Saturday, November 26, 2011
Old and Slow
A short couple of months before OWS two young acquaintances suggested starting a 'movement.' I started drafting a post of that experience then. I just ran across that start. Thought that it might still be worth 'finishing' and posting.
I told them that I didn't know what they meant by 'movement.' It seemed that they weren't very clear about it either. Though perhaps in their own minds they were clear enough.
I told them that I was willing to talk with them, but they wanted more than 'talk.'
They reminded me that I had mentioned 'organizing' as something useful. I told them to go organize. They asked me how. I suggested that the try 'talking.' They were tired of talk and wanted something more than talk. Also, they were not sure what I meant by 'talk.' I told them that if the wanted, I would help them learn more about effective talk. They had experience with talk and were interested in doing something other than talk.
I was perhaps I was doing more telling than was supportive of good talk. So, I told them that doing was okay with me. They said that they wanted to do organization. Organization seemed big medicine to them and they wanted help in using that powerful magic.
I mentioned that organization was most often for an objective. They mentioned making things better; things like politics, economics, society, and like that. I said that betterment of those things seemed a grand objective, perhaps too grand.
I then called their attention to the fact that I seem pretty disorganized to some. I told them that I didn't have a family of my own (a pretty traditional organization); that I didn't belong to any organization; that I didn't have a job; that I was no longer the member of a political party.
That took them back a bit.
I told them that I intended to avoid taking part in any organization, movement, or group, that didn't include a lot of ongoing talk.
"Talk about what?" they asked.
"Everything" I answered a bit extravagantly.
Them: Be more specific.
me: Values, assumptions, dialogue skills, clarification of meanings.
Them: We want more than talk.
them: We want you to help.
me: I'll try to help by talking.
them: Okay we are talking.
me: What do you value?
them: Freedom, justice, fairness.
me: What's valuable about freedom?
them: This seems more like interrogation than talk.
me: I just want to understand what we are talking about.
them: A Movement. Freedom to have a movement.
me: I've had two already today, both satisfying.
them: That's a lot of shit.
me; I value shit and assume that it is important to you. Okay, I might consider doing something with you, but it must include a lot of dialogue as I have mentioned. There are other things that I would probably insist on, like no violence and no leaders.
them: can your dialogue and two 'nos' make a movement?
me: I don't think so. Think about it. It might be a start.
them; See you later, maybe.