sparr (sparr0) wrote,

Distinction between community organizer choices and my choices?

 I am part of a community that has some internal problems that require significant effort to deal with. Multiple organizers of the community have become burned out under the stress of this situation. Prior to being completely spent, they were subjected to the ire of many members of the organization who wanted them to do more to address the problems. They were also told they should spend more time avoiding making members upset while still making at least as much headway on the issues at hand. More reasonable community members point out that these people aren't getting paid, they are doing this out of their desire to see the community thrive and grow and continue and their commitment to the well-being of the community. They don't have to do all of this work. It would be perfectly reasonable for them to not do any of it at all. So reasonable that that is exactly what happens when they step down because too much is demanded of them. They are being perfectly reasonable when they offer a dichotomy of doing as much as they are willing to do or doing nothing, regardless of how many people suggest that a third option of them doing even more work would be better for everyone [else].
I see a parallel here to how people respond to my approach to dealing with controversial topics, or interacting with people in general. The same sorts of people who are upset at those community organizers for not doing more work for their benefit are also upset at me for not doing more work for their benefit. However, some of the people who recognize what is wrong with those demands of community organizers are also upset at me for not doing more work for their benefit. I am curious what drives that discrepancy. Where I see a very similar distinction between the two groups, the people in them must see something different for a significant number of them to draw the line in a different place.
To elaborate on my situation... I often do things that others find abrasive while I am intent on achieving some outcome that I think both myself and those others have as a shared goal. In some cases people tell me they don't see how my actions could lead to those outcomes, but that's a different problem for another discussion. Here I am thinking of the cases where they do recognize the good that comes of my actions, but they want to convince me that it is my responsibility to choose a different course that both achieves those goals and avoids causing strife. I offer them the dichotomy of me doing nothing or what I already do. They implicitly support doing nothing, by failing to in any way address the many people around us who choose to do nothing on a particular issue. But instead of accepting what I do, they push this third option on me, as if it is my responsibility to choose that path if I choose to do anything at all, rather than it being acceptable for me to choose any path that is better than doing nothing.
Tags: philosophy
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