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Re: Is it possible to change the TSA?

Mar 25, 1998 09:09 AM
by Bart Lidofsky

JRC wrote:

> frustration, and a widespread sense that the TSA is dying. When you're done
> mouthing pithy little aphorisms about "positive action" leading to
> "improvement", and engaging in what appears to be an almost perpetual (if
> curiously ironic) whining about "whiners" (who are apparently defined as any
> who actually decide to call *BS* on the vast web of games the Wheaton
> leadership is playing) perhaps you'll glance once at how successful those
> "improvements" have been.

    There are a number of people who are not just complaining, they are actively
doing something positive, and I have praised their efforts in this space,
before. The whiners are those who feel that the TSA leadership should resign en
masse, and hand the leadership over to THEM, without any effort on the part of
the whiners except whining. The "Concerned Theosophist"'s plan seems to consist
of HIM becoming the dictator of what is or is not Theosophical, rather than
someone else.

> I also believe in "positive change" - and if a group of people are
> strangling the TS, "positive change" means to attempt to point out the
> strangulation, and if at all possible to banish the stranglers from
> headquarters. Call it "whining" if you want bucko, but there's a new wind
> afoot ... and I wonder how well you'll work if headquarters winds up being
> governed by those who think of Theosophy in far different terms than you do.

    OK, now we're getting somewhere. There are three categories of wrongdoing by
the leadership of an organization: 1) An action with which you do not agree, 2)
An action violating the letter or spirit of the rules of the organization, 3) An
action which is destructive to the organization.

    Now, if the actions are in category 1, then simply complaining about it IS
whining. If the actions are in category 2, if the violation is your personal
interpretation of the rules, then it is whining, otherwise, it is important, and
one is obligated not only to mention the wrongdoing, but to give compelling
evidenced as well. Simple accusations are whining, and laziness is NOT an excuse
to fail to produce the evidence. And, in most systems of justice, the burden of
proof is on the accuser, not the accused.

    Now, let's go to category 3. Simply stating the activities is whining. If
one sees it as a problem, one should state the activities, AND state WHY one
thinks they are destructive. If one stops there, and says, "everybody has to
agree with me or they are an idiot/triator/something similar, then it goes back
into the realm of "whining". If one asks for possible POSITIVE solutions, or
proposes them, then it becomes positive action.

    I see much of what I term as "whining" here fitting into category 3. Someone
who is not a Theosophist comes in here (or goes to the ACT page), curious as to
see what Theosophy is all about, and sees what it is about is a bunch of people
complaining about other people. And they get turned away. Note, by contrast, the
Theosophy International page, which creates positive alternatives rather than
emphasizing the negative.

    So, yes, I see the whining as destructive to the Theosophical Society. And I
do not see, as the alternative, quietly accepting everything that's thrown at
you. The alternative I see is to first use discrimination: Figure out the
difference between what is truly wrong, and what is merely one's own ego being
threatened. Second, see what would be a better alternative to what is wrong. The
third is to convince others that your alternative is preferable to the current
actions. Until then, complaining is tearing down, not building up.

    Bart Lidofsky

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