I recently read Dr. Richard Carlson’s book Don’t Get Scrooged: How to Thrive in a World Full of Obnoxious, Incompetent, Arrogant, and Downright Mean-Spirited People. It’s a sad little book.
Let me share a review I posted on www.GoodReads.com, and I’ll close with a healthy dose of Cranium Ex Rectum for all of us.
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
There are some pieces in this book I am glad to see. The practice of “Sing Your Way to Happiness” definitely works. I was once standing at a transit station with girlfriend. It was cold, and near Christmas. Folks were grumbling because the bus was late.
As we waited, I sang “Do You Hear What I Hear” for my girlfriend. I sang gently because we were standing close to stay warm, yet others seemed to hear me. The song changed the attitude of people waiting, and one person even said thank you for the song.
Even with the good bits, this book is not what was expected at all.
From “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff,” Dr. Carlson seems have to gone all the way to “Step aside and allow nasty people to have their way.”
In one story, Dr. Carlson allows someone to jump ahead in line. When the staff person tries to set things right, Dr. Carlson stifles the staff person’s efforts by deliberately tacking the other tack. He allows the bully to jump the line.
Indeed, Dr. Carlson acknowledges “Some would say that this was weak of me, or that I taught the bully he could get away with bullying, or even that I’d done wrong by lying.
“Fine. What I know is that I prevented a two-way – and possibly three-way – fist fight.”
It seems Dr. Carlson has forgotten a simple truth. All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. Instead, he allowed his fear to rule so thoroughly that Dr. Carlson claims the ability to see the future as justification for his actions.
Yet Dr. Carlson is not satisfied with doing nothing. He put a good man down by stifling the effort of the staff person to make things right. He did, indeed, lie. He showed the bully not only that bullying is acceptable, but that Dr. Carlson wholeheartedly supports bullies.
I recommend passing over this book. For what little useful information it contains, it provides a vicious and cruel justification for the actions of a coward and fool. It seems to me that Dr. Carlson has become someone who would say “You are wrong to tell someone else they are wrong” while believing himself the standard bearer of peace and good manners.
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Yes, it takes courage to stand up for what is right. Bullies always know they’re wrong, and they count on us being unwilling to “make a scene.” They get loud and obnoxious in a deliberate effort to cow us into giving way to their selfishness.
Would it sound like popping bubble wrap if we all collectively did a Cranium Ex Rectum and stopped putting up with bad manners?
Dr. Carlson believes that we should get and up and move is someone is being disruptive. I can tell you from experience that it’s better to stand your ground and tell the disruptive person to “knock it off.” I was sitting with a friend at patio table outside a coffee shop. All the patio tables had a large sign in the middle of the table saying smoking is not allowed. At the table next to us sat a man smoking.
I tolerated it for about five minutes. Then the fellow asked to borrow a pen. As he handed it back, I was able to clearly see the cigarette for the first time.
Once I was certain that it was him smoking, I said to him “Please tell me you are not sitting a table clearly marked as No Smoking, and smoking.”
He muttered something about not being long, and I re-stated my position “No, you don’t seem to understand. I’m telling you that you are not sitting at a table clearly marked as No Smoking and smoking a cigarette.” He got the message at this point and left.
You cannot THRIVE if you try to avoid every storm. I agree completely with the sentiment of brightening the corner where you are. I also hold that someone who takes a dump in my corner should be made to clean it up. It is OUR responsibility – all of us – to support the person who calls the crapper to account.