I enjoy indulging (occasionally) in a negative rant. I appreciate the artful expression of outrage. (List #1)

I believe that you should probably focus, and publicly express, roughly ten times more positive things than negative things. (List #4) This is a tough thing to say this November.

A year ago I set up a website and a blog to start building my author platform so I could build an audience, market books, etc. I have been writing essays on things that I appreciate that I am going to use in a book related to the subject. You are reading #84 right now. Some of them I am writing secretly on a typewriter, and I am going to combine them and edit, etc. (List #2)

I wonder if what I am about to describe is an example of moral licensing? (List #5) I feel driven to finish 100 Appreciation essays so that I can indulge in a series of 10 negative rants and expressions of things I DON’T APPRECIATE.

Malcolm Gladwell, in the first episode of his podcast Revisionist History, describes the phenomenon of moral licensing. Basically, it is when you do something positive and then feel like that gives you permission to do negative things. Sometimes when a woman, or someone in a minority group, is elected or allowed into a club that doesn’t open the door for more, it allows people to say, “we have that one.” After Barack Obama was elected there were lots of instances of less than positive commentary and actions against African Americans by people who voted for him. Saying, “I can’t be a racist or acting unjustly…I voted for Obama” is an example of moral licensing. You did something positive that makes you feel like you have permission to do something negative. I highly recommend Gladwell’s podcast, and ALL of his books. (List #3)

I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out if I write an appreciation about something that is negative if I’m being positive or negative. (List #5)

NOTE: Ha! Do you see how all these lists are related? Do you see how you can use a story to explain an opinion? Do you see how collecting stories and details from other sources can be helpful? Do you see why we are writing these lists?

List #1- Appreciate

List #2 – Stories from you

List #3 – Stories from others

List #4 – Believe/Feel Strongly about

List #5 – Questions

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