Drop Off in Numbers

BJ Peters bjpeters at amug.org
Fri Dec 17 19:06:41 PST 1999

Birgitt Bolton wrote:

> I am interested in  the new words that have entered our story of Open Space.
> The words of "passion overload". It is a concept that I can't quite grasp.
> Seems to me that as humans we have limitless capacity for passion, love,
> joy, bliss, compassion.... And that these are some of the greatest gifts of
> Spirit for us and with us. When we experience ever increasing amounts of
> passion, love, joy, bliss, compassion...I see the angels dancing in glee.
> So, I wonder if we have accepted just a little too easily this concept that
> "passion overload" is why a drop off in numbers occurs. I think there are
> many and varied reasons, not least of which is that when adults are free to
> behave as adults, they go into freedom shock and face the fullness of being
> accountable for their learning, behaviours, experiences... and somewhere in
> the Open Space experience they get that this is so and that there are no
> "they" to blame, no victims. I have read much  about humans getting locked
> into victim and/or dependent mentality and they have been conditioned to
> this by many of our school systems and much of our corporate world.
> Seems like the Open Space experience blows the doors off of this one, and
> that the good news is that Open Space works and the bad news is that Open
> Space works. And that life will never be exactly the same after people in
> Open Space have demonstrated to others their inner greatness.
> For me, I don't believe we have "passion overload". It would be a lesser
> world if this was really possible.
> Birgitt

Birgitt-- I almost always resonate with your beautiful and "heartful"
contributions to this list, and today is no exception: I totally agree with
your musings above... There are probably many other explanations for why people
don't stay for closings of open space events. Asking people why they chose not
to come feels like making them accountable to the "asker" for their actions - a
contradiction of the law of two feet. When I really am in that place of
trusting the people, the process and myself, I will respect people for doing
what they wish and know that what they do is about and for them, not a
statement about me or the process. If they have a concern about the process or
me and don't voice it, it's still about them. It's when I am out of trust about
myself and/or the process that I feel the strong urge to ask people their
reasons for not doing what I expect or hope they will do. And that's definitely
about me...

Thanks for stimulating my sense of this. In harmony --BJ

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