Comment to a friend the other day:
“Anger has it’s place for healing but isn’t really productive when it comes to positive change”.
Another friends comment to me yesterday:
“I think anger has it’s place for change too. I mean you really want someone with a fighting archetype on the front lines of your cause.”
It really made me reevaluate my perspective. I came to the conclusion (subject to change) that anger fuels action. Action is obviously a necessary component to fuel change so maybe anger isn’t counterproductive after all.
My take on how to effectively create the reality of open records has been one of mediation and it’s no secret that this is not at all a popular choice with many of my fellow open records advocates.
Where did I come up with my perspective? Why do I even bother engaging in conversation with those who oppose open records instead of fighting for my rights and just telling them to piss off (WHICH by the way I HAVE done, I just try not to)? Well take MLK or Mother Theresa for example. They both had a powerful impact on society and implemented HUGE change. It is important to note that neither would take part in anything that remotely suggested anger, violence, war etc… In other words they would take part in a march for peace but would not take part in a protest against violence. Make sense? Semantics? Maybe. OR is it simple physics? When you push against something you experience resistance. God knows we experience enough resistance when it comes to open records without creating more.
Anyway, this has been my problem with the concept of “fighting” for open records. Am I pissed off that they are sealed? Absolutely! Does it drive me batty trying to come up with a fair amount of patience when talking peaceably with self-righteous closed records supporters who seem to be around every corner? Absolutely! But it has been my experience that the chances of helping someone see the light are far greater when I don’t piss them off. Piss them off and they stop listening.
That being said I must also convey that due to my friends comment I have changed my perspective to a certain degree because I can’t honestly say I am not incredibly glad to have “angry archetypes” on the front lines fighting for my rights. I think in many cases they have been extremely successful. In all fairness though to the “mediator archetype” I can say that too has seen it’s share of successes.
Maybe at the end of the day there is room for both types? Maybe what truly supports our success is mutual respect for the idea that both are needed. Both have their place. When one is ineffective the other steps in, creating an environment of teamwork. Because after all we ARE on the same team. We shouldn’t forget that.
Oh, and totally unrelated to this post: Regarding the open records parable I wrote (below). I thought it was endearing AND hilarious that you guys thought my car was actually stolen! LOL I love you all.