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Rick, do you have a podcast on this cancel culture and preferred reality? I would love to listen to it. —Joanne
Joanne is referring to this quote that she read from me: “To obtain your preferred reality, you must eliminate all those who keep you from getting there. If you have the power and opportunity, you can cancel anyone who keeps you from your reality.” The translation is that if someone wants something and you’re standing in their way, they will “cancel you,” which is another way of saying they will do what they have to do so you’re not hindering them from what they want.
The better response is to live in a culture or a community where people can disagree with each other while being friends or, at least, civil to each other. Loyal disagreement is a beautiful thing, though a rare trait in some relationships and environments. Either you agree 100 percent or you’re disloyal, which is how you describe a cult, authoritarian structures, dictatorships, and other rigid environments that disapprove of alternate opinions through bullying, peer pressure, gaslighting, and other coercive tactics.
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies. —Edward R. Murrow
Anyone can cancel anyone.
The primary aspects of the cancel culture:
There is a way to stop the cancel culture. You must refuse to acquiesce, apologize, or accommodate what these people are manipulating you to do. It takes courage to do so. (If you are wrong, admit it, but if you know you’re not wrong, don’t give them power over you.)
“When you try to manage how people will respond to you, it won’t be long before you’re no longer true to what you believe and you will lose ability to help anyone.” —Rick Thomas
1 – Counselors who want a wider audience will associate with organizations that can give them that needed bump. The desire to build a ministry is more significant than personal autonomy and independent thought. They compromise themselves little by little because they don’t want to be in disfavor (Hebrews 13:13).
2 – People who want to build a ministry (i.e., reputation or brand) will throttle their message to keep from any unfavorable responses from those who have the power to promote them. Their desire for popularity or ministry expansion has more appeal than personal integrity.
3 – Individuals in authoritarian organizations know better to speak out against the leadership of the organization. They self-censor—Bari Weiss article. The fear of the consequences is more significant than personal integrity, even if they watch their friends go under the bus.
These illustrations are conditions for the cancel culture to rule your life. There are others. Any person with an ounce of selfish ambition, craving for approval, or fear of losing worldly fame, status, or riches may succumb to the cancel culture.
Most of us will not show up on the elites’ radar. But all of us are susceptible to the cancel culture. It could be in your marriage, family, church, online, organization, work, school, or community. The cancel culture is synonymous with any person who has power over another, whether that power is self-assumed or given to them because of what they can “do to you.”
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).