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Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems

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22 Dec 2017 17:23 - 22 Dec 2017 17:38 #309314 by Kit
Good Timezone folks, I hope your holidays are going the best that they can.

I'd like to start a discussion on the mentality of our community.

I'm going to place some rules in this thread to keep it productive. I am not seeking a bash-fest, I'm looking for the core of the problem I've been sensing here for a long time, and hopefully some ways to fix that.

Please, let's keep this thread civil and polite. You are welcome to air out (non-personal) grievances here but please do it in a manner that is constructive.
Anything off-topic will be hidden as a spoiler.
Anything I feel is unproductive (ex: inflammatory or simple shit-stirring without productivity)
Please, everyone, read with an open heart. If you're shut down, it'll be hard to see problems or answers.
If you would like to say something but would like some anonymity to it, please PM me (or any Advisor or Knight who holds your trust) with your words.

If I spoiler anything that you feel is productive and I misunderstood your words, please send me a PM and I will reexamine. My only reason for moderating this thread as closely as I'm suggesting is to keep things productive. I know I'm walking a fine line asking for your grievances while also asking for calmness. I will do my best to be calm and fair myself, but the gods know, and I make no secret of it, I make mistakes. So I ask your forgiveness ahead of time and both my heart and inbox are open.

Empathy, Compassion, and Serious Introspection is the name of the game here folks. "Emotion, Yet Peace"

So, to open the can of wyrms, there's been quite a bit of concern that we're not as open, welcoming, accepting, and helpful as we seem to think we are, and that camaraderie is almost non-existent. And to be honest, I think we're kidding ourselves if we think there's no room for improvement on those fronts.

So what are your experiences, thoughts, and feelings on the matter? Where can we do better? Where are we doing good and why?

If you only have bits of the puzzle, please feel free to speak up! You don't have to have an answer to highlight a problem you see <3
Last edit: 22 Dec 2017 17:38 by Kit.
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22 Dec 2017 18:24 #309328 by Joreguar
The one thing I’ve seen several times in my short time here, is that people often give oxygen to fires. Sometimes the best way to end a conflict is to stop giving it oxygen. Stop trying to explain your side. Stop apologizing for maybe getting it wrong. Speak once, then let it go. Conflict only grows when it breathes, provide no air, know when not to act.

In closing, I reference an important piece of temple doctrine that all too often doesn’t enter our minds when it needs to.

The 14th Maxim.

“Discretion: To become invisible.

A Jedi knows there is a time and place for all things. They do not actively interfere in worldly affairs and refrain from overtly supporting or opposing other individuals or organizations.”

To not act is sometimes the greatest gift a Jedi can give.

Joreguar
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22 Dec 2017 18:34 #309329 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems

Joreguar wrote: The one thing I’ve seen several times in my short time here, is that people often give oxygen to fires. Sometimes the best way to end a conflict is to stop giving it oxygen. Stop trying to explain your side. Stop apologizing for maybe getting it wrong. Speak once, then let it go. Conflict only grows when it breathes, provide no air, know when not to act.

In closing, I reference an important piece of temple doctrine that all too often doesn’t enter our minds when it needs to.

The 14th Maxim.

“Discretion: To become invisible.

A Jedi knows there is a time and place for all things. They do not actively interfere in worldly affairs and refrain from overtly supporting or opposing other individuals or organizations.”

To not act is sometimes the greatest gift a Jedi can give.

Joreguar


I have to agree. I too am guilty of this from time to time. Sometimes we act without thinking, despite the ability to fully walk away, meditate, and come back given the beauty of the interwebs. We try to make our voices heard before we think upon what our voices are saying.

Thanks for the wisdom, Joreguar. :)

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22 Dec 2017 18:59 - 22 Dec 2017 19:01 #309334 by jzen

Arisaig wrote:

Joreguar wrote: The one thing I’ve seen several times in my short time here, is that people often give oxygen to fires. Sometimes the best way to end a conflict is to stop giving it oxygen. Stop trying to explain your side. Stop apologizing for maybe getting it wrong. Speak once, then let it go. Conflict only grows when it breathes, provide no air, know when not to act.

In closing, I reference an important piece of temple doctrine that all too often doesn’t enter our minds when it needs to.

The 14th Maxim.

“Discretion: To become invisible.

A Jedi knows there is a time and place for all things. They do not actively interfere in worldly affairs and refrain from overtly supporting or opposing other individuals or organizations.”

To not act is sometimes the greatest gift a Jedi can give.

Joreguar


I have to agree. I too am guilty of this from time to time. Sometimes we act without thinking, despite the ability to fully walk away, meditate, and come back given the beauty of the interwebs. We try to make our voices heard before we think upon what our voices are saying.

Thanks for the wisdom, Joreguar. :)



I agree as well. Often times we do not seek to be constructive, but rather just to have our thoughts heard. I second the 14th maxim Joreguar shared. It's easy to forget that there is a person on the other side of the words we read. A lot of mental suffering could be avoided if we kept this in mind and thought before we spoke, using a little discretion in our responses.
Last edit: 22 Dec 2017 19:01 by jzen.
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22 Dec 2017 19:03 #309336 by Senan
As a Security Officer and Knight Adviser, I do have a unique perspective on things here at the Temple. I've debated whether or not to share them here, but in the spirit of progress, here goes.

First, I think a common cause of grief around here is too much talking and not enough listening. Threads can move very quickly here, and I often see people responding before they have given enough time for the conversation to take place as naturally as possible via an online forum. We need to slow down and actually digest what others are saying before we respond. Miscommunication is easy online without the benefit of gestures, inflection, and other non-verbal cues. We need to seek first to understand, then be understood.

Second, many of us seem to think we know others well enough to make judgments about their behavior when often we do not. I will use myself as an example. I have had my share of disputes with Zenchi, MadHatter, Hannigan, and even Br. John. I have often felt righteous and did not hesitate to judge them or say things about them that I believed were true. As I have come to know each of them better, I have realized that there are other underlying issues in our lives that contributed to our disagreements. We come from different places and backgrounds, and we have our own issues. When I started approaching these conversations in a more respectful manner and being patient, I learned that we have a lot more in common than we actually disagree on. Deep down, the majority of people here only want the best for this Temple and the Jedi here. We need to stop being so quick to judge and get to know each other better rather than make assumptions.

Third, there seems to be a lack of personal accountability on a number of levels. Sometimes it is a long time member or Officer who blows off new members or those of lower rank, but it also happens when people bring their own baggage with them into the Temple and expect everyone else to cater to their needs. Jediism attracts a lot of people who are broken, hurting, or looking for something new. They are in need of support, and we must try to be there for them. However, this does not make us psychologists, counselors, or mental health experts. We cannot and should not be expected to understand everyone's issues. PTSD, anger issues, anxiety, depression, etc are all very real, but this is not the place to demand special treatment because you suffer from any of these things. You will only end up being disappointed. We each need to take a moment and really focus on our own areas that need improvement and do the work rather than expecting others here to hold us up. It sounds like "tough love" sometimes, but in reality it is evidence that we are not equipped to offer the kind of support some people need, and they need to realize that before we do any further damage.

Finally, I'll end with this. Much like Joreguar stated above, we need to stop apologizing for show and we need to stop demanding apologies from others. We should each know in our hearts when we have offended another, and we can take individual action to rectify that wrong. Calling others out publicly is not the way to accomplish this, and demanding an apology from someone who doesn't feel it is warranted will only add to the negative. This is a place to improve and develop as individuals. We should be focused on our own individual paths and keep our noses out of others' business. While this is a church, it does not function like the building some of us are more familiar with. This is a global community with a wide variety of personalities and cultures represented. We will butt heads and we will have misunderstandings. When we do, it is best to step back and focus on ourselves and our own lessons. If we can walk away from the conflicts without demanding the outcome we insist on so often, maybe there would be less conflict here.

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22 Dec 2017 23:45 #309371 by Kyrin Wyldstar
Senan, thanks for your wise words my friend. But I must say that in the end, they are just words and they are impossible to make others enact those words without some catalyst beyond what I think is capable for this environment. I know the Jedi pride themselves as an internet community but that is also it's downfall. There is no way to get across the subtle intent you describe solely in a medium such as this, especially with the constant ebb and flow of membership. That is this temple's ultimate deficiency when it comes to communication, lack of personal interaction and accountability.

For example, say I have an issue with someone and we discuss either on the board or in pm. I am told that a followup will be given at a later date. And maybe that followup comes but it comes in a manner I did not expect or see. From the others point of view they did due dillagence but from mine it was not done at all because i was not satisfied with the outcome. The problem is no personal followup was done or satisfaction verified and assumptions were made on both sides and as a result feelings are hurt. I think this happens all the time!

Is there any way to fix this? Maybe, but I think it more likely not because of the medium and more likely because people are who they are, no matter how much "jedi" you try to stuff them with.

My only suggestion is to either accept things as they are and stop talking about improving a system that is beyond improvement or we can begin to focus more on getting off this limited stifling inherently flawed medium and moving this thing into real life. Start with more meetups for one thing and go from there. State meetups, national ones etc. Do fundraising for it as well. Hell the pagans do it all the time, why not the Jedi. It would be so much better I think.

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22 Dec 2017 23:47 - 22 Dec 2017 23:55 #309372 by JamesSand
TotJO has a culture problem?

In eight days I will have been a member for two years.

It's been an interesting two years in my meatspace, and throughout that, I believe I have had ample support from TotJO members, I've had some great conversations that have, for the most part, been quite respectful, and there are a number of (faceless screen names) that frequent this place that I would consider friends, as far as that word goes for faceless screen names on a forum.


Does TotJO have a culture problem? If it does, it is so in-tune with my own culture problems, that I don't see it.



Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Last edit: 22 Dec 2017 23:55 by JamesSand.
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23 Dec 2017 01:44 #309384 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic Discussion: TotJO Culture Problems
Would just like to say, as per camaraderie, we have the Jedi Cantina on Sunday at 6pm EST. ;) Come hang out!

Orrrrrr... if you can't make it, make another meeting time. :) We also have the Discord (Think you'll have to hit up Steamboat for the link to that). More people we have there, participating, chatting, better camaraderie.

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23 Dec 2017 05:25 #309404 by Cyan Sarden
We talk too much and learn too little.

This site used to be a refuge for those seeking personal change and development of their character. It used to be a site that was about Jediist philosophy (as in NOT the movies but what what lies beneath them). I've had the feeling it's lately began to shift towards a place for lost LARPers and those feeling a strong urge to be recognised, boasting about their ranks and functions, bullying people around because they can - and displaying the exact opposite of what Jediist philosophy as taught here is all about - namely humility, a genuine desire to be at peace with oneself and with others.

It's increasingly been turning into a fan site, with light sabre pictures popping up everywhere, princess Leia and other fictional gals and dudes represented in avatars, quotes by movie characters showing up at a worrisome rate on the wall. Maybe I'm just a hopeless nostalgic - but I'd like this to be a place of study and of peace again and not an extension of the Star Wars franchise. There are plenty of forums where the legendary Qui-Gong Jinn can be discussed. But that's just my personal opinion.

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23 Dec 2017 06:13 - 23 Dec 2017 06:13 #309405 by steamboat28
I think there's plenty of room for that here that we've ignored, honestly. While I agree with most of the points in the last post, I don't believe that we--we Jedi, using a fictional word from a film franchise--need exclude the Star Wars canon from our mythos. I feel that there's much to be learned by taking that canon alongside the underpinnings it represents, and that by denying ourselves wisdom from any fountain, we'll slowly die of thirst.

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Last edit: 23 Dec 2017 06:13 by steamboat28.
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