ira_gladkova ([personal profile] ira_gladkova) wrote 2011-11-09 01:56 pm (UTC)

It's far from clear cut.

Sure. And that's part of what bothers me — it feels like there's an automatic assumption that complaining or being angry is automatically a bad thing, reflecting badly on that person, when there is room for plenty of other possibilities. The default assumption I would prefer to see is: if someone is contributing to/volunteering in/staffing with/running for Board in the org, then it seems like that person would have a sincere positive investment in the org and expresses negativity in an effort to effect positive change rather than to be pointlessly divisive and contrary. Generally speaking, I assume we're all here to build up rather than to tear down. Sure, there are ways to criticize that are more or less effective/helpful, but I deeply mislike this overall trend where the act of criticism itself is, variously, dismissed, rejected, regarded with suspicion, or criticized in turn for being inappropriate and unhelpful.

I also kind of want to point out the interesting contrast in reception between someone who is publicly angry and someone who is publicly sad and disappointed. To me, both reactions seem to be sides of the same coin, expressed variously by people with different energy levels and personalities. Both are, to my view, legitimate reactions to similar circumstances/environments. Both reactions are out there because these people care. (It's also kind of interesting that someone who expressed some anger (at, you know, legitimate issues) is now often characterized as "angry" generally, as if that's all they are, while the person with the sad, disappointed response doesn't get a similar full-personality summation.) I'd like to think that a variety of personality types and approaches — including energetic types who get angry about things they care about — as well as an environment where that variety is recognized as legitimate, would make the org stronger.

Stronger, at least, than a culture in which issues are swept under the rug and if you have nothing nice to say then you'll be quite sorry if you speak up. That's not nice. That's not nice at all.

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