Last night, my son, an Ambassador at his school's recent Open House, came to me unsettled about a caustic commentary a man who had attended the event had written about our school. He attacked our school's philosophy, a few teachers along the way, our students and the unsuspecting moms who had volunteered to help out at the event. There was an amazing outpouring of comments on this man's blog from teachers, students, alumni and parents--all written from a point of intellect, feeling and religious conviction. I questioned whether I would also respond, but I am choosing to not justify his invectives with a comment of my own on his blog.
That said, I am not impressed with people who intentionally set out to be incendiary for the sake of riling people up but whose accusations are baseless (or, in this case, gleaned from a mere two hour open house visit). I have not been known to walk away from a good verbal sparring, but I want the basis for my debates to be honest, real and valid-- not created for self-promotion as clearly was done in this case. While I am not a medical doctor, I am a pretty decent armchair psychiatrist and I feel that people such as this suffer from an affliction called Pompous Pseudo-Intellectual Syndrome (PPIS for short). Unfortunately, while there is no cure for PPIS, the issue can be helped by a heavy dose of humility and a follow-up mental exercise in trying to understand why enjoyment is found in this type of flagrant attention-seeking behavior. Hopefully, all PPIS sufferers can get the help the truly need.