I have two articles written and ready to post, but I don’t want to post them yet. There’s something that’s more time-sensitive I want to post about. Even though this post won’t really go stale, I feel like talking about it now when it’s still fresh on people’s minds. That is, the whole thing about Steve Pavlina recently deciding to close his forums.
I was really into the forums. A large part of my readers came from them. I liked it that way. It felt good to connect with people and write stuff that could be valuable for them and just naturally get people clicking through from my signature link into my blog. Asides other things, it got me traffic that was especially primed to be interested in the topics I like to write about.
So there’s a pretty good chance you’re a forumer yourself if you’re reading this. If not, you may have a lesser or greater idea about who this Steve Pavlina fellow is and so on. I’ve written about him a few times; he’s been an influential guy in my life. Actually, I could name him *the* most influential person in terms of my life path. I don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t found his blog.
The forums were good for me. I met a lot of great people, including one person who I went and met and then convinced to come and live in Barcelona with me. Another person I fell in love with. Several others who I met, and a lot of people who either helped me greatly, or I helped greatly, or both. Those were some pretty meaningful exchanges just there.
I’m sad all this has to be cut short. At the same time I feel oddly accepting about it. I was a little in shock the first day. A little in denial, almost. For a while I was wondering if those feelings were going to develop into resentment towards Steve. A lot of people have been pretty pissed at him. Worse than pissed, livid. But – and this isn’t to try and make myself out to be more enlightened than other people – I just haven’t been feeling that. I went so far as to direct him a message regarding my confusion and found his answer, while vague, oddly calming. I can’t feel a great deal of hurt towards him. I don’t know why this is exactly but I have to wonder if it’s because he actually knows what he’s doing.
His track record so far has been of doing (writing) exactly what I needed in an almost magical way, even when I really didn’t get him at the time. So he could have lost it this time but I remain peaceably optimistic.
I didn’t like the disrespectful way Steve seemed to have done things. For those who didn’t know he banned quite a few people from the forum because of a particular incident and decided to close the forum down shortly after. It seemed too direct, too rude. The issues for which he banned people were a bit ridiculous to have created such a large reaction, as well. That said, he did say something about there being a hidden purpose behind that in a recent post on the forum. He could just be saying that, but I’m inclined to at least give him a chance. Most of all, I’m inclined not to get fixated on any of his (perceived) faults and just let the guy be.
I do think Steve has a way of coming across as invulnerable and deflecting anything that would mess his image up. I think he’s a bit narcissistic. But I don’t say this in a particularly judging way. I think that’s what he’s like, possibly something he could work on, if he wanted to.
It actually rubbed me the wrong way at the start, years back. To start with, I kind of disliked him while at the same time being inexplicably fascinated by what he wrote. I disliked his sense of invulnerability, always have disliked guys like that. I disliked his seeming insecurity, that sense I got that he was seeking approval from others with the persona he projected through his writing.
Nowadays I just don’t make a big deal about his faults or percieved faults. He just is. He’s not God, he has his “stuff”, but then so does everybody, and most importantly he does a kick ass job at what he’s good at. More than kick ass. We need a new adjective. His work is absolutely life-changing, world-shakingly good. It is. His desire to help is authentic, his wisdom is real, and he gets his job done. Any issues I have with him will have to be considered in that light.
Steve’s not God. Let’s not expect him to be God. Let’s not swing the other way and make him the Devil either. He made a big decision. A lot of us wish it was a different decision. He’s got the power to make big decisions. Let’s appreciate the responsibility that he’s chosen to take on and not turn him into a bogeyman just because his actions have the power to affect others.
No-one hates you, maybe, but you’ve never changed or saved a person’s life. (Addressing myself to an imaginary average reader). Would you rather be unhated or inconsequential?
I feel like I’m defending Steve just because there haven’t been that many voices doing so. At least not so loudly. I’m one of the major posters on his forum so I’m probably among those who you’d expect to be pissed.
So here I am, defending Steve. Or maybe I just want to defend everyone. I kind of see all sides of the argument but I don’t feel like we need to make such a big deal of it. Steve’s human, you’re human. Steve has faults, you have faults. Live with it.
Oh and Merry Christmas! I want to be nonconformist and say “Happy Yule” or something but you know, what the heck. Christ wasn’t such a bad guy after all. Just go easy on the turkeys okay! Love ya!