Over the years I’ve taken some pretty polarizing positions on issues compared to the mainstream. These issues include domestic violence, reproductive rights, social services, and medical care for all.
I’ve belonged to many political groups and organizations and discussion groups. What is noticeable over the years is that there are specific types of people in each group. These groups are predictable in every group.
-Hardcore single issue folks – the one’s that the blogosphere is currently ranting about. This group is probably about 10% of any organization.
-Motivated political activists that know who to call, how to get the information out, and to organize any event….or get people to organize an event. Some of these are front and center as leaders and others are behind the scenes seeing to details. This group is about 15% of any organization.
-Participants at selected events and about half of the meetings that are held. This group is active if the issue interests them. This group is resistant confrontation and needs to be really sold in order to make changes. This group is about 70% of the total.
-Naysayers those who will take the negative position on every topic….usually because their position within the structure is threatened. This group is about 5% of any political total.
Well, if my math is any good this morning that’s the structure of any political activist group.
So the reason for my query this morning: when participating in political events over the years we meet lots of people. Some of them we keep in contact with for years at a time. Some of them we seem to have an instant compatibility at the outset with but little personal contact outside of the organization. Some we call friends.
What happens to these relationships when issues surface and we take a stronger stand?
What happens when we move from ‘participant’ to ‘motivated’?
Over the years I’ve had very good, personal friends move on…marriage or divorce or families or something else changed the dynamics. These friends are still there and I can reach out with a call or card or letter.
-What is unique about political acquaintances and friends?
-What is threatening when we change?
-What is uncomfortable when we share with our political friends as to what is going on?
So….it is time to move on…from Participant in some areas to Motivated instead. I am sorry that I will lose friendly contacts from this change. It is painful to let go of what was…it is more painful to know that sitting and doing nothing will hurt more in the future.
- – To those who must go away from our acquaintance because I choose a separate path – I bid you safe journeys.
- – To those who who want more answers – please comment and I’ll try to answer.
- – To those who would walk with me – even if you do not understand my decisions – I call you truly a friend.
Cross-posted at MtnCerridwen.blogspot.com