Sitting in a membership meeting of a small arts nonprofit years ago, I couldn’t help but chime in with suggestions and ideas. My friend elbowed me and whispered, “Pipe down, or all your ideas will turn into projects, and you will be expected to spearhead them all.” After initial feelings of panic subsided, I saw the wisdom in how many organizations run on volunteer help. Because even though tiny nonprofits have official, elected leaders, most active members will find themselves at one point or another leading something or some others, even if they don’t have a title. If you have an idea, and you want to see it become reality, you must be ready to take charge and make it happen.
Now, participating in various community organizing meetings, I see the same level of ownership. It is so cool! So energizing. And I find myself less than patient with those in the room who criticize what others are doing, offer an alternative idea, and then ask what everyone else plans to do about it.
I haven’t been able to identify the source of this quote or sentiment (it’s attributed to multiple people, and sometimes not attributed at all), but current movements may feel leaderless, when in fact, they are leader-full. Leaderlessness was one criticism leveled against the Occupy movement, which is first an issue of limited understanding of the movement. To someone who did not experience or otherwise learn about it beyond surface level newspaper coverage, it would seem that the movement was destined to fall apart and “achieve nothing” without a leader. But it didn’t, at least in part because those involved in the movement tried to accommodate as much self-leadership as possible.
The same spirit of leader-full movements can carry us through the coming years. We need enough citizen leaders. I hope you are all on board.
Tiny Rebel Daily feels like it’s coming to a close. We are all involved in our own individual efforts and projects in this movement, and that’s where the work will get done. I’ll recalibrate the blog content and start adding back sewing posts, book reviews, and the usual hijinks and shenanigans. The movement will always be there. And I’ll always be here for you. Thanks for reading along, accepting my challenges, and doing the work. I’ll return you to more of your normal programming…. xo