Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I figured out what was bugging me or power dynamics in groups

So I thought and I thought and I thought...

I am bad at recognizing and dealing with interpersonal power politics.
You know, someone says something about someone else to make a third party do what they want, or to make the second party like them better than the third party, or bring down the leader so they can be leader themselves, or so they can be the leader without doing any of the work, or so they get someone else to be the leader, or they can get out of being the leader, or they can persuade someone from one group to join their group or they can exclude someone from their group or so on and so forth.

As a journalist and a person, I am inclined to go to the source and ask if what was said is true or not true. But when I do that, I get "Oh, no, I didn't say that, I would never say that." It's like fighting smoke, there's nothing to pin down, fix, confront, or negotiate.

It could be that being raised in an abusive environment as a child has skewed my understanding of why some people feel the need to bend others to their will or control.

It could be because I have no patience with the background manipulations that characterize the accumulation of that kind of power.

It could be because I have no talent for it. I have friends that have pointed this out to me on numerous occasions.

It could be that I naively believe that we should all be doing GOOD, therefore we should all be FRIENDS. Not leader-follower, not teacher-student but colleagues doing good together.

For whatever reason, my subconscious picked up on it before my conscious mind. And I realized, once again, interpersonal power politics were playing havoc with what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. It is a plague upon pagan groups in general, and I have seen it way too many times.

And I am offended
I realize offended is a strong word. I recognize and understand better than most the power of words. Yet offended is the best way I can characterize how I feel.

I believe those of us that work with deity, energy, spirits, wights, the mystical and magical parts of the universe etc. CAN work together in harmony, no matter what the background, if people are willing to TRY. Maybe not forever, but at least long enough to accomplish important tasks.

I believe power politics are a waste of time and energy. How much good could you or I or anyone else be doing if we weren't embroiled in petty BS?

I believe in TRUTH, as much as I believe in my deities of choice, my landwights, my guardians and animal guides. I don't expect anyone else to believe, follow or even understand my truth, but I do expect you to be honest to your truth, even if I don't believe, follow or even understand it.

I believe in collective power sharing. Where there might be a leader, guide or crew head for a certain activity or ritual, ultimately everyone gets to SHARE in the rights and responsibilities of groups.

I do believe we CAN play together nicely, that individuals can be individual and work together without someone telling them what to do, lording superior knowledge over others or taking advantage of others for ego boosting, sexual favors or monetary gain.

A bit naive, you may think, especially for a woman my age. I understand I am at heart an idealist, and it's okay.

Your mileage will most certainly vary.

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