William Arthur Ward says “We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them or build with them.”
Well here we are again and it’s all about the choices that we make to any of the situations that we may find ourselves in.
A huge debate has been raging on one of the forums that I used to belong to. You see as in most aspects of life, there were several people who were very active and prolific on the forum. They all came from different backgrounds, different cultures, different religions and so on.
Whilst discussion took place over a varied number of issues, usually these could become quite colourful as people voiced their opinions and their beliefs and it was easy to see that people were really passionate about what they did and what they believed in.
Where the whole thing started to go pear shaped (well for me anyway) is when certain individuals would not allow people their own opinions in their own beliefs (or lack there of) and started to almost force their own religious beliefs onto everyone else, belittling the beliefs of everyone else and quoting chapter and verse at every inappropriate opportunity.
Pretty soon every discussion ended up having some sort of religious debate and the own/founder of the forum stepped in and censorship was born.
Constantly members complained about what could be or couldn’t be discussed as the offending few continued their barrage of religious innuendo, until many members just quietly left, no longer wanting to be party in the foray!
Several members bravely continued to try and keep the forum going and new discussions were started only to be promptly invaded by the quoting of scripture either offered up as a solution and/or given as the cause of whatever happened. It became so that you couldn’t go anywhere on the forum without tripping up or falling over a scripture of some sort.
The founder of the forum, whilst implementing rules, failed to enforce said rules and the offending few just continued at every opportunity, climbing over every discussion and every debate, quoting scripture after scripture, chapter after chapter and verse after verse. Remember this a Business forum, where issues around business were discussed and so every discussion from ‘Crime affecting Business’ to ‘staff behaviour’ came under some sort of religious attack until finally, in disgust and frustration, I have picked my stones, that I was trying to build a community with, and I have left.
I will use my stones to build another community. One whose members will, hopefully also use their stones, to build the forum into a community with a strong foundation, good business ethics, a value of friendship, an understanding and respect of the opinions of others and their right to think differently.
A community who can share ideas, debate issues, care about one another and laugh together.
But if they don’t – remember my stones can always be gathered up, tucked back under my arm and moved to greener pastures.