Ending another day of meetings.


Sometimes it feels like my life is simply about sitting in meetings where people tell me what to do. At work, in the union, in my community organizations – the world is full of bosses who have great ideas and just need the bodies to carry them out. And since I’m not really cut out to be a boss, I mostly (not always) end up being the worker. The organizer. The person who shows up on time. The enabler of technology. Of course I can show you how to do it, but wouldn’t it be quicker for both of us if I just did it? That person.

It’s one things when that happens at work – after all, I am paid to be there – but it really rankles me in my life as a volunteer. Even though “everyone” might say they want something – very few people feel empowered to actually do it: write a grant, book a meeting room, put up some posters, call together the neighbours. A few people do – and of course those are the ones you see doing everything everwhere – but for the most part we live in a society of people who want to tell rather than do.

I wonder if that’s always been the case, or whether this sense of entitlement (someone else will take care of it) grows out of our late-capitalist consumer culture. That same culture which tells us that we have to get whatever we can for ourselves while investing very little. That same culture that prioritizes television-watching over community-building.

Or is it entitlement at all? Perhaps it’s just a timidness, a belief that our role isn’t necessary or valid. Sometimes in the union movement I feel that way, and so I take on less and less as I edge away from feeling so un-listened to. A combination probably… as I can think of instances in which I have seen people act with entitlement and others where the lack of self-belief is evident.

It feels impossible then at times, except when I realize I’m not really responsible even if others try to make me so – and I only have to take on what I really want to.

2 thoughts on “Ending another day of meetings.

  1. Timidness, I think.

    I think often people feel there is always someone else who knows better.

    And until personal authourity is asserted on humble levels – we try something new, we voice our opinion, we make a decision and stand by it – that timidity remains, because we don’t get a chance to see that we are each a part of a greater plan if we want to be 🙂

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