Sunday, November 06, 2005

Someone Else Will Do It

It's ironic to me that my last post was about my involvement with this big school board issue. I can't even begin to tell you my list of frustrations with the whole situation.

But on Friday, I learned that one of the big quilt guilds in Northern California, the Marin Quilt Guild, is disbanding because there aren't people willing to step into the officer roles and run the guild. I was surprised, and actually rather impressed, at the boldness of the undoubtedly tired and overworked former guild officers. They've run the guild for years longer than their terms required, under the group's by-laws. They've put on a large, well-attended, well-respected juried quilt show every Labor Day weekend for many years.

Perhaps some new members will step forward to carry on the work and resurrect the guild, and that panic over not having the guild that they took for granted will propel people into action. Or perhaps not...maybe the failure of members to recognize that members in a group need to share the work means that the group just isn't a big enough priority to them.

There's not only the personal parallel for me as I struggle with this school stuff. Also, in my art quilt group, it's time for me to hand over the reins of being the "coordinator" to someone else. And so far no one is willing to step up and do it. I've been worrying about it, because I need to step out of the role for a number of reasons, but what do I do if no one will step in? Now I think "maybe that means that the group isn't important enough to anyone to share the work." And perhaps recognizing that and walking away from a group that isn't willing to share the workload of making it all happen isn't a bad thing. We'll see how that goes.

This sort of event and the aftermath of shock has lessons for us all, don't you think? From the littlest quilt group to the biggest of government...If we don't pay attention and do our part, maybe it'll change into something we don't recognize or like or want at all...And maybe it'll just go away.

These are my lofty thoughts on this Sunday morning. But now it's time to put in another load of laundry.


  1. It is too bad when a good group disbands, but I can relate when our local small guild became a do-nothing group unless I did most of it. It was hard at first not to take things personally, but I realized that there is nothing that says that things have to remain the same.

    On the other hand....sometimes leaders are too strong, too competant, too controling and they don't delegate enough. Or they take the attitude that it is easier to do something oneself than to try to ask other people to pitch in. That amounts to not grooming new leaders in a step by step manner. New people, younger people need to be drawn in to the processes of an organization. Asking a person to do something means letting go of some control but it is also empowering to the person being asked.

    I hope that some of the people in this group can morph the remains of the group into something that serves their current needs.

  2. Actually, their by-laws mandated that they disband if they did not have members to fill positions. I think this is the result of a tight, long time group not reaching out to new members. The neighboring Mt. Tam guild is growning with lots of young members.

    There is an attempt to get a consortium of guilds to keep the show going. More on that later.

    I would hope that the Sisters does not disband. I'm sure that someone will emerge. I know that it is an important group to most of the members.

  3. Thank you for your insightful words. We, too, have a lot of overworked members. You know the saying "20% of the people do 80% of the work." We're lucky to have one person to fill each office each election time, but we may also reach the point where there isn't anyone to step up to the plate! Aloha!