Friday, August 08, 2008

When politicians speak, they seem - to me - to fall into two broad categories.

Firstly, you have those who stand up and loudly decry what the other party (or if Opposition parties, what the Government) are doing. They spend all their air time, and energy, on explaining in great detail, what is so wrong about the other party's policies, why they are so damaging, and say how THEY won't do that when THEY are in power.

Secondly, you have those who stand up and declare that the policies of the government aren't working, state why they believe that to be the case, and then devote their energy to outlining THEIR policies, and explaining why they will be better, and how they will benefit everyone.

Personally, I pay more attention to the second type.

Anyone prepared to put more time into telling me what they will do to fix something, than telling me how and why it is broken in the first place, makes more sense.

It is up to me to make my own decision as to whether or not I believe the status quo to be "broken" and if someone outlines their policies, I can also then decide if I believe their ideas to be more suitable to my own viewpoint.

Over the past year or two there have been a number of people who have felt that the way Education Otherwise was being run, the things it was doing as an organisation, and the people that were involved in running it, were not doing it in the way that they felt was the best way.

These people fell very much into the second category I mentioned above. Not shy about saying what they thought was wrong, instead of wasting energy throwing stones, they got on with trying out different ways.

As a result, we have organisations such as Ahed, and THEN UK, born out of disatisfcation with EO, but with those energies quickly devoted to offering an alternative way of doing things.

All credit to the founding members, and I have nothing but respect for those who chose to act, rather than just speak - especially those who chose to act positively instead of speaking negatively.

What I don't understand are:

- people in an organisation who throw stones, complain, criticise, accuse, undermine and sap the energy from those who are devoting all THEIR time and energy to the organisation, and to the community it is trying to serve - but who don't leave, and who don't offer any solutions or try to do it a different way;

- people who throw stones, complain, criticise, accuse, undermine and sap the energy from those who are devoting all THEIR time and energy to the organisation and to the community it is trying to serve - then leave, and instead of putting their energy into trying to do it a different way, continue to throw stones etc, thereby hurting and damaging many of the community that they claim to want to support;

- people who work within an organisation and then, for whatever reason, come to the decision that they aren't happy there, that it doesn't match their own aims and beliefs, that they cannot continue to support it - leave and join another organisation, but then harm others by starting to throw stones, criticise etc etc instead of just devoting all their talents and energy to a new organisation, a new start and (in their mind) a better way.

Surely, if you believe something is wrong, you try to fix it. If you can't, or others stop you, or the thing doesn't stay fixed, you go and build your own - or help someone else build theirs.

I don't understand back biting. I don't understand stone throwing. I do understand people who get hurt, and who lash out at those they felt hurt them. We've all done that surely.

But we have to move on, we have to take our energy away from the hurt and into something positive.

We can't all agree. Good grief surely that is what defines us as a community - the antithesis of one size fitting all. I can't be doing with wasting my precious time and energy on being negative about another organisation that has been set up to support home educators, and to promote the rights and freedoms of all parents and children to the education that is appropriate to them.

I am truly sadden, distressed and confused by the current mud slinging, name calling, and accusations that are suddenly rife within our community.

I find myself frustrated at not being able to defend the people and the organisation that I believe in - without breaking the very moral codes and rules that they are trying to uphold.

This post is just a way of venting some of my distress and of showing my deepest, deepest desire for everyone to just STOP IT and get on with facing the common enemies out there, of helping to raise awareness of home education as a legal and viable option, of reaching out and quite literally saving the hundreds of children, and families out there caught in terrible circumstances because they believe they have to send their child to school, of building each other up instead of tearing each other down.

I celebrate our diversity. I applaud all who work to support our community.

I cannot support those who would destroy us.


dawny said...

OMG Anne , things do sound bad darling. hugs xx

Sheila said...

Hear hear Ann. My thoughts are with you. You go girl!!