HEALTHY COMMUNITIES THRIVE UNDER LEADERSHIP THAT LEAVES NO ONE BEHIND

TAG
The Neighborhood Anthology
on Leadership & Authority ed. VIII

⊕⊕⊕

INTO THE WILD by LP

⊕⊕⊕

Robert M. Goldstein
HEALTHY COMMUNITIES THRIVE
UNDER LEADERSHIP THAT LEAVES NO ONE BEHIND
by Robert M. Goldstein 

I found the Neighborhood via CELONA’S BLOG. I was impressed by the idea of blog as reality Show, and followed it. I watched the show unfold and saw a sight I’d never seen before in my experience on the internet. I saw collaboration, passion, real diversity; not a Rainbow of already entitled people of every color, nationality and sexual preference. But a genuine mix of people who in today’s version of the United States often view each other with suspicion.

Country Music and Hip-Hop. I didn’t understand what made the Neighborhood work. Then I saw a post by Kendall. I don’t recall the details of Kendall’s post but I know that I disagreed with one of his assertions and wrote a reply.

As an adult survivor of sexual abuse, I say this from experience: Before one can stop being a victim, one must accept, that one was a victim. What you are describing is the “false victim’… it is a mask designed {to hide} the real pain, that for many survivors is so overwhelming, that it often feels like dying. – Robert M Goldstein, in response to Dreams & Nightmares: Changing of the Guard

Kendall’s response was to read my blog, to find out who I am. Then he did something even more unusual. He sought me out on Flickr and asked me to contribute some art for a piece he was writing. He had decided to present Dissociative Identity Disorder to the Neighborhood. I was concerned about how Kendall might write about DID…but I enjoyed processing pictures for the project. When I read his essay I was moved to tears.Rob Goldstein

Kendall knew nothing about DID prior to his reading of my blog. He researched what he needed to know and wrote one of the most compassionate and honest descriptions of DID I’ve ever read. This was not a clinical analysis. This was a man describing how it felt to interact with someone who has a scary and confusing illness. An illness that provokes disbelief.

“I had only lived in Robert M Goldstein’s world for less than 24 hours, but that was all it took, before I had become a nervous wreck. Trying to understand a mental illness, that divides the mind into its own society, giving rise to new personalities, as alternates to self, completely real inside the head, but all named Bob to the outside world. Reliving Bob’s past with an abusive and narcissistic mother, trying to determine one alternative from the other, not even knowing if Robert M Goldstein was a man or woman, and during our back and forth written. communication, wondering which one it was… became nearly too much.”  – Kendall Person, July 26, 2015, Complexity of Mental Health: An Artists Collaboration with Robert M Goldstein & the Alternate (Personalities)

The writing of that paragraph illustrates Authority and Leadership. Kendall introduced his community to the most extreme psychological aftermath of child abuse and he felt free to let them know that it is OK to be confused, a nervous wreck and to think of it as all too much. What he did not do or say was that it was OK to opt out on me as a person, or on the commitment that he made. He stayed with it and he completed the essay. And in doing so he won the kind of trust that I almost never give to anyone.

Malcolm X paintingThis is how a leader shapes a community. By earning trust. One person at a time. After I read Kendall’s essay on DID I understood that everything I saw in the neighborhood is reflection of the spirit of the man who leads it. If the people stay with the challenge it is because he does, and this gives them permission to succeed, and more important, to fail without shame.

But the most important and unusual aspect of the neighborhood, from my experience of the online world, is that the “games” have rules and those rules are based on communitarian principles of honesty, collaboration and fair play. No filing false IP complaints or launching smear campaigns as a strategy for winning. It is the content that counts, not its popularity.

Kendall wants a contribution to his vision.

And everyone has something to offer; that includes a man whose mind functions as separate parts. After the essay on DID I thought that I would not hear from Kendall again, but I was wrong. He launched a day of peace and asked me to contribute some art. I was so impressed that I made a pictorial essay on my blog for it. Now I was interested in the Neighborhood as a place to call home.

We are not simply entitled to be where we please, when we please. Civilized people present themselves to a community; civilized people earn the trust of other people by demonstrating that they are worthy of that trust. Civilized people do not bind themselves to each other in hate. Civilized people treat themselves and each other with compassion and understand that life is precious and fragile. They understand that our children are precious and fragile.surviving mental illness

A leader carries the authority to act on behalf of the people who choose him to lead. A leader is a reflection of those who choose him. He carries the authority of their respect and he becomes an authority on who his people are. A good leader has vision and takes a stand. He accepts and weathers adversity. He is consistent. He is ready to protect his vision and his community from those who oppose it. He treats everyone with respect, even his enemies. He is humble and human enough to understand when he is wrong. But more than anything else, a good leader inspires the best from those he leads.

In a healthy community everyone prospers, no one is left behind and the leadership does not need scapegoats. The strength of the community is the power of each individual’s commitment to it. A good leader understands this and is led by those he leads. I chose the Neighborhood and Kendall as the focus for this essay because the Neighborhood shows us that social media is a tool that we can use to heal a broken world.

It also shows us that good leadership transcends time and space, and serve as a hand up to a soul in isolation.

 


TAG: an online game played and published SEP 2015

14 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Watch and Whirl and commented:
    Two bloggers I have much respect for connected with each other. There is a wide variety of bloggers, each with a different thing to say and each has their own group of followers. We might not all agree with what the write or what they believe in but that is the beauty of free speech that we need to hold on to at all costs. No one has the right to tell anyone else their opinion doesn’t have value as long as that opinion is not causing harm to others.

    When we hurt someone else and feel no need to apologize then we have no right to demand an apology if we feel we’ve slandered.

    This post is worth reading more than once and sharing it with others. I hope you course to do that and also spend time exploring both blogs for there is much to learn in both corners of the blogosphere.

  2. A beautiful essay. I had a slight cringe when I read the part about “…strategy for winning.” It seems to me part of the whole basis for real trust is that there is, ultimately, no individual winning (except maybe at recreational games). It’s all about us, we stand, we win or we lose. When individual ambition enters in and there are “winners” and “losers”, trust is on it’s way out the window.

    • Hello Ken Dunning – Hello Hope all is well. Late notice, I know (my apologies). Making a sincere effort toward positive communication after such a divisive election, but need to include a very important demographic. Any chance I could have your participation in COMMON GROUND?
      As always, no worries if you are unable to,but we would sure like to have you. All online, mostly Facebook and not much more than your honest answers Time is of the essence, however. – KP http://wp.me/p33yiN-9xQ

    • Hello Ken Dunning – Hello Hope all is well. Late notice, I know (my apologies). Making a sincere effort toward positive communication after such a divisive election, but need to include a very important demographic. Any chance I could have your participation in COMMON GROUND?
      As always, no worries if you are unable to,but we would sure like to have you. All online, mostly Facebook and not much more than your honest answers Time is of the essence, however. – KP http://wp.me/p33yiN-9xQ

    • Hello Ken Dunning – Hello Hope all is well. Late notice, I know (my apologies). Making a sincere effort toward positive communication after such a divisive election, but need to include a very important demographic. Any chance I could have your participation in COMMON GROUND?
      As always, no worries if you are unable to,but we would sure like to have you. All online, mostly Facebook and not much more than your honest answers Time is of the essence, however. – KP http://wp.me/p33yiN-9xQ

  3. Yea! and thanks to Robert as well. I know we go back and forth following one another and was unaware of his DID. I like your sane voice in an insane world Kendall and thanks to you both!

Add your voice

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s