Ten Golden Pillars of the Community
The rich soil that makes for a golden meadow. Readers be advised: You might get offended, but you won’t get bored.
The Ten Golden Pillars of the Community might be the most important thing on our websites. The Pillars, upon which our guidelines are built, are the very beating heart of our community. They’re the essence of what we bring into the landscape, and what makes this place really different from popular social media.
Pillar #1. Deep down, everyone is good.
Everyone is born with goodness in their heart. Then, based on where a person is born (culture), how and by whom they are raised (family, social environment), followed by specific experiences in their lives, they develop a myriad of beliefs about themselves and the world. Not all of these beliefs are supportive and kind, and we’re quite certain most people would agree. As humans, we’ve experienced great things in our lives, but also some very negative ones. Some left scars, while others made it difficult to accept and love ourselves and/or other people.
Most of us (if not everyone) are healing from various negative experiences and beliefs, and thus growing each day.
Where a person is in their journey will determine how easy or difficult it will be for them to engage in productive conversations with others. Your life might be structured the way you want it to - with a calm mind, healthy body, and a happy home. Or you might feel hurt - whether by some financial trade, another person, or simply by some false and detrimental thoughts that you hold about yourself, or the situation that you’re in.
Studies show that people with psychopathic, sadistic, narcissistic, and borderline personality disorders (in particular, the first three), might have difficulty interacting with others, and they might be inclined to make the environment (i.e., the community) unhealthy and unpleasant to others.
Our rules are set to counter the above effect, and make our community thrive, be healthy and helpful. However, while some of the rules that we’re introducing might seem to be “against you” at this stage of your life, and some behaviors will not be accepted for the benefit of the community, we want to emphasize that we always accept you as a person.
It is only a particular behavior that we might consider harmful for the community, and not a particular individual. Whatever made one do something harmful to the community, we will always assume that it was not because of “who they are”, but because of what happened to them at a specific point in their life, and chances are that everyone always thinks that they are doing something good - based on how they view the world.
So, if your comment gets rejected, or we tell you that something is unacceptable, please don’t view it as an attack on yourself - we really trust that you are a good person. However, we simply won’t accept some behaviors as they would damage the community as a whole.
Moreover, if you feel that someone insulted you, please remember that based on how they were born, raised, and what happened to them during their life thus far, they almost certainly think that they are doing something good. The odds are that if you were born and raised in the same circumstances as they had been, and the same factors affected both of you, you’d be acting out similarly to how they are. It’s most likely that what they are saying is not really about you, but about them. We’re all struggling - please be kind, even if it’s difficult.
This brings us to the second Pillar.
Pillar #2. Kindness of speech
Freedom of speech is often touted as being a great concept, but it’s a deeply flawed one too. If you think otherwise, try the following shameful examples: being vocal about praising the Holocaust, shouting racial slurs in public, or advocating on behalf of organ sales. It won’t get you far in life. Why emphasize something that simply isn’t realistic and useful?
Truth is important, but so is efficacy. Consequently, what we are after is not “freedom of speech”, but “kindness of speech”.
And if you think that kindness and compassion imply weakness… You’re in for a surprise.
Do you know what the longest war in humanity’s history was? The Hundred Years War? The Reconquista? Try again. It was the approximately 100,000 year long (yes, you read that right) war between the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens, our species. Neanderthals were bigger and stronger, but our species’ brains allowed for higher-level thinking and deeper social interactions.
Think about it - analysis, care, and compassion were more important than size and strength even when mammoths roamed the earth! These are the things that made us… Us.
We can all disagree, but arguments require facts, sources, and dignified speech.
It’s not about word choice, but rather about the intention when using them. Curse words based on -isms like racism or sexism are not kind, but when used in a funny way or to emphasize a point (e.g., something is “fucking stupid”), they can add value to the conversation, as long as they’re not overused. This scene from the Gentlemen illustrates the point.
Being kind to other community members also implies caring about their time. This is particularly important in the case of authors, as they usually receive many requests to comment on specific issues.
Here’s what makes for better comments and links:
The above means that when you’re sharing something in a comment that is outside of the community - e.g., a link to an external article or a video - please make sure that others can understand what the core of the issue is (i.e., what’s the point) without leaving the comment feed.
In other words, if you want to discuss a point from a YouTube video, then after linking to it, it’s helpful to include which time frame from the video you’re talking about. In the case of linking to external articles, please quote the specific text you’d like to discuss in your comment.
For example, linking to a one-hour long YouTube video and leaving “thoughts?” as a comment is not a good way to go. It’s highly unlikely anyone will watch the entire video and try to guess what you’d like them to comment on.
However, if you embed a video and specify that between 7:34 and 8:12, the author of the video discusses something that puzzles you and you’d like to know if it’s something that changes a given author’s outlook, then you have a high chance of getting an author’s reply and other community members to join in the conversation.
You’ll be amazed how convenient the discussions are once everyone brings this little extra portion of care with them.
Pillar #3. Handling “triggers”
Being triggered by something (e.g., someone’s comment or opinion) is a gift to you. It shows you where something can be healed, and how you can grow. In particular, being triggered doesn’t imply that anyone’s opinion (you or whomever triggered you) is correct or incorrect.
And as you know, based on Pillar #1, it’s ok that it happened - it’s your responsibility to use this information to your own benefit instead of simply reacting to the trigger in the default way (i.e., with anger). It’s much easier said than done - we know. Be kind and compassionate to yourself, even if you won’t manage to succeed at first. With practice, you can really start viewing triggers as gifts that will let you grow your happiness and yourself - and in turn, help the community grow.
Pillar #4. Be yourself, and have fun!
Being kind doesn’t mean that you’re so worried about getting it right that it becomes overbearing and serious. Of course, when it comes to investment analyses and trading signals, everyone is and should be serious. Still, comments and discussions can travel great distances, and humor can make the journey much more pleasant.
Share your humor. There is nothing like starting great friendships over shared laughter. Keep in mind, however, that before you make a political or religious joke, make sure that it would be just as funny to you if it was about your political or religious views. If not, it might not be that kind after all. Don’t forget about Pillar #2.
Pillar #5. Get even and lose OR grow and win
People engage in conversations for all sorts of reasons, but in this space, the rule is to do so in order to grow yourself and help others grow. Regardless of what you think about a certain market, there will be people who are of exactly the opposite opinion. This does not make them your enemies.
It’s time to embrace opposing viewpoints
Since you and that other someone who has a different opinion about the market are both here, it’s obvious that you have a common goal - to grow your portfolios. As humans, it’s obvious that you both want to be happy - and true joy is achieved through growing one’s character (“happiness” that comes from buying increasingly expensive toys wanes away pretty quickly). Growing your portfolio is important but growing yourself is even more so. Golden Meadow’s tagline is You & Money: Growth Unchained, where you come first.
With at least two common goals shared by others in the community, it’s more than enough for people to find common ground.
It’s best to be aware of multiple points of view when making objective decisions about growing your portfolio. The most useful viewpoint that could help you in being objective is exactly the opposite of yours - it helps balance it. Opposites are a blessing, as they help you achieve your goal of being objective, thus growing your portfolio.
People largely consume information they are more likely to agree with, as exemplified by social media. It’s pleasant to have one’s views validated, but the consequence is being trapped in an informational bubble and experiencing confirmation bias, thus preventing objectivity. To an investor, that’s not helpful and is a detriment to happiness.
Golden Meadow aims to challenge that status quo. Why? It’s in our tagline. We want to unchain the growth of your money and your own self.
Pillar #6. Dignified conflict is good
Before debating someone, make sure that you’re ready to change your mind when provided with enough verified evidence. Don’t forget that you can’t always use reason to make someone change their mind if it wasn’t reason that made them have a certain opinion in the first place. We can all practice more compassion and empathy, which will make us more valuable to other community members.
Acting like a spoiled brat is not very far removed from those who cry “This market is bullish, and if you disagree then you’re stupid, I despise you, and by the way, you were wrong in the past!” . This is discouraging to both authors and readers.
Either way, the key conflict that everyone is facing is the internal one - with oneself. How we feel impacts the way others around us feel, like our families. So let’s cut the online toxicity and practice kindness of speech. The goal of this community is to help you grow yourself (through understanding and tolerance of opposing viewpoints) and your portfolio (by being informed and interacting with authors and other community members).
Pillar #7. There is no blame.
The Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, wrote:
An ignorant person is inclined to blame others for his own misfortune. To blame oneself is proof of progress. But the wise man never has to blame another or himself.
That was nearly 2000 years ago. Rocky Balboa delivered a more recent speech about the issue of blame and pointing fingers in 2006.
Consequently, you never make or lose money “because of someone else”. You always do so, because you made the decision to follow a certain author, technique, or indicator. The profits and losses are yours, and they are your accountability.
The authors own their analyses and it’s up to them to deliver it with care and diligence. By discussing techniques used or asking questions that are relevant to the author, you are helping the author prepare better analyses next time. You might also help them discover something that they didn’t see before, thus helping them deliver more accurate texts back to you and other readers.
Pointing fingers is related to Pillars #2 and #3, and it’s something that’s negative for everyone. By blaming someone you admit that what they do dictates how you feel, therefore giving them power over you. And since you can’t control what others do, you are setting yourself up for further suffering in the future.
If, instead of the above, you put yourself in a position where you focus on what depends on you, and you’re happy based on the good results of your own actions, you’re setting yourself up for success and a calm mind. In the case of the investment world, you can control how much time you dedicate to certain markets, what authors and techniques you choose to follow/apply, and (perhaps most importantly) how much money you put on the table in the case of each trade/investment. What you can’t control is how a given trade will turn out, or whether a given author will be correct or not.
Pillar #8. Compassion, not toxicity.
Let’s keep this space friendly and inviting for authors, investors, and traders. In particular, you want the authors to continue to contribute their insights and engage in conversations, for everyone’s benefit. They will be happy to do that, but only if it makes sense for them.
Research (here, here, and here) has found that toxic comments or ones that devalue the author's position are very negative for the author's perception in the eyes of other readers, regardless of the comments’ veracity.
This strong effect is not useful to both authors and the community as a whole. A community that permits toxicity is not attractive to authors, who will be wary of participating in conversations or posting articles. What value would they get from a place like that?
There will always be disagreement, and since we’re focused on the markets, investments, and trading, there will be forecasts that get it wrong. There will be both profits, and losses - that’s just how it is. There is no reason to attack an author who got it wrong. Three months later that same author could be getting it right in a much bigger trade.
Please note that comments below articles are not the place for discussing your view on the author's performance, past calls, or the profitability of your current or past positions. Thanking the author for their input in your profits is fine, but discussing losses is not - due to the above-mentioned effect (devaluing an author’s position). Besides, in both cases (profits and losses) it’s your success (or lack thereof), not the author’s. The author is providing analyses, and that’s it - applying this information in your investment/trading decisions is yours alone.
Comments that are welcome can be about the outlook, certain techniques, requests for clarification, and many other things, but not a negative discussion about the author or their performance. It’s also definitely not a place to discuss the results of any of your adverse trades.
There is a special space dedicated to position sizes and there will be special courses dedicated to that and to personal finance in general. That’s where comments about positions and trades could be asked - but not below articles, where other people come to read the analysis or outlook, and talk about it.
To make a long story short, unless you want to say something good about the author, please don’t discuss their previous performance, or your trades’ results.
Pillar #9. The Gentle Rebel attitude
It’s easy to divide and rule, and many companies out there are aiming to polarize an already polarized society.
Not us. In the current ecosystem, the only true form of resistance is to be aggressively kind and vigorously compassionate. It’s become a cliche, but we need to work together. It’s Solidarity that triggered the fall of communism in the 1980s.
Our brand archetype is the Gentle Rebel, and we encourage you to adopt this approach as well. You might just find it useful enough to apply it in other aspects of your life - to your own and your loved ones’ benefit.
Pillar #10. When in doubt, apply NVC (Nonviolent Communication) and Stoic philosophy.
We’re all having a hard time dealing with the madness of reality. But there’s hope in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and the Stoic Philosophy. NVC was developed in the 20th century and is “an approach to communication based on principles of nonviolence”, whereas Stoicicism has deep roots that reach back more than two millennia ago. For more information, you can work out your positive emotions at the Stoic Gym or perhaps you might enjoy Seneca’s work in Tim Ferriss’ Tao of Seneca book (or audiobook) series.