"Mandatory" Open Space, Power & Control

Fr Brian S Bainbridge briansb at mira.net
Fri Sep 11 09:39:17 PDT 1998

Dear Chris,
Your e-mail to various bodies of September 8 seems to resonate
quite immensely with the way I see that whole issue of "mandatory" and
If I were a politician, I am sure I would want to argue about specific
But as a priest/open space facilitator, I reckon your comments are just
the way I see most programs.  I have had times where there has been
mandatory attendance, and it has been a challenge to win them to being
involved and contributory - and it hasn't always worked perfectly, but it
has worked a great deal.
I have had voluntary groups where their commitment, even though it was
free, was really quite superficial, and it is a great deal harder to win
their hearts than in the mandatory territory, I reckon.
In one sense, if we - as facilitators - really live (versus just
"preach") the Open Space rules, then the "whoever comes....." rule makes
a lot of sense.  When one comes from a culture where "control" is a
quality that is highly revered and even worshipped and paid highly for,
then to actually live or respect this rule is very hard to do, perhaps.
That doesn't denigrate the value of the rule - it just says we have still
some learning to do in our world, as it happens - thank God.
Just some thoughts, Chris.  And I hope you are well and thriving and will
be at Monterey Bay.
Cheers and blessings.    BRIAN.

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