There is a conversation which Acorn has about membership that Oakers basically don’t ever have. It is the spaceship versus lifeboat conversation.
Lifeboat proponents say that industrial capitalism is destroying the planet and chances for survival are slim. And that Acorn represents a lifeboat for people who are trying to escape this disaster. Correspondingly, your humanitarian nature drives you to try to get as many people into the lifeboat as possible and you don’t judge your fellow survivor based on their abilities or merits, instead you welcome them and try to integrate them the best you can.
The spaceship crowd (which i am a long believer of) says we are looking for the best people to take on this mission we are going on. In fact the success of the mission is dependent in large part on us selecting people who have the complex mix of skills and gifts we need to make this journey work well. Some of them are organizers, some of them are inspiring artists and performers, some of them garden and fix things, still others manage computers, cook and take care of and teach kids.
When i was going through my Acorn clearnesses, one member said to me “i like you okay, but i think anyone who wants to should be able to live here, regardless of my opinion of them.” This is a classic lifeboat position. At Twin Oaks, we are not having this discussion. We are spaceship believers and we select people largely based on their sociability, their work ethic and their skills.
When i was talking with GPaul about this division i posited that “In this debate the spaceship crowd wins, right? Because any single member can block someone new from joining, so if the lifeboat clan wants everyone, the spaceship faction simply rejects prospective members they don’t want and they get their way.”
GPaul was quick to correct me; it is not so simple. You cannot just run over the will of a group in the community regularly and there are people who the “lifeboaters” get excited about when they are in their visitor periods who they really are excited about having as members, even if they don’t want to be blocking others out.
[Edited by Judy Youngquest]