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A Good Man

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 23, 2010 8:34 AM |

Morning in America and life is truly good.

Despite the ongoing challenges facing our nation and our world, hope does spring eternal. Why do I touch upon this often overused yet underappreciated sense of being and way of life?

Since launching my blog in January 2009, I have received innumerable comments and personal e-mails from readers. I thank each and every person who takes the time to write and share sentiments on the wide array of topics I address. I write today of “A Good Man” because I wake up this morning having received a message overnight from a reader which truly touches me. I am compelled to share it with you. I would hope those who read it will in turn share it with others.

The reader writes to me having read my commentary yesterday, Ray Dalio’s Hyper-Realism Defines ‘Sense on Cents. I ask you to massively discount any acknowledgement in this message directed towards me and focus on the character of people, some who lived many decades ago, referenced by this writer. If you are reading this, think of those in your life who embody similar principles. Embrace and spread their goodness.

Dear Larry Doyle,

I read your musings from time to time and always come away somewhat in awe as you take me to what I thought was time long past of abandoned ideals and values. Your words,

“In a world awash with lies, obfuscation, backstabbing, conflicts of interest, and those who prosper via these machinations, are there individuals and companies whose very core is defined by a perpetual pursuit of truth, transparency, and integrity? Of course there are many people who cherish these virtues and try to live and work by them…”

These words are a shocking affront to the daily experiences of most of us. I recall that my grandfathers, both born in the 1890’s in small Maine towns and an influence on me through the 1950’s, had a notion that the most important ideal for a man was to aspire to be a “good man.” To achieve this ideal, or at least work in the direction of it, did not require any special or prestigious education, it was not related to wealth or the size of one’s house or value of his posessions, that one’s station in life might be a humble one was not an impediment to this goal.

No, a good man possessed and demonstrated honesty, openness, a helpful nature, and charity towards all. It was the very essence of goodness and virtue which defined the measure of a man. I believe that you are a good man. My dentist, a competent professional who does not do unnecessary work out of greed but gives of himself not only to his patients but to the community, is a good man. The handyman in our condo association, born in the mideast and of a different culture and religion from most of us, is also a good man who brings joy to all he interacts with.

Unfortunately these are the exceptions to the rule in our culture today. Even in a small volunteer organization I see terrible perversions of the truth and of basic decency as leaders run an organization like a secret society and have no problems telling blatant lies or working against the good of the organization so that they might maintain their power and control. Indeed, the worst traits of our current lot of politicians is emulated by scores of people who obfuscate the truth and scheme in hidden ways to to salve their defective psyches and sickened spirits to the detriment of others.

The good man stands out from the morass of deprivation and and haughty pretentiousness of those whose selfish striving to be the chief of petty fiefdoms leaves a wide swath of damage. Thank you for reminding us that there are men like you and those you write about who understand the merit of seeking Goodness and Virtue for it’s own sake, to the Glory of God and we whom He created.


St. Petersburg, Florida

So very simple, yet so very powerful. I thank the reader for sharing these very moving words with me and I am pleased to share them with others.

Have a great weekend!!

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Anonymous

    Even simpler…

    When I began to work in the work force in the early 80s there was always that one guy in the firm we had to look out for. He had questionable ethics, you could sense it. He was usually someone on the low end of the corporate structure and you knew once an issue with him surfaced he would be gone.

    In today’s work force it is similar, except he’s usually called ‘the boss’. And when he gets caught he is reassigned or promoted. You see management is now a close little club that is entitled, much like the inner circle of the old soviet union. And the government or the SROs? They are members too.

    The Tea Party is half right. Big Government is a problem. But so is Big Business. They are closely intertwined. Both running interference to protect each others interest. One cannot live without the other.

    Nothing but a complete change of the guard can save the empire.

    • Vincent

      Well said anonymous. “Complete change of guard” is going to have to include, Civil Disobedience, not paying taxes, protests, etc. The people you are speaking of are so entrenched and have all the bases covered. Back in the 1980’s, if you were the “cop” on duty when there was a giant ponzi scheme operating for 19 years, you would be fired. Now, you are given a $7mm goodbye package and “promoted” by the President of the United States and approved by Congress to the SEC. In the 1980’s, if you didn’t pay your taxes, you were thrown in jail. Now, you are “promoted” to Secretary of the Treasury. I know it is a sweeping generalization, but it seems to me the common lack of moral compass stems from the profession of attorneys. They have infiltrated too many businesses and obvioulsy run Washington. They are smug and think they have all the bases covered, which they do. It is broken and has to be dismantled. Too many of these layers provide no value to society and are a huge tax on businesses and people.

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