So Many Questions –No Simple Answers

–My Andy Rooney moment!

When does admitting one was wrong and offering an apology no longer suffice to let the harm be healed? Do we just let the person get away with their actions after they have caused us so much pain, embarrassment, and provoked dangerous and lethal behavior in others? Are punitive damages for outrageous behavior intended to change the offender or dissuade others from doing it? Do we simply change history to avoid accountability?

Or is it more crucial for us to gain recognition at the expense of others?

Anyone who has kept their head above water and has been exposed to the news of the day or throughout time is not immune from having similar or possibly the same questions as I do!

Certainly, we can all answer some of these questions, based on our personal experiences. We can allow our conscience to be our guide. Hey, maybe that is the answer to all of my questions. “Let your conscience be your guide,” what a novel idea.

I am sure with all the questions that I have about a whole bunch of things, that I might be considered a citizen of the ‘woke,’ community. That I should just keep my questions and concerns to myself and who really cares to answer my questions?

And then there is that word ‘woke,’ that the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “Originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice.” And then guess what, the word mob gets inserted and all of a sudden, my being alert to injustice in society and curiosity makes me and others disorderly with the intent to cause trouble or violence. Personally, I don’t have the energy to cause trouble or create violence and besides both of those nouns aren’t a part of my deepest purpose nor do they represent my values.

Wait just a gosh darn moment, please. My repressed and recently awakened researcher moment won’t go away. Conspiracy has a large and interdisciplinary literature, and there are academic endeavors to study it and how it has expanded dramatically in recent years. No, academics are still trapped in this miserable way of thinking. There are three distinct considerations to consider while examining this collection of work (conspiracy theories). What elements are connected to conspiracy theories? In what ways do conspiracy theories get spread? Furthermore, what are the societal benefits and risks of conspiracy theories (Douglas et al., 2019)?

So, I now circle back to my original inquiries. Yes, those questions as well as the crazy anti-government conspiracy theories, family members who have these beliefs despite having been raised in a way that didn’t encourage them, purposely harming others, and just plain being a pain in everyone’s ass these days have gotten under my skin. Hey, this might be my “60 Minutes” segment. I know you might not have or care to have an answer to my questions, I’m simply sharing what has gotten under my skin.

I welcome your thoughts, and the chance to challenge my thinking and have an open dialogue.


Phillip T. Williams
Phillip T. Williams
For more than two decades, Phil was an employee of Merrill Lynch & Co., now known as Bank of America, Merrill. The range of Phil's work experience has been in Corporate America as an operational leader with direct human resources accountabilities. His most recent position was Vice President, Regional Client Relationship Manager for the Pacific Northwest Region in San Francisco, CA. Phil is a highly skilled and accomplished Human Resources Business Partner, Consultant, Relationship Builder, and Advocate currently working with a mission-based organization. His prior executive experience working with senior management in Financial Services, Sales, and Operations of a Fortune 500 company has led Phil to change the paradigm of human resources from a cost center to a value-added group by aligning all HR efforts with the strategic objective mind. Phil is recognized for his meticulous interpersonal skills, engagement, and extensive human resources knowledge. Phil studied business and human resource management and development at the University of Phoenix and Villanova University in Phoenix, AZ., and Villanova, PA. He holds a Bachelor's and a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management and Development and is currently a Ph.D. student at Northcentral University, San Diego, CA. Phil resides in the greater Atlanta, Georgia, area.

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  1. As I am sure you saw on Linkedin, Phillip, I love your words. Seeing Alex Jones and Infowars getting fined is a source of great satisfaction – that news piece met with your article this morning.

    What I do sit with a little uncomfortably, though, is “the word mob” because it is as unnuanced as “the woke police” – and unnuanced categories is part of what has gotten us into this trouble in the first place.

    Conspiracy theories are as old as human communications. They just didn’t have means to spread so fast when they started from a soap box on some corner and had to be filtered through the common sense of people who more likely than not had the main part of their relationships in 3D – that is 1) without the benefit of avatars and pseudo-identities and 2) with a sense of belonging that didn’t have to be created using pseudo-identities and avatars. (And we both know that plenty of nonsense throughout history has passed for intelligent thinking, all the same.)