A few ideas and thoughts.
By: Silverdsdn Feb 27, 2016
Post # 1
Hello everyone, I wanted to talk about some things involving new members in seek of help, some thoughts I have, and people who claim to be some fluffy thing from Fantasy. No personal attacks towards anyone are intended.
We get new people everyday, all of asking for help in some way, but all we do is tell them about our Basics post and that "You should read it and learn it by yourself." I myself have done this and it always makes me feel bad. Many of these newcomers are young and curious. They just want someone to be there to get them started, they ask questions in the forums and either don't get answers or are just moved to a different forum topic. I imagine that this hurts them, and makes them feel ignored or unimportant. Isn't that a tad harsh? Just having someone tell you where to go read something and be done with it. They are people as well, who just want some answers. It's sorta like those insurance commercials that address how people don't get quality service.
In terms of this, I was thinking perhaps we could do a bit more. For example, we can ask them what they want to learn, briefly explain it while making sure they understand, and then send them to the source material. That way we can know that we have done more than just being like monotonous tour guides. Sure it gets annoying having people ask the same questions repeatedly, but we all were probably like that at some point.
One thing I see a lot is people challenging other people's knowledge on a subject of faith. (Some popular topics are religion, gods, spirits/Demons, and mythology) There an infinite number of faiths in this world, some big and many small. When we say people should learn something by themselves, they tend to develop their own ideas on these things that can be taken in part from a source, or self formulated. When two people who study the same topic but have different interpretations collide it tends to start arguments. Both could be right or wrong but they still argue because they believe that their information is absolute. Fixing that can be both hard and simple because as someone said (We are primates, and primates need to change things), not an exact quote. I would suggest maybe allowing them to form new Covens or changing old ones so that they can have a way to speak privately in their own chat rooms/forums. This will allow people who study the same topic to share their knowledge and prevent public arguments.
The last thing I'll mention for now is the people who make fluffy claims. (Otherkin, Vampires etc) This is something that may never change for obvious reasons. I think the "Your human and will always be human." quote has been used hundreds of times, and while it is very straightforward, it somehow doesn't work for everyone. It doesn't need changing, but maybe people who make these claims should just be ignored. Making a comment feeds them, gives them attention which motivates them to do it again.
That's all I have to say for now. Big thanks to all who read this.
Re: A few ideas and thoughts.
By: Bazir Feb 27, 2016
Post # 2
You know I somewhat agree with you points however, I have to say this is not a formal organization nor is it technically an educational platform either. This website, while many of us share and discuss information, is supposed to be used for entertainment purposes. I agree that those of us with some degree of knowledge in various subjects should step up to the plate to actively engage newcomers and help guide them. I think it is our responsibility to do so because we sit here constantly complaining about all the ignorance and so-called fluff but yet we do not strive to correct this by really helping those that want to learn. There are some members who will be kind and compassionate enough to do this but not many. However, no one here is also obligated to instruct or guide other people, as most of the people here are not spiritual or religious leaders or preachers. It is each persons choice to decide if they want to invest their time in helping out new members.
The reputation system has somewhat been helpful in helping new members seek out appropriate help, however, the reputation system has at times been inappropriately abused and therefore is not always a definitive way to judge peoples knowledge or ability; and this can lead to confusion. When sending newcomers to go read a post, article, website this is not harsh or mean; rather this is someone taking their time to point out a valuable resource. It is not as if we know each person, their background, their specific interests, their beliefs and therefore we have no standard pointing out the best steps to finding their answers. Instead those of us who decide to help keeping in mind we are each different in our backgrounds and beliefs choose to answer or help someone based on our own knowledge and experiences.
Part of the problems that arise on a site like this stems from the fact that it is not dedicated to solely and specifically one subject. Here we discuss and share about a broad range of subjects and therefore the information that is shared and discussed will vary considerably from person to person, similarities may be present but it is not as if we are all say members and congregants of a right wing evangelical Pentecostal church who all do share the same religious and spiritual beliefs. The fact that members here believe in a multitude of different spiritual and religious traditions make it difficult to organize an effort to be more efficient and progressive in helping and guiding new members.
Take also into consideration that many members who have helped new members get burnt out or exhausted answering the same questions over and over again especially without the evidence or support to show that their efforts have made any difference. Many people come here and ask questions but then are unwilling to listen to the advice or guidance offered them, which they have every right to do, but then want to come back later asking the very same questions knowing the answers but not accepting them. If new members or less informed members come back repeatedly trying to become a vampire, mermaid, werewolf etc. regardless of the times they have been informed or advised that it is not possible it becomes quite frustrating and aggravating for those who have wasted their time and effort on deaf ears.
There is a lot of bickering and war horsing about who knows more than whom and who is more intelligent etc. etc. This problem will most likely exist here and elsewhere and continue. It is understandable that as human beings, we have egos and we have the need to feel special, important, and successful; of course, most people want to feel popular and well liked. While all of us have tried to present the best of ourselves we often tend to step on other people in the process unintentionally or not and yes this may be hurtful and disrespectful but it is not until that person can be confident in themselves, their beliefs, and their abilities that they will not have the need to challenge others nor compete. That journey whether appropriate for each person will vary but it is also not everyones journey and some people may just be rude and presumptuous but we should not take that to heart.
As far as opening new covens and the like, that is Pet's decision, and while I personally would like to see the formation and expansion of new and old groups that may never happen. I suggest the best advice on the core of this matter is to just be the best person you can; not perfect. However, strive to do yourself good then worry about doing good for others. Don't judge people for their ignorance, their background, their experiences, or their beliefs but rather be compassionate and kind towards others and only consider how they treat themselves, others, and you.
Re: A few ideas and thoughts.
By: Silverdsdn Feb 28, 2016
Post # 3
Very well said Bazir. While I shall partially disagree on this being an entertainment site, it might have been formed that way, but as knowledgeable members joined it evolved; it has seen lots of change. Thank you for commenting.