TUDiabetes Mission and Beliefs
In the last couple of weeks I was in chat and an individual came in who was expressing a political view point that was different than mine. My immediate reaction was to attack but I saw he was a relatively new member, so I advised that we have two off limits topics in chat: religion and politics.
Now to be fair I am a fairly political person, I tend to hold a set of beliefs’ that makes me not always a group favorite. The difference between me and others is that I am willing to say them out loud and defend my position with a forceful approach. In short I tend to never back down from a fight in order to defend or advance my position. I understand my positions are not always popular but that has not and never will be something I worry much about. The person who came into chat had the same personality but a different and equally as valid position so you can tell a fight was brewing.
Now knowing this about myself, I asked on one of the administrators to intervene. The administrator did intervene and after a rather ugly exchange the individual asked to be removed from the group, which was promptly done.
Again let me state we have two hard and fast rules in chat, no politics and no religion. It is usually not a big issue but occasionally it has to be brought up. I am appreciative of that rule and try to honor it as best I can and yes occasionally someone reminds me and others of the rule. The reason for the rule is clear we are a community which is dedicated to helping diabetics, not political parties or religious groups.
So this brings me to the essence of what I believe makes our community different and one of the main values we must protect in order to keep our organization strong. You see we are a big tent, we offer membership without cost to anyone interested in our mission of supporting diabetics and diabetic causes. We of course want a cure, (but we are not organized around “finding a cure”), instead we are organized with the mission of support, for diabetics and their families.
In short our mission is bigger than finding a cure and even if one were found today our mission would continue for years to come. I question if the ADA and others will have the same life span? Several groups are invested almost exclusively on “finding a cure” and are missing (in my opinion) the real issue, the person who has the illness.
I bet you can remember when you were first diagnosed and you had dozens of questions and really no one to turn too. I know after diagnosis I certainly had questions but really no one to really go to without saying first hey I am not very bright. Despite not being very bright (separate issue) I still deserved a place to ask questions and get up to date answers. The same applies to families and care givers. This is the place where TUDiabetes excels. In fact if anything it is our niche and we have to support that mission.
So at TUDiabetes we have to continually answer the question: what is our mission, how do we best serve diabetics and their families, and how do we respond to new challenges? Yes we have a basic mission, yes one of the rules of membership is that politics and religion are not allowed to be discussed in chat, in the future we will likely need to hone our mission but our basic belief cannot change. We are here to support diabetics and their families. We are here to help diabetics to not live in silent isolation.
I am proud of our mission, and despite my political views, I am glad I do not need to express them in order to be accepted. There is no acid test to join. But there are rules for belonging. In the future those rules will no doubt change and evolve. As we evolve as an organization that is to be expected. My belief is that we must first protect our basic mission. I believe we will, and yes I do not believe politics and religion (mine or yours) should corrupt the basic mission.
Oh and as a final thing I want to say thank you to the administrative team member who stepped up and took the heat last week and protected our mission. It was not easy to do or watch and I am glad they did our community is too important to allow one person new or old to subvert our purpose. I hope when you see this occur (we all do from time to time) you also thank the administrative team member who protects our community. Thanks Gary!!!!!