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WD asks for a Referendum: IS there a "We" here?
March 26, 2006
12:31 am
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Worried_Dad
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I claim that there is a "we" here.

Occasionally, the Coordinator of this site will post a thread that asks a "question" of the form "click here if you have read and agree with this guideline." This thread is kind of like that. I am testing consensual reality here.

I claim that there is a Leader here whose Teachings have defined and created what is unique and uniquely valuable about this place.

I claim that there is a Culture here of people who have tried to take those teachings to heart, for the purpose of Creating and Sustaining a Culture where growth and support and learning and healing can happen, or at least be facilitated.

I claim that leaderful people representing that Culture met me when I got here, and that they held me, and taught me, amd sustained me. I let them, and I claim that I am a better person for it.

Many of the individuals who composed and represented the core of that original "we" are no longer regular posters here. But I claim that that "we" is still here. The "we" was here before I got here, and it will, God willing, be here when I am gone.

That is the miracle of "socialization." A wise person once said something to the effect of "When you enter a foreign land, first find out what is forbdden there." Socialization helps us discover and learn not only what is forbidden in a new place, but also what is helpful, valuable, or even prized.

Socialization cannot happen in the context of a group of utterly unrelated individuals; it can only happen in the context of a group of people who are "related" in some way and happens best when those people have consciously, publicly and explicitly chosen to be related in some way.

I am not the finest student or best shining example of the norms and values of this site. Never mind that I am not as wise or patient or kind as my betters. (Wisdom, kindness and patience is my personal and idiosyncratic definition of virtue, so let it slide for a minute.) I am also too impulsive, proud, brash, inattentive and lazy to serve as a "best case" example by any means.

But by golly...

I recognize that it is only a "collective" mind and heart, a "we" that could have held this site together despite enemies from within and without, and also simultaneously love me, support me, and socialize me during my most "desperate" times so that I even get to be here typing this rambling essay. A group of random individuals just wouldn't have been strong enough or had enough "authority."

I want to support and teach what I have been given here, as best I can. And I want to be worthy of the "we" that was waiting for me when I got here.

Again and again, the question has been raised: "Is there enough of a 'we' here to sustain this site and the work of this site, OR, should we just call it a day and let it slip away?"

I claim that there is a "we" here, that I am one of them, and that we do actually collectively care enough to join together in promoting and reinforcing the historically validated norms, values, guidelines and wisdom that make this place different than and better than a lot of other online support groups.

I have found a LEADER here. I like the leadership that was offered to me, and I claim that I am trying to follow that leadership by offering leadership. In my fantasy absolutely EVERYONE who reads this will say "Yes, Yes! I want to be a leader in that way too!"

I am asking for AAC posters who know what I am talking about and who also feel like they are part of that "we" to chime in here.

I will be disappointed, but not devastated if senior posters do not check in. Only you know who you are. If you have been posting as long as Guest_Guest, for example, I expect you to have an opinion.

My "question" in its "final" form:

Is there a "we" here? Are you part of that "we?" Do you feel any responsibility to represent that "we?" Will you try to be a leader in that regard?

March 26, 2006
12:48 am
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Anonymous
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I believe there's a "we" here, and also not a "we" here.

We are "we" in the sense that we agree to a common standard of trying to help each other, understanding we're free to get on whatever thread we want, giving honest feedback, and say what we want within the confines of common decency.

This is hardly a personal "we", however.

In every other respect, we're not "we", we're individuals with our own opinions, lives, viewpoints, backgrounds, political beliefs, etc. On some issues we might individually align with one group of individuals, on another, with a totally different set.

That's how I see it.

Seeker

March 26, 2006
12:50 am
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Matteo
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Your question in its final form should be:

β€œIs it my responsibility as a member of this site to follow the guidelines and speak only on my behalf using β€œI” statements, or should I be allowed to preach to others about what I think is right?”

March 26, 2006
1:09 am
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sewunique
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WD

I read your last post on the other thread and either you did not make yourself clear, or I did not understand, or I am dog tired from second shift weekend duty.

Grrrrr....huh that I do not quite understand you?

Or, if I do understand you, which I think I may, do I even qualify? If I think I do, then is that my judgement? If I do not qualify, how do I get to?

confused redhead in sunny soflo

Sew

March 26, 2006
1:19 am
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WD,

From some things you've said, I can't help but infer that you think feedback from the "senior posters" is more valuable than from us not-so-senior posters who've only been on for a few months.

If this thread is meant only for the senior posters, please do me a favor and let me know now. I refuse to be on it if I'm not considered to be an equal member.

Seeker

March 26, 2006
1:26 am
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WD, you are obviously not Canadian or you would be very wary of referendums. (Referenda?)

Anyway, I think I agree with seeker that there is a "we" and a "not-we".

Yes, it's true that any group, however constituted, develops a culture. But I'm not sure who the "Leader" is that you refer to, and why you capitalize it/her/him/them.

As a lurker and sometime poster, I think that I have discerned some of the general culture at this site, and tried to abide by it as defined in the Guidelines (which *are* capitalized).

But it is the glorious insistance on individual thought by certain posters especially, that makes this site most valuable to me and saves is from "group-think".

May I ask what is the point of your referendum? If enough people agree they are part of a "we", what then? And if the majority abstain from casting a ballot, what then?

The Site Coordinator (capitalized) may have a big surprise waiting for her if she comes back from vacation to discover herself voted Leader.

March 26, 2006
1:54 am
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Worried_Dad
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Thanks, kroika,

I take your points. Sadly, I am not Canadian.

Yes, there is an equilibrium between "group think" and anarchy. Both poles have their charms and benefits as well as costs and benefits.

Online groups tend to be, and this group in particular has been vulnerable to fragmentation of culture and purpose. I am therefore raising a flag for joining and cohesiveness.

There are a couple of kinds of leaders and "leaderfulness." In any group, there are often identified leaders and functional leaders. For the purpose of this group and this thread, I choose to invest leaderfulness in the person who has contributed mmost consitently and powerfully and generously to the Sustenance of this group. That is my idiosyncratic value and I am testing to see if my value is culturally supported here.

March 26, 2006
2:09 am
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mamacinnamon
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I am no better or worse than anyone here. I have been here longer than some and less than others. I do not qualify myself as "leader" material, but I do my best to uphold the guidelines and be supportive and empathetic and curteous as I can possibly be. Sometimes more than most. So, if me and the mouse in my pocket count as "we" then yes, I am a "we" person. πŸ™‚

March 26, 2006
2:11 am
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Sew,

Yes, you have got something there. There is a difference between "senior" and "older" and "elder." And they are all rather slippery, subjective , and loaded terms.

And yes, some people post more often and are more skillful than others...and it depends on the specific content of a thread. People have different kinds of knowledge, different life experiences, different sensitivities.

I think we are all old enough to work with that subjectivity.

For the purpose of this thread, I define "senior" as anyone who has posted regularly long enough that many of us would think "gee, they have been around for a while now."
My own attention span is short enough that it only takes a couple of months before a poster seems that way to me.

It is my way to want to give anyone who falls into that category some creedance as "elder." And I hold people who hang around very long "able" to function that way.

My observation is that you, Sew, are a "senior" poster. My subjective experience of you is that you often function as an "elder" poster.

I have no idea how much "older" you are than anyone.

But what I am really curious about is do you see yourself as part of a "we" that feels responsible for representing and protecting the values and culture of this place....

To close this post, I observe that we have been enjoined by our sponsor and leader to be individually and collectively responsible for monitoring, correcting, even "policing" our individual and collective behavior here. I hope that I am not the only one here who remembers that.

March 26, 2006
2:15 am
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Worried_Dad
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Thank you MamaC.

MamaC is someone who I observe to be a "senior" poster and who many times for many people, functions as an "elder." I wouldn't dream of trying to guess her age. πŸ™‚

That's just my subjectivity, though. The actual truth seems to be that MamaC sees herself as part of a "we."

I count that as five "we's."

March 26, 2006
2:16 am
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free2choose
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No...it is not. At least not by me.

I agree with Matteo. I find you often take it upon yourself to apoint yourself as "leader", you give orders, and expect people to follow them.

The only Leader I view on this site is the SC. She is like AAC "God" and the Guidelines are the 10 commandments.

If there is a problem, she can fix it. Not you. Not anyone.

We can ask things of eachother, state our feelings, concerns...lik I did in Kathy's "abuse" thread. But that does not mean it Has to happen, or that I am right.

I find you are often condescending in your self-righteousness.

But so am I at times.

This is why I am not taking it on myself to be Anyone's leader.

And niether should you.

Erica

March 26, 2006
2:18 am
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sewunique
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Should we continue our conversation up in Libs and close this discussion?

Let me get my Starbucks latte and join you upstairs. Oh, yours a Seattle Coffee?

to Libs...

March 26, 2006
2:19 am
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mamacinnamon
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WD:

You are a very wise man to not try to guess my age. hee hee. πŸ™‚

March 26, 2006
2:22 am
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sewunique
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LOL! mamaC is a decade younger than me...and isn't it interesting the feelings and pictures we get with a name?

Hiya mamaC (((((L))))))))

And I am SewUnique for sure

March 26, 2006
2:25 am
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WD,

There you go, totally ignoring me. You acknowledge everybody else.

I might be overreacting, but you could have the decency to acknowledge me. I think it was inadvertent, but it leaves me wondering if I should have ever chimed in on this thread.

March 26, 2006
2:28 am
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Free2choose,

I observe you to be a more or less senior poster. I subjectively experience you as being a leaderful and elder-like person here, too.

I gather that you choose not to, at this time, identify yourself as being part of a "we" with a duty to represent and protect a culture, it's norms, values, and guidelines.

Thank you for checking in.

March 26, 2006
2:43 am
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Seeker,
There ya go, being leaderful again,

Technically speaking, I would do better to not "acknowledge" any post on this thread for a few days or a week or two. But now I'm on a toot.

I am talking to you so often on so many threads I get them confused. Check in the back.

But, although I didn't name you, if you scroll up a bit you will see that I have included you in the five (and counting) self-identified "We's."

Also, guys, just to remind you, this thread is not really about WD. My annoying idiosyncrasies are well-documented and there is a special thread in Lib Brews created tonight just for the purpose of setting me straight.

This thread is for people to talk about YOU and you perception of "We."

Do YOU think there is a "we" here and do you feel like you are called to be part of that "we?"

March 26, 2006
2:54 am
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free2choose
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WD...

You said,

"There are a couple of kinds of leaders and "leaderfulness." In any group, there are often identified leaders and functional leaders. For the purpose of this group and this thread, I choose to invest leaderfulness in the person who has contributed mmost consitently and powerfully and generously to the Sustenance of this group. That is my idiosyncratic value and I am testing to see if my value is culturally supported here."

My answer, "NO!", was to this statement.

There are two different and separate values here that you are wrongfully tring to group together to explain away your propencity to boss people around.

The two DIFFERENT issues are:

a: That this site as a whole and all that come here are part of a "group", one with there own sets of values, norms and culturally accepted and unaccepted behavior.

b: RIGHTFULL leadership of said group.

NOw....YES, I do think we are a group....we do have "collective" values, norms and standards. These being the guidelines that are listed as the "rules" of this site. And by choosing to be in this group and participate in this site, we are agreeing to follow these guidelines to the best of our ability, everytime we post. Which is why the "Send Post" button says, "I foolowed Guidelines". It is a consistent, constant reminder to us to monitor OUR OWN behavior and words.

BUT, NO!!! We are NOT the leaders of this site! The SC is. It is not up to us to take charge or control of anything but OURSELVES!!!!!

This is my opinion. I want to clarify, so you do not take me out of context.

And do not count me as a "yes" because I do not, in anyway, wholy agree or disagree with you. You need to seperate the issue. Just because your're in a group and have been for awhile doesn't automatically make you a leader of that group!

Erica

March 26, 2006
2:57 am
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mamacinnamon
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Hi Sew:

Yes, you are SewUnique and what a wonderful uniqueness you are. πŸ™‚
Oh, I think maybe you are only half a decade older than me? I'll not count. My oldest baby turned 24 today. Wow! She is such a brilliant, smart, witty young lady, and very pretty I must add. (yes, i'm partial.)

Turnin in. Her bday party is tomorrow and I have to get up early for the twins.

Hope all is well w/ you and each other person here. Good night πŸ™‚

March 26, 2006
3:04 am
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free2choose
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HOW can you count Seeker as a we... or Kroika, who agree'd with Seeker.

They said there is a "We" and NOT a "we"!!!

Did you miss that last part?

The are not "we's". They are neither. They are fence riders.

See, yet again you hearing only what you want to hear so that you can turn it around to defend your point of view.

And are you counting the "NON-We's"

1. Matteo
2. Sassy Alex

Fence riders:

1. Seeker
2. Kroika
3. Free2choose

"We's"

1 Worried Dad
2 MammaC

SewUnique never said wether she was a WE or not...only that she was confused and wanted coffee.

So where are you getting 5 "we's"...there are only 2!

And from what Mamma C actually said:

" am no better or worse than anyone here. I have been here longer than some and less than others. I do not qualify myself as "leader" material, but I do my best to uphold the guidelines and be supportive and empathetic and curteous as I can possibly be. Sometimes more than most. So, if me and the mouse in my pocket count as "we" then yes, I am a "we" person. :)"

Was exactly what I said...two seperate issuse. She's not claiming leadership, only fellowship.

So really, it looks as if you're in the Leader section of the bleachers all by yourself.

March 26, 2006
3:09 am
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Hi free2choose,

I hear you that you choose to neither acknowledge leadership you have offered, or personal responsibility to offer that leadership. I also hear you say that you do not respect or acknowledge leadership offered by others here or believe that they have any responsibility to offer that leadership.

And I gather that we have different interpretations of the site guidelines and diffewrent interpretations of the requests that have been made of us as responders to posts here.

And I also here that you and I have different ideas about what consitutues "leadership." For you, it seems to be something that has a "rightfulness" about it, as if it were an entitlement. For me, it is more about a group of pedestrians waiting at a crosswalk. It only takes one person to bolt across the intersection against the light to catalyze an entire group of people doing it. And just one person can by their forbearance, strenghten the resolve of a group of people to behave in a social, versus antisocial way.

I think a person who observes antisocial behavior has a duty to comment on it. But that's just me.

Thank you for checking in.

March 26, 2006
3:12 am
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I posted this on the "blatant abuse" thread:

As for speaking only for yourself on this site, I find that to be an unreasonable "assumption." For example, you said in such a perfect way what I and several others perceived in kathy's and desperate's interchange. In this instance you not only spoke for me and those others who told you you hit the "proverbial nail on the head," you did it very eloquently and kindly to both parties concerned.

This is the way that I perceive the "we" on this site. As for the TEACHER/LEADER portion of your post, WD, I don't believe that to be true. I believe that the people posting here are vulnerable, wounded people who are not looking to be a TEACHER/LEADER. If anybody is even close to fitting this role, I would have to say that it is the SC, even though she is very "hands off."

~~bonita

March 26, 2006
3:15 am
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Heh, heh,

Don't worry, free2choose, we'll tidy this whole head count thing up at the end.

I do find it interesting, though, how strongly some people react to the idea that there is a "we" and go farhter even to say that there "should not" be a we.

My feeling is that that anyone who ever made a habit of pressing the "I followed guidelines" button has basically promised to be part of the "we" that I am talking about.

March 26, 2006
3:23 am
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Hi Bonita,

I observe that you are a senior poster, who also sometimes functions as an elder and leader and teacher here.

I also take note that you do not ever wish to be seen as part of a "we" if it means that you might be percieved as a leader or teacher?

Gee, maybe I should have asked a simpler yes/no question. The learnings just keep coming.

Anyway, thanks for checking in. Bonita.

March 26, 2006
3:30 am
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sewunique
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free ((((((Erica)))))))

"SewUnique never said wether she was a WE or not...only that she was confused and wanted coffee. "

ROLF!

JUST.....SewUnique

.....beating my own drum

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