity for what you believe in and the way you deliver your message. _________Michael

  • Rachel says:

    Hey Chris

    I completely agree with you on this. I’m British, and we consider the NHS a basic human right. This isn’t a political issue. No matter which party is campaigning in the UK, Left, Right or Middle, one of the fundamental campaign issues is always how they can improve the NHS to ensure it can be sustained long term. It has made me so angry that the British NHS has been used by Obama’s opponents as an example of something bad. Most British people can’t believe that it’s possible for a modern western nation to allow people to suffer and potentially die due to their income or employment status. It seems positively medieval. Opinions like yours are the stuff that makes ‘political’ types see empathy in the situation. If your words have even changed one persons mind, made one person see the humanity rather than the fight, then you’ve done a great job. Keep those good thoughts coming.

  • Josiane says:

    The first sentence of your last paragraph (“Thankfully, I like all of these things, so it’s not stressful.”) struck a chord. I look forward to the day that the things I like won’t be quite as stressful as they can be sometimes, even though I love them… Thanks for showing that there is hope! :)

  • Hey Chris, Love your assistant in the video -:)

    Giving your opinion is fine and let’s us know here you stand. We don’t have to agree with it as long as we accept the fact that you have a right to your personal opinions.

    Being ”opiniated” is a whole different issue and leaves no room for an honest and respectful exchange of ideas. I’ll have no part of that.

    Cheers, Chris.

  • I like you even more now and it has nothing to do with if we agree, but the principal of being able to share ourselves and be respected. Staying in inclusive groups where everyone agrees is not only boring, but it doesn’t help us solve any of our problems.

    Cheers.

  • Marie-France Roy says:

    Totally agree with everything you said. You have wisdom beyond your years.

  • Taru Fisher says:

    Chris, it’s inspiring that you, at a relatively young age (I’m 67), feels deeply enough to openly share your opinion on any issue that is important to you. It takes courage to say what might be “unpopular”, and the older I get, the more willing I am to say out loud what it is I believe in, and what values I hold.

    Your blog is your blog, and you are entitled to say what you want. If people feel offended, they can stop reading it. Their choice. They can go elsewhere to read blogs that match their world view.

    I worked in the healthcare industry (and it is an industry) for many years, a number of them as a medical practice management consultant, so I know first hand what the business of health is all about. Without getting all hot and bothered, I know that some form of universal health care based on prevention first, is the way we need to go.

    Thanks for speaking your mind.

  • Playing it safe does not make a good blogger or brand. As Anita Roddick said, “Be courageous. It’s one of the only places left uncrowded.” People keep talking about fighting to remain free. Doesn’t that include freedom of speech?

  • Peter Mis says:

    Chris,

    It’s sad that the world has become a scary place to express an opinion. Everything has been taken to an extreme. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan: if you opposed the war you became an anti-American pacifist that hated all-things American and believed that France and Europe should become the power brokers of the 21st century. If you supported the war you were branded as a war mongering NeoCon, and were now suddenly best friends with Dick Cheney.

    Remember when eating French fries was considered anti-American? If you loved America you ate Freedom fries. I never imagined that how we described the process in which small pieces of potato are cooked could become politically polarizing.

    I hope my friends can respect my right to express my opinion as well as the opinion itself. Or, quite frankly, I don’t need them as “friends”. The key is respect.

    Thanks for sharing the gift that is you with the world!

    Peter

  • Neil J Lloyd says:

    One of the main benefits of being a free agent is exercising one’s right to be free! – Without having to toe the party line or hide behind a mask.

    If we all express ourselves authentically on important issues and a respectful discussion is opened, imagine how much further we could be in terms of humanity.

    I welcome your thoughts, opinions and philosophies, Chris. It’s good to get beneath the world of surfaces – it’s needed to keep us moving forward.

  • Ami says:

    Good for you Chris!

    I think the best blogs thrive on authenticity – the author’s sharing a bit of their truth. Your opinions are part of that truth, so share on.

    I also think that “rules” about not discussing politics – perhaps in order to avoid conflict and hurt feelings – serve the privileged and hurt the underprivileged. How uncomfortable did Gandhi and MLK and others make people feel? How else can positive change occur unless there’s a level of discomfort with the status quo?

    Keep up the good work, always enjoy the blog.

  • Magnus says:

    I definitely believe it is always best to stand up for who you are. Giving people what you think they want won’t benefit anybody. But true honesty will. Speak your meaning but do it with respect of other people and their opinions just like you do is the best way to go I believe.

  • Matt_SF says:

    I think an opinionated blogger is what makes the blogosphere stand out from MSM. I tend to follow people I disagree with so I can learn from their point of view, how they think, or simply to educate myself more on the subject matter.

    Remember…

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle

  • Chad says:

    I agree with you that we need health care reform. I don’t agree with you that health care is a right and we probably have different ideas on what health care “reform” is.

    But I like a lot of your other writings. You’re not going to lose me as a reader just because I disagree with you on this issue as long as you more often than not keep to your usual topics. If you turned this blog into the health care reform blog I’d probably lose interest and move on.

  • What I find in the blogging world is many of the writers feel like there are only a finite # of people in our universe, & once someone subscribes, they want to do everything in their power to preserve that relationship. The writer begins to forfeit their identity in order to be “politically correct.” They create a BRAND for themselves which is completely NOT congruent w/ who they are & they fear “edgy” material because walking a fine line is a somewhat uncomfortable place to be.

    What I have found is similar to what you have found, people enjoy reading about someone who does not live their life by the status quo & is willing to share THEIR opinions with the world regardless of the ramifications. I recently launched a new website where I use the term CULT on a consistent basis. I believe this is a positive word with untapped potential b/c it defines groups of people working together for a common cause… and when the common cause is positive the results can be profound.

  • Magnus says:

    Just another point I want to make. It always amazes me that America sees itself as the Land of the free. I have met so many Americans who believe they are not free because of the health system. They have to hold a job to get the health benefits and are therefore not free to follow their hearts desire. This is a very common objection from Americans when we try to encourage them to make a reality of their dream of going on an extended journey. By the way I am from Sweden.

  • Dave Braden says:

    Great post Chris. Sometimes I don’t completely agree with your opinions, but that is why I love your blog! You are very transparent and honest, and that is why I read you. Your blog is one of the very few I actually subscribe too. Thanks for another great post!

  • John Craig says:

    Here here Chris! If you can’t express your opinion on your own blog then why blog at all?

  • Betsy Talbot says:

    Chris, here in Washington we are currently voting on whether to uphold the expansion of domestic partnership rights passed by our legislature earlier this year. I wrote about our support for Referendum 71 on the blog, and since I write about living your best life it seemed like a logical fit. We got very few comments on the post, which I expected since not everyone wants to put their opinions out there.

    I agree with Jared that your brand has to be authentic. You also have to speak to an ideal customer instead of trying to be one size fits all. My ideal reader is one who believes in equal rights, so why would I not write about it?

    Your post was terrific, and I applaud you for sticking to it and posting this followup video (nice to meet your assistant, too!).

  • Chris,

    You are right on target. As citizens of the world it is our responsibility to speak up about moral issues, human rights issues, etc. We need to express ourselves when we spot injustice or inequality. We need to question conjecture or innuendo paraded as fact.

    Too many people in the world lack a platform for their voice (either through technological limitations, political repression, etc.). So, those of us who have access, should speak up.

    Even though some people have asked why I talk about political issues in my Jerseycoach Twitter posts and elsewhere, its simply because my persona is my persona. The business, social, civic and political are all parts of who I am. You can follow me, engage me, or hire me based on what you see or you can pass.

  • audrey says:

    Still here, Chris.
    Still reading.

    Learning more about your opinions and perspective only gives your presence in our lives {via blog} more dimension, more depth and texture.
    You’re a round character, not a flat one {from a former English major’s perspective :) }.
    AND we don’t want the alter ego that the Internet tends to encourage us to develop {via blog, facebook, twitter, etc. We want the real you.
    Honesty usually invites more trust.

  • Chris, It seems beginning last fall the subject of politics has become like the subject of religion in the respect that people get so upset if you don’t fall in step with their beliefs on the subject that they no longer want to speak with you. The attitude is “if you don’t believe the same way I do on this subject than you are obviously an idiot”.

    Wouldn’t it be a great day if people could actually sit down and share divergent ideas on a subject and unemotionally come to some solutions? Last fall, then candidate Barack Obama said that health care would be discussed in the open, but the reality is that everything is being done behind closed doors. The problem from my perspective is that there is WAY too much special interest money being directed at politicians to sway them to pass something that is far from being what the country needs.

  • Ron Kelley says:

    Chris-I agree that taking a stand is important. If people disagree with your opinion, well that is just too bad. I am one of those that disagrees with you on healthcare, but I continue to read your site because you offer other things of value to me.

    There is a reason health care is politicized. It’s because political systems either uphold individual rights or do not (and every variation in between). That is the reason they exist. If you believe that health care is a “human right” there is no other way to deliever it than through a political system that mandates everyone pay for everyone elses health care by law. It’s political law based on the morality that you are your brother’s keeper.

    If you want to be part of a human chain linked together by cannablizing each other for so-called “human rights” go ahead, but please leave me out of it. If health care is a right, what about food? Food is even more important than health care. Should the government provide food on every table?

  • Chris says:

    The Caucasus – a range of mountains which gives its name to the region – I don’t think it has a plural which would be Caucasuses or even Caucasus’s. Enjoy yourself however many you find.

  • Sue says:

    Hi Chris,

    Great video. I’m glad to hear that so many of your readers came out in support of you speaking up about some really important social equality and human issues. One of the reasons I so enjoy reading your blog is because you do write with such integrity and transparency about your views.

    Increasingly, I’m of the view that democrat/republican, socialist/capitalist political and economic dichotomies are really false dichotomies that keep people divided and stuck. Perhaps the more accurate discernment is between a progressive mind set that recognizes the way forward is through developing community based on sharing and cooperation, and a regressive mind set that wants to cling to the status quo of a system based on competitiveness and acquisitiveness (often at the expense of others’ ability to even get their basic needs met, or having their habitats destroyed), despite increasing evidence that the latter approach is just not sustainable in the long run.

  • Hazel Vargas says:

    Indeed. I quote from my favorite philosopher:
    “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
    “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
    – Coco Chanel

  • Allison says:

    Chris,
    Well-said and well-written. I agree with you 100% on health care, but that’s not really the issue anymore. The important thing is to figure out how to state your opinion intelligently without resorting to personal attacks or unfair accusations. If people can’t handle that and get upset, that’s their problem.

    And personally, I tend to get bored with blogs that only showcase one specific side of the author. Even though it’s through the internet, I want to get a connection on the human level.

  • Andrea says:

    While you spoke quite eloquently in this video, I’m actually sad that you had to explain to people why you felt the need to state YOUR opinion on YOUR blog. It’s really, really pathetic that people couldn’t handle hearing something that was very important to you, whether they agree with it or not. Grow up!

    And yes, there is absolutely no debate, the issues that you talked about are not political, they are basic human rights.

    Have fun in DC!

  • Shari Martin says:

    Chris, I think Dr. Seus was right on this one: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Rock on!

  • Carey says:

    Chris,

    I laughed out loud when I read some of the reactions to your health care comments. As if these people somehow missed the fact that this is The Art Of NON-CONFORMITY. Lol. You’re not the New York Times. You don’t have to practice some fake objectivity. Most of us are here for your intelligent, authentic voice and will keep coming back for more. And actually, I was surprised at the number of conservatives reading your blog. I guess that challenged my own biases.

    Personally, as an atheist who has been *out* for years, I’m used to that sour, “you can’t say that about my god” kind of attitude and have learned to laugh it off. The entitlement around religion grew to annoying proportions during the Bush regime, but hopefully is easing. Although what I’d really like to do is move to a more secular country (and that’s partially why I read your blog). The additional bonus would be I’d probably end up with decent healthcare, something I don’t receive in the US. Keep it real!

  • jskipburns says:

    Can you make a guide about training cats and/or pets in general to do tasks like moderate comments? I have been trying for years to get my hamster to do ::simple:: things like answer the phone and file paperwork. I would totally purchase a guide about training pets. I am allergic to cats, however, so I would only purchase it if it included how to train other pets to help with office work.

    as always you’ve hit a home run

    skip “the truth always emerges over time” burns

  • I disagree with your views on healthcare, but they are just that; your views, and you have the right to post them on your website, stand on a street corner yelling them to passersby or even hiring a skywriter to share them with the world.

    I think most intelligent people can disagree without taking things personally, and if someone was so offended by you sharing your views that they essentially boycotted you, they aren’t very mature to begin with.

    Kudos for having the balls to say what you think. I think it is far more engaging than your typical cookie-cutter website that plays it safe. Keep doing what you’re doing and the people who see the value will stick around whether they agree with your political/social views or not. I am one of them.

  • Mary E. Ulrich says:

    Way to go Chris.

    Thought you would like this quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King

  • Mike says:

    I respect your opinions even if I don’t agree. It is political and it is a complex issue. 1990 pages for the size of the latest bill was the count in the news today. I wonder how many people will actually read it.

    I enjoy reading your writings and applaud your lifestyle. I remain a subscriber. Please don’t stop giving us your opinions particularly if you honor ours as well.

  • Nicola says:

    I believe I saw the post and didn’t read it as I’m tiring of the whole healthcare debate. I’m from the UK and have been living in California for a few months now, and the arguments become more ridiculous the more you hear them. Good for you for expressing your opinion, and I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s not a political issue, it’s an ethical one. If some of your readers can’t deal with that, they aren’t worth stressing over. I’m sure the ones who unsubscribe/stop visiting are a tiny proportion of the ones who disagree with you in the first place.

    Apparently a UN leader (it hasn’t been released whom) went up to Obama and was puzzled as to why people were railing against healtcare reform. RWANDA has universal healthcare. It’s a single-issue mindset within politics at the moment, it will blow over and perhaps those who left will forget all about it and come back in a month or two.

    Have a great trip!

  • M Sarki says:

    You are a great example. You have integrity. In my work world I have lost clients because I stand up for Obama and his administration when he and it are being abused. There is so much racism and bigotry and right-wing politics in my world, but I do not stand for it. Another reason I am leaving my work and workplace this coming June. I am tired of having to listen to it. Keep up the good work you do. Thank you.

  • What kind of person only wants to hear from people they already agree with? Being surrounded by people who agree with me sounds dreadful.

  • Anne M. says:

    I think the conversation on health care reform has been whipped up into a hysteria by the conservative media. My own uncle told me that because I believe that every American should be able to have access to decent health care, and that LGBT Americans should be considered human beings with full equal rights, he exploded and said I was a socialist, abortionist, terrorist-loving, big government, tax-and-spend atheist.

    It’s critical for us to learn how to discuss these issues rationally again, so we can make better plans, work out the kinks in the proposals, and agree on what the end results should look like. I encourage you to continue adding your rational, well-considered opinions so we can all get past the hyper-emotional rhetoric. I’m eager to have access to health care. As a well-controlled diabetic, it’s tragic that the industry refuses to allow me basic coverage, in effect, condemning me to die in the streets or become bankrupt paying full retail for my care.

  • Duff says:

    Right on, Chris. I appreciate that you shared your opinion, and I wish other personal development bloggers would be willing to share theirs more often.

  • Christina says:

    Not sure how I feel about the health care issue, but would never stop reading because my opinion may differ from yours…in a clinical/technical sense, that would be so totally lame! ;)

    “Nonconformity,” as I define it at least, means living authentically, according to your own values and priorities, and not letting someone else (society) determine your life. In that respect, you are consistently nonconformist, and that is a wonderful thing.

  • Marion of Texas says:

    Magnus of Sweden is exactly correct: I have stayed in a job I detest because I have to have health insurance coverage for me and my family. I would love to pursue my dreams but my children must come first. So I go to my job, day in and day out, and wish for universal health coverage. I wish for a plan that would let me leave this job. I wish for coverage that would follow me rather than being chained to a job I hate. I look at what other countries have and I am puzzled by my own country’s myopic view of itself. Good for you, Chris, for speaking up on this basic human rights issue. I hope that your readers will learn more and listen more and think more. Then perhaps we will get some kind of consensus on this issue.

  • Scott Jones says:

    Dead on, Chris. Keep it coming.

  • Keep talking about healthcare, and thanks for reminding me to be brave. Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.

  • James Nicholls says:

    The fact you have a cat makes me love this site even more :D

  • “5. Be brave. Take a stand. People care about what you think. Don’t worry!”

    I do this too much, that’s for sure. Then again, I’ve had too many of those “internet badasses” try to prove a point for me to get too controversial. Not worth dealing with them… Then again, that’s why I like comment moderation. :) (Not that I’ve ever had to use that power for anything on my blog, but I’d like to filter out nasty things if they ever pop up when it really doesn’t provide anything good to the post or blog as a whole.)

  • Diana says:

    Hmm, I thought I’d leave one blogger this year after a couple of posts I thought were outrageous. But nah, she’s entitled to be outrageous. That’s why I continue to read her.

    I read you because I like to hear what’s happening out there in the world. You give me a bird’s eye view and that’s exactly what I want. I come here for your point of view. I welcome it.

  • Kathy B says:

    Hey Chris,
    Please keep sharing your opinion. We can take it or leave it…that’s what the unsubscribe button is for! You are a lot more interesting than the news, like the hours and hours of the balloon boy story or the woman who posted the ad for world series tickets, they actually had her on the one of the morning news shows today…OMG!

  • You are absolutely right on the money. Whether I agree with the view you have or not (it happens I do), the point it important. Health care, equality; I find it hard to NOT see these as basic human rights. I am a blogger, writer, and one of those many without health insurance (after having it all my life). I read the post you mention in your vid here and thought then that writing it was gutsy. Now I think it was simply right.

  • TrishB says:

    I hold very different political opinions from you, but so what? America is a great country-freedom of expression is something I fought for as a servicemember. This is your blog and you are entitled to your opinions.

    Continuing to move towards world change…

  • Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. As a health care provider, and an advocate for a single payer system. I believe this is a human rights issue and a moral issue. I just recently became a regular reader of your blog. Although you are right, I too have friends who have different viewpoints, I have to say that you have probably made me more likely to continue to read your blog. It is nice knowing that you are reading the words of someone who cares about people, and although yes we all are entitled to different viewpoints, people are more likely to read, and follow someone who they believe shares the same moral compass. Thank you for taking the time and having the guts to share your feelings about the health care debate. I can only hope that those in congress are also subscribers!

  • Matt Geib says:

    CHRIS:

    One reason I believe the internet to be such a wonderful place is simply because it affords me the opportunity to meet many diverse & different folks (something that was not possible even 15 yrs. ago). These folks are different than me & that has helped me to grow & expand as a person.

    I come from a Fundamentalist, Conservative, Christian backround (I was a Pastor for a number of years as well)….I state all that to say that when I started what I call my “search for significance” 7-8 yrs. ago it was not until I made the decision to question all of my beliefs & what I had been taught all my life, to leave ‘no stone unturned ‘ as it were that I really achieved any significant growth as a person.

    You are a person that “Resonates with my heart”…Do we need to agree on every issue & belief? I say no (In fact I am not an Obama man:-)), to me that would be pretty shallow thinking.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful gift of writing with us.

    Matt Geib

  • Wyman says:

    Chris, I don’t agree with your political views but they are the same as about half the US.
    I agree that you should write about what you are passionate about. I enjoy all your other articles so I can just ignore what I disagree with. My wife of 52 years does that with me all the time. You allow us to make comments and I did about socialized medicine. God bless, Wyman

  • Etsuko says:

    Chris,

    So many people have already commented positively and I believe you know what I think about your sharing your views. It gives us (bloggers) courage, hope and inspiration to be bold and be honest.

    THANK YOU for this post!
    Etsuko

  • Jon Mills says:

    Exactly Chris…

    The fact of the matter is, we live in a world that is diverse, colorful and vibrant with difference

    Why would we expect people to be anything less.

    Heck if we all liked the same things, held the same opinions, and attended the same events, damn this world would be pretty bland and boring.

    A lot of it comes down to gratitude of what is, instead of what we think it should be.

    Keep up the honest posts Chris

  • Leo Gallant says:

    Well said, man!

  • Andrew says:

    The website is called ChrisGuillebeau.com, not genericpeoplepleaser.com. Everyone online, blogging, social media, is putting ‘themselves’ out there, that’s the whole point. The guy who travels the world and has mastered the art of non-conformity is GOING to have an opinion, it may even be left field! I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t!

    Having opinions makes us unique!

  • Kenn says:

    I love your assistant. She reminds me of our own assistant, who helps my wife and I package and ship her orders (even if he does frequently fall asleep on the job).

  • Nicolai says:

    On the expression of personal opinions: “You can’t please everyone, so you may as well please yourself.”

  • Joel says:

    I think everyone knows we need healthcare reform, it gets politicized when people disagree about the method to go about it.

    That said. I think Bill Cosby said it well “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody”

Your comments are welcome! Please be nice and use your real name.

If you have a website, include it in the website field (not in the text of the comment).

Want to see your photo in the comments? Visit Gravatar.com to get one.