News Flash: Dysfunction, Arrogance, Narcissism, and Malevolence Are Not New

By Coach Ron Wolforth – 


I frequently hear people say, “We’ve never been more divided as a country.”

Sure we have! Many, many times in our history actually… just maybe not in YOUR brief history.

I also hear, “People these days are just so elitist, rude, mean, and power hungry.”

Well… I hate to break it to you, but some people have been like that since the beginning of man.

Some people just lack empathy. Some people never developed humility. Some people just like to “stir the pot”. Some people feel more superior by making others feel inferior.

It is true that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In my opinion, what is different today are 2 primary things:

  • Social media, in its multitude of applications, allows us to immediately post our thoughts without a face-to-face encounter and/or often without introspection. I know several “performance gurus” who are, in truth, very nice people, but behind an iPhone or a computer, they can be snarky, petty, and even vicious. As I often tell my staff, “Just because we think it does not mean we should say or post it”.

Tribalism is frequently the aim and the result of many of these polarizing communiqués; dividing us into camps and factions is the obvious goal – we vs. them. People often profit from these divisions, not only financially, but also emotionally and strategically.

There is often great power and satisfaction to be gained by leading a clique or feeling supported by cohorts.

The message is as old as time eternal: You are either with me or you are against me, and we are going to smash our opposition.

  • Currently, our cultural and institutional checks and balances are out of whack. Media is one-sided, and civility, common courtesy, graciousness, and geniality are often viewed as old-fashioned, naivety, or even as weakness.

We all need checks and balances in our lives. At first, it was our parents, then it became our friends. We all need course correction from time to time. We all need a regular helping of humility. There is a reason we refer to it as the “Golden Rule” because if we truly want to live in a well-functioning society, we must learn to treat others as we would like to be treated. Think that comment may be a bit of an overstatement? Just imagine the antithesis of the Golden Rule where everyone only acts in their own best interests and has ambivalence and apathy towards their neighbor, coworker, or teammate? Is that an environment and culture you would like to live and work in?

When we lose those checks and balances, we can quickly lose our empathy. When we lose our empathy for our fellow man, we can immediately turn tyrannical and despotic. History has shown this to be the case over and over again for the last 3,000+ years.

We are once again living through such a period.

I see examples of soft tyranny almost daily.

Recently at a Nashville airport, a 60-something-year-old man who was a gate attendant for United was completely out of control.

I intentionally sat by myself doing work on a computer in a back corner of the airport with not 1 person around me for, at minimum, 30 feet as we waited for a flight back to Houston.

Earlier in the evening, he walked by and told me to pull up my mask over my nose. I complied, but my innate body reaction and grumbling clearly indicated that I found the request an absurd overreach. I’m sure that’s exactly what he was looking for as he returned 20 minutes later and asked for my name and boarding pass as, apparently, I did not keep my mask over my nose and, according to him, further noncompliance would get me kicked off my flight.

A tense interaction ensued, and I demanded his name in return.

After several minutes of interaction and looking over my boarding pass, he oddly softened his posturing, left the area, and I never saw him again for the next hour, including the boarding of our flight back home.

The rest of my staff was seated some distance away next to another airline’s gate and they remarked, “He’s ALWAYS like that. He does things like that all the time.”

We all know people who are like this man. They get a little power, and they are vicious.

Apparently, no one at United has acted as a check on this guy’s obviously habitual behavior. In fact, they may actually relish his aggressive enforcement of company edicts… who knows?

Times like we are currently going through allow many of these types of people to come out of their shells and become despots. The people, things, and processes that check and balance their poor behaviors are eliminated or reduced, and the result… misery and oppression ensue.

Everyone needs regular critique. Everyone needs a check. We all need to be held accountable. We all need honest peer review.

The media was designed to hold people in power… ALL people in power… to account and to the truth. Currently, our media as a whole does not do that, it has taken sides. This must change if we are going to continue to grow as a free and open society.

We must demand transparency from every single leader… not just the opposition side.

We have much work to do. However, do not despair! Dysfunction, arrogance, narcissism, and malevolence are not new, they have always been with us and they will always be with us.

I firmly believe that I’m called upon by my personal Faith to be kind, civil, polite, courteous, and gracious… especially to those who may not agree with my specific world view. Sometimes I fail to live up to that standard, but it remains a standard nonetheless. This applies, not only to life in general, but also for me towards people who disagree with us/me from a baseball training perspective. You will never see Jill, the Ranch, or me slam, berate, or besmirch anyone on social media, even if they were or are nasty to us.

At the end of the day, all we have left is the environment and culture we interact with on a daily basis. If that culture is constantly vitriolic, acrimonious, and confrontational, I personally believe it will tremendously reduce our joy and the quality of our lives.

Likewise, we must constantly stand firm and push back against overreach and soft tyranny when we see it, especially when it is occurring to someone else less powerful.

In today’s often supercharged emotional environment, acting with civility, reason, thoughtfulness, composure, and courage is needed more than ever. In my opinion, the world has never been more in need of people interacting with their neighbors with compassion, empathy, humility, and benevolence.

If nothing else… it’s a perfect time of year for it.

Merry Christmas!

Coach Wolforth


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Important TBR Updates

    • Space opened up!  We’ve had a spot open up in our Advanced/Alumni Camp .  This camp is open to anyone who has participated in previous event at The Ranch or one of our “Ranch on the Road” camps.  Our special guest instructors for this weekend event on January 8&9 (Sat. & Sun.) are coaches Brent Strom & Flint Wallace.  This is a great opportunity to get ready for the 2022 season.
    • New for 2022 – February Camp! Because all our originally scheduled Fall/Winter “Elite Pitchers Boot Camp” dates have sold out, we have added another date –February 19-21, 2022 (Sat-Mon). Learn more and register at If you would still like to be placed on the waitlist for our December and/or January dates, call the office and we’ll get you added (936) 588-6762.
    • Our Spring / Summer events and dates will be released during February. Check our website soon to see which dates work best for you!

Please call (936) 588-6762 or email us: for more details or to sign up for any of these options.

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