It’s natural to want to make decisions quickly, and most decisions happen just like that. There is this pressure online to act fast and respond quickly. Otherwise, you are asleep at the wheel, or you don’t care. Sometimes you just have to put those pressures aside, take a step back, and speak to those who are directly affected by the decision you will make.

At, we have an articles section where members submit long form pieces that are then proof read and published. They receive a bit more polish than the average post. Due to that, they are placed in their own section and, on average, receive more attention than they might as a random thread.

We have had a backlog of articles that I have been trying to get out from under, so I have been setting aside some time each day to look at them and get everything published. I came across one submitted article and, as I read it, I had some concerns.

It touched on a delicate subject: women and how they are viewed within the martial arts. While I had the sense that the author aimed for his article to be empowering, there were parts that I felt were a tad provocative. I felt like they might be offensive. I don’t know if I would consider them all the way sexist, but I have no doubt that some would read the article that way.

The fact that it made me a little uncomfortable is usually a clue, but I decided I didn’t want to reject the article outright without asking for perspective from the people within the group that was actually being discussed (female martial artists). So I reached out to a couple of prominent, respected female martial artists within our community and asked them for their input. I made it clear that I wouldn’t tell the article’s author that I had asked them specifically for their thoughts and that, if I rejected it, it was my decision and responsibility to take any blame for. I also didn’t tell them what my feelings were about the piece as I didn’t want to influence their natural reactions.

They responded, providing me with valuable feedback. One felt the point was empowerment but that it was lost in some word choices. Another felt the article was outright offensive. I considered those perspectives and, along with my own, decided not to publish the article.

This wasn’t a time sensitive matter, it’s not like anyone was really waiting for my decision. But I did delay my decision to ask for that feedback, and the situation inspired me to give some thought to what it means to make good decisions.

Just because some members of your community may want you to make a decision right now, that doesn’t mean you have to.