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Mutual Aid

Started by droqen, August 05, 2022, 03:02:28 PM

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Quote from: p115-116What Individuals Experiencing
Overwork and Burnout Need

[..] we must take a gentle approach to ourselves, avoid judgement[..] and patiently and humbly experiment with new ways of being.

The compulsive worker, over-worker, or control freak might come to understand their needs in the following ways:

  • I need trusted friends who I can talk to about what is going on, who I can ask for honest feedback about my behaviour, and who can help support me and soothe me when I feel afraid of doing something in a new way. [..] even though someone else [might] do this task differently, it is better to let them do it so they can build their own skills[..] These friends can help give me love to the wounds underneath my compulsive, competitive, or controlling behaviour, reminding me that my value does not hang on what the group does, how much work I do, or what other people think of me.
  • When I get feedback from friends or collaborators about concerns they have, I need to resist the impulse to defend myself or critique the way they delivered the message. [..] no matter how it is delivered, this feedback is an investment in me and in our work, and an act of love. [..]
  • If I hate everyone I'm working with or feel like I am going to die or like I have to stay up all night working, this is probably about something older and deeper in my life, not about the current work/workplace/group/coworker. If my heart is racing, if I feel threatened, if I feel like I can't get out of bed, if I feel like I can't speak to my coworker or I'll explode, I am probably experiencing pain deeply rooted in my life history. To get out of this reactive space, I need to devote resources to uncovering the roots of my painful reactions and building ways of being in those feelings that don't involve acting out harm to myself or others (including the harm of overworking). [..]

Okay there are more points than just these three but I think they just have to be read. These points in particular gave me some very strong feels.


Quote from: p118Conflict

There is so much in this book. I think I need to stop note-taking so that I can actually read it all with intentionality. This note-taking habit I have is useful when it supports my habit of skimming -- I love skimming books that are light on content, but these pages of Mutual Aid are dense with content that I am desperate to truly absorb.


Quote from: droqen on August 05, 2022, 03:23:25 PMRight now, I should record that my thinking is along these lines: the systems which Spade claims mutual aid combats, the systems which create the need for mutual aid began, themselves, as mutual aid of a sort: social systems get put into place to meet people's needs, from an awareness that existing systems are not meeting them and are not going to meet them. But to place the blame for these problems on those faulty systems is folly.

Looking back on my thought record from earlier I happened upon a good example in the book of a system that I agree is causing harm. It comes from a place of alienation:

Quote from: p58the systems that are supposed to guarantee safety--the cops, prosecutors, and courts--fail to do so and actually make things worse. These mutual aid projects work to build a new world, where people create safety through community building and support each other to stop harmful behaviour through connection rather than through caging.


I'm reading Mutual Aid again for how to organize meetings at Messhof. Figure I might as well write my thoughts here.


Oh no I keep editing my thoughts. Well, just let it be known that I re-read all my notes here, and skimmed Chapter 5 a bunch. Good stuff!

~ The Nature of Order // Book Two // MASSIVE PROCESS DIFFICULTIES, on expertise