People grow. People change. Sometimes so do values and priorities. In any size group (heck, even in marriage!!) there will be disagreements -- and issues you have to work out.
There must have been something in the air the other week. There were sure a couple of patterns "in the stars" that talked about turmoil and needing different arrangements. After the incident in TribeSteemUp, there was a dust up in The Alliance -- and another in The STEEM Engine, the Discord group I'm presently leading.
I was glad when things got back to normal in all of them. Quarreling and strife is not fun, even though it's a necessary and inevitable part of life. But this question, of course, grew from that incident -- and it was one I'd had to face head-on at various levels of involvement.
sizes, flavors and colors.
There are, of course, different kinds of trouble. In one of the examples I cited, there was a clash of personalities and values. In another, one of the group members felt hard done by by another. In my own case, I had to deal with people who weren't properly supporting the group -- and hadn't been for a while -- and who were no longer a good fit with the direction I wanted to take.
Like people, groups change. Group dynamics change. Every addition is a different point of potential assets ... and potential problems. So is every departure.
In one case, the problem kind of got handled for us -- which was really the best way it could have gone, IMO. There was such a stark difference in perspectives and life principles between the group and the dissenting member, I think it would have been hard to continue together and have everyone comfortable with the arrangement.
Sometimes you really have to admit you've reached an impasse on very essential matters, and it's time for each party to step back, take a deep breath and go his own way.
Where conversation is possible -- or when it might be helpful -- it can be important to lay out in so many words where each party stands, and know for sure where everyone's "coming from." Listening and empathy are essential and should always present in the exchange.
In this case, I think that "dissenting position" was pretty darn clear and any further attempts at reconciliation would have been pointless. Picking at the wound, as it were. Everyone's entitled to his opinions and directions and sometimes they just don't mesh with the group and its members. In this case, a parting of the ways was probably the best course for all ... and the upset was pretty minimal once it was done.
It's important to understand different views. But it's also important to stand by your ethics. Those who agree with you can go one way. Those who don't can go another. Life is about diversity, too.
In the second case, there was a misunderstanding between two group members over something that involved a different group and was totally beyond the parameters of the group into which the controversy was brought. One member felt seriously offended by something another had done ... and decided to conduct a campaign against him and try to rally support to her cause.
In that case, she was appropriately told that the group wasn't the place to bring the problem and that she basically needed to "take it outside." You can't dictate how people feel -- or ask them not to choose sides, if they have strong reactions one way or the other, but tearing a functioning group apart over what amounts to "a personal problem" doesn't serve anyone's interests either.
If a group leader wants to try to step in and mediate a resolution, that's one thing. But it's also perfectly fine for him to say, "This is none of our business." In which case, the two quarreling people will have to find their own settlement -- or not. That, too, is Life -- and a lesson I'm sure we've all met.
In my own situation, in an existing group I was asked to take over, I was faced with a lot of individual apathy ... and non-participation -- and low-effort content in a group that requires a lot better quality and involvement than was happening in many cases.
So I drew some lines and made up some lists -- people I wanted to keep and who were still clearly on board with our mission and its requirements -- and people who hadn't shown up or done anything to indicate interest in over a month and who also weren't posting the kind of content we want for the future. It came down basically to those who were a good fit for our continuing mission and those who weren't.
Then I started purging the membership of the non-participants, including many people who seem to have left Steemit completely. I off-loaded over 100 accounts, and brought the membership down to about 1/3 of what it was at the start. (And we may go down to another 1/3 of that. It remains to be seen. That's part of what I'm working on now.)
So far I've only heard from three people, only one of whom I'd be willing to consider as a member again in the future. So while my approach may not have been "sensitive," it sure saved me a heck of a lot of work and time which are in desperately short supply now as you might imagine.
Sometimes a clean break and a totally new direction are their own kind of positive change. The remaining membership is re-energized now in a way that's been missing for quite a long time. We have a clear vision of who we are, what's expected, where we're going ... and we'll see what happens from here.
There's no longer a feeling of having to accommodate dead-weight from those who aren't engaged or contributing. The requirements for membership have tightened up, too, in ways I think will make a big difference going forward.
I'm good with my choices -- and with what's transpired in all three examples I've cited. At the end of the day, that matters, too. Life is a learning experience -- and each of these moments has been one!! No kidding.
Although sometimes the background pictures in our visual essays support the topic and text, they don't always. Sometimes the connection is clear. Sometimes it's symbolic and subtle. Sometimes, there's no connection at all.
The scenes depict landscapes and natural features, buildings and wildlife. They were chosen because they show something lovely or interesting ... or simply because the photo appealed to me.
Our spectacular and remarkable planet is changing at astonishing speed. Rarely are these changes for the better. Few people seem to know ... or care ... or have the will and power to do anything about this. It may not be long before the world humans have known and lived in for centuries is forever lost. We certainly won't be able to make repairs as fast as we destroyed it.
So a few years ago I began collecting pictures of the way things were ... and still are for now, a record of the beauty we have while it is still ours to love and honor.
The photos here are part of that collection, with sincere thanks to the artists who saw these moments ... and with their cameras ... preserved them. All of us at Enchanted Spirit are profoundly grateful to them for their generosity and skill ... and for the added grace, depth and dimension their art brings to ours.