Wednesday, February 06, 2013

a question of trust

trying to fit in another's frame doesn't work for me
last evening, the schoolmarm character in the farce that has filled my recent weeks, righteously gave me a lecture about trust and how i needed to trust in systems and processes and the people around me (this isn't the first time this happened). she offered no supporting evidence, save tradition, that trust was warranted and i have numerous examples where i can see that trust has neither been earned nor deserved.

for me, trust and openness go hand in hand. when a group is teeming with hidden agendas and secret alliances, there is a distinct lack of openness. when one member is repeatedly left off emails and action lists, one has to begin to wonder if it's not being done on purpose. once might be an accident, twice some serious forgetfulness, but more than that and it begins to look like chicanery. i suppose that many would give up in the face of such treatment (and schoolmarm more than hinted yesterday that i should consider that), but i'm not many. and i'm stubborn. and the project itself - the establishment of a place in the community that will house not only a new library, but all kinds of activities - creative workshops, atelier space, theatre, film, exhibition space, concerts, events, music, readings, lectures and maybe even a café - feels worth it. because i want to live a place where all kinds of things are happening and to have a place to go that feels welcoming and open to a wide variety of people and activities. i want to learn ceramics and jewelry-making and maybe try to paint. i want to hang out with creative people and be inspired and for the community to have a place where that's precisely what happens, well, i think that's worth fighting for.

what's odd is that a small group within the small group that has been elected to this task is very closed and insular. they want to keep the project to themselves. they don't want to hear the wishes of the community. and it's very odd, because several of those who are the most closed are not users of the current facilities - the troglodyte actually goes so far as to disparage the activities that are happening there today. apparently not realizing that it will be the same sort of activities - concerts, lectures, film evenings, like-minded arty folks who paint together, theatre - that will happen in the new (or renovated) facilities.

is it any wonder i don't trust the motivations of these people? why on earth get involved if you're not passionate about the project itself? i will continue to question and yes, think for myself, and yes, hold onto my suspicions until i can see that everyone involved wants the best for the project. because that's definitely not clear right now. there are issues of alliances and power (as laughable as that sounds in this small town context) involved that are not easy to see through.

i don't need to be popular, i just need for people to treat differing opinions with respect, rather than bullying. there must be room for all of us. and once that room is made, then trust might follow. but until then, i don't trust them any farther than i can throw them.

9 comments:

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Ah yes, small town politics and posturing, always a joy. I think your first project after this project is completed is to compile a play with all of your character sketches and present it at the new facility.

Ally said...

"why on earth get involved if you're not passionate about the project itself?"

To add it to your resume. You are wise to not trust these people. Been where you are, learned my lessons. Best of luck.

celkalee said...

Like a small town, many organizations function much like this. Learning to read the players is truly the only way to achieve your goals be they personal or public. Sometimes I think certain people bait you in groups like this. It is intentional, you become a source of entertainment for their personal agendas. They want you to feel like an outsider, an interloper, a intruder. That is when you smile (Cheshire-like) and proceed. Don't give up, this sounds like a wonderful project.

Bill Stankus said...

There was a little ditty which occasionally surfaces on Facebook:

"I used to wonder what it'd be like to read other people's minds. Then I got a Facebook account, and now I'm over it."

Spilling Ink said...

Bullying, that's what it spells out to me and as usual it makes me wonder why people, and these people in particular, feel a need to bully. Fear of losing control...gawd forbid creativity gets out of hand and goes off in all sorts of anarchic and weird directions, right? These people are involved because they're afraid what those passionate about the project will get up to if they're not there to make sure it doesn's get out of hand. Common problem that...

Michelle in Madison said...

Doesn't this remind you of a certain book you and I just read (among many other people, of course) by JK Rowling??? yikes. good luck. stay strong.

Marilynne Smith said...

Love the photo - and the idea of you lecturing to yourself. Did you get a video of it?

julochka said...

@lisa - yes, a play's the thing - perhaps a farce.

@ally - i think i'm disturbed at how many people recognize this scenario (and not only because i'd like to think i'm totally unique. :-)) - what is it about human nature that makes this happen?

@celkalee - husband also offered the cheshire smile advice. i'm going to TRY to take it. :-)

@bill - that's because we're all passive-aggressive on FB.

@S'ink - it is bullying. and i've said that to them - "lige ud" as the danes would say. they backpedal and throw the culture crap at me when i say that. because they have no proper arguments.

@michelle - it is REMARKABLY like the rowling book - which i was thinking the whole way through as i read it!

@marilyn - i should probably whip out the iPhone and video her the next time she goes on a tirade. i did get out my notebook and start scribbling down what she had said, right there, in front of her.

Laura Doyle said...

You know that's really odd. The same exact thing happened within our local Art League. Really. The same exact thing in a nutshell. What is it about the arts in a community platform that bring out such weirdness in people? I don't understand it. Egos? Fear? I think it's great your building such a place in your community. I wish we'd managed to sort out all our issues here and get something like that.