Jacob Lawrence, Confrontation at the Bridge (1975)
June 25, 2009:
Fortune cookie: "Whatever you do, make it fun."
Fun is a wonderful criterion for judging the usefulness of all kinds of activities.
If it's not fun, there's probably something wrong with it.
It's badly conceived, or poorly organized, or broken, or dysfunctional.
Many of us contributed years of our lives to organizations which weren't fun.
The people were mean or difficult;
the work was repetitive and inefficiently organized;
the leadership was at best small-minded, at worst inept.
The whole scene was bad,
but we contributed anyway because we thought that was what you had to do when you were an activist.
You'd made your moral commitment: so commit to it.
But this is false.
There's absolutely no necessity for people who dislike or disrespect each other to
struggle along dispiritedly in each others company,
like some kind of dysfunctional family unit.
We're not family.
We can choose to work in ways which better enable us each to do what we like to do,
working with people we like to work with.
We don't all have to be in the same room together.
We do all need to enjoy making our contribution.
We'll all be better at it if we do.
More of us will stay active, for longer.
The movements will be more vibrant,
their leaderships more willing to think creatively,
the ranks more energetic.
The work will be of higher quality.
The movements will attract people with more advanced skills.
"It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end."
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© 2002-2013 Mark Phillips.
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This writing is fiction. Please don't confuse it with reality.