Over the last year or so, I've been trying to become a more involved member of the citizenry. I was raised to know that giving your time and talents to others is important and good. But as I've become more involved in the environmental community, I've realized something. Organizations seem to come in one of two flavors: button-down and businessy, or patchouli-loving hippie-dippie.
It's a frustrating divide, as I've always seen myself as being a bit of both. It's also frustrating, because it leads to duplication of effort and missed opportunities for collaboration. One group seems to have the lion's share of the money, and the other group seems to have the people-power.
I'm not taking sides, or advocating for one type of activism over another. Both have their merits. My point is simply this: if these two types of environmental organizations could find more common ground, we'd all win. More would get done. ...and isn't that what everyone was after in the first place?
Admittedly, I don't have a solution here. I wish I did. The best I can say for now is that those of us who know how to walk with a foot on either side of the divide need to step it up. It may be an uphill battle to get our voices and new ideas heard within an organization, but we are duty-bound to try.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Ready? GO!