Civility is Community

Posted on Wed, 04/12/2017 - 11:12

For a moment, may some of the hurt and fearful in the Drupal community take a moment to pause and reflect. Take a deep breath and slow down from the continuous retweeting, reddit posts, or the most recent Drupal Confessions. (By the way, does anyone else think "Drupal Confessions" sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit or a bad emo song?)


Let me begin by reminding you that some of the strongest voices are the farthest from those potentially marginalized by the Crell situation. These loud voices are drowning out the voices of those they claim to also stand up for. It's like a bad train wreck you can't look away from. People are completely losing their cool and most of us are watching with popcorn and a coke. It is fine to want to engage in conversation or to share your thoughts. It's another to be so vocal, so critical, and so closed minded that you can't thoughtfully participate.


The loud voices are demanding change. Why? They perceive injustice. This is an ideological stance based on the perceived threat of freedom or inequality. Sadly, they represent one perspective. One side of the coin questions an open-ended right to believe and practice whatever you wish. The other side of the coin is that of the marginalized, their safety and the avoidance of any perceived threat to their inclusion in the community. I have some news for you: YOU ARE BOTH RIGHT. We need to better understand how to address conflict when it arises (as we have seen here).


Your voice is a reflection of your reality. Have you paused to understand the deeper manifestation of why you are so wound up about this? Are you reacting emotionally and too frequently "caught up" in this drama? Are you taking this personally? Are you struggling to separate the specifics of the Crell situation from your own reality? Do you think your livelihood is threatened? Are you triggered from something in your past? Are you quick to associate this situation with past situations or hypothetical situations that are not occurring? The key word in those questions is YOU. For some in the community, I'm starting to worry about YOU. Your obsession with this situation, the tone of your voice, and your subsequent actions are doing more harm than good to your reputation and that of our community. This is guised with your desire to "make the community better." I'm starting to wonder if YOU need to rethink your strategy.


Michael Caine's character in The Dark Knight summarized these loud voices:

“...some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”


Be a part of the solution, not just the person persistently whining about it. Use your words cautiously. They spread your own fears and doubts (rational or not). Once the dust settles, you may be the one on the outside looking into a community focused on constructively moving forward. Your reputation will speak for itself.


We must work constructively to make sure we are open to both inclusivity and diversity (belief systems, gender, race, sex, age, musical preference, favorite sport team, whatever). Put down your pitchforks and dig your heels in to enact change. And yes, this is hard. And yes, there are times when there will be conflict that we need to work through. While the loud voices are crying atrocities, many are already engaging in thoughtful discussion and working with the community to enact change. Dries himself seems very open to this because it's in the best interest of the broader community.


Do we need some governance changes? Absolutely! Such things need to change with time. But, if you really care about the community, get off your soapbox and stop distracting people from the meaningful work that needs to happen for us to become better. You have as much to contribute to this as the so-called "benevolent dictator" you seek to place your blame. 

drupal people