Our membership here at D.C. is large, but many are quiet. I would like to pose the question to our quiet members: what would it take for you to feel like you would be willing to contribute your thoughts?
We need your input, different ideas than the same verbal group of us who always talk, or perhaps just an affirmation that you are also of the same belief. We need fresh faces and fresh ideas, but also some consensus about things we believe in common.
We talk about being a big supportive family and for the most part we are an open and encouraging group of friends. Families do have disagreements and, if they are functional families, they sort out their differences and make up. We can do the same. For those of you who come from families that don't handle differences in this positive manner, this may be a threatening image to you.
I think we need to be free to speak openly, but respectfully. We don't live another's life or walk in their moccasins. There is much we do not know about each other. Because of this I believe we need to avoid judgements and hold out possibilities to each other for consideration. It is not as confrontive, but it is much more supportive. Truth can be conveyed gently, and gently conveyed truth is much easier for hurting people to hear.
I believe we need to always encourage each other. Diabetes comes with a multitude of complications including depression. It's easy to disagree with someone and then judge them: for example, it's easy to say "that's silly, judgemental, stupid (whatever)" when it's more effective and encouraging to say something like "I'm glad to see you are thinking about that … have you considered this alternative?"
People come here to learn and to get better. People who are discouraged and dis-empowered by themselves or others do not heal. Healing is what we want for ourselves, so shouldn't we also be contributing to other's sense of well-being.
Online safety has been a concern for many of us in recent weeks. This has taken many forms: being verbally harassed by someone who stalked through our online posts and made obsessive & inappropriate comments on one extreme to making too strongly worded comments that are hurtful instead of helpful. In some way or another we all have been hurt. Our hurts can be a point of joining with someone, not of divisiveness.
Unfortunately, Alliance chose to call our new system of friending people one of followers and following. In view of the previously mentioned situation where a member stalked others online, that hit a really sore spot with many of us. They are working on some options and that is NOT what this discussion is about. There are already 4 ongoing discussions that cover that territory, so let's NOT include that topic in this one.
Of course, all of us who talk all the time are encouraged to contribute here. The site needs your input, but if we know any of the quieter members, let's encourage them to voice an opinion. It would be wonderful to know more about them and why they are here, so they can become a more integrated and contributing part of the site.
WE NEED EVERYONE'S VOICE TO BE HEARD. LET'S ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER IN OUR HEALING PROCESS. DIABESTES IS THE ENEMY, NOT EACH OTHER.
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