I wanted to call this thread "Cancer", but I didn't want to scare anyone into worrying that someone here had it. It's not someone, it's something. It's our board. Cancer is a dangerous growth that starts small, it sucks up all the good, multiplying the bad, killing off good cells, and harming the entire body. Our board has it.
Sometimes I think the board is just slow because of Facebook, or some other excuse. But, I don't think that's the case. We've reached out to members of this board who are active online, and they won't post here anymore. Most don't want to explain why they've left, and they don't have to. They don't owe us anything. But, you can't fix a problem if you don't know what the problem is.
When I came back, I wanted to perform a biopsy of the board... dig around and find out what had happened since I left that had weakened the body so badly, allowing it to be super sensitive to injury and at risk of death. And I found a few answers. There's some anger here... there's hurt feelings. There's contempt, dislike, and lack of interest. But I've also found it's not due to one bad apple, or a few bad seeds. This person is mad at that person, and that person is mad at another person. This person blames that person, or whatever.
We've had amputations where the cancer had spread too badly to heal... members who left and deleted their profile to make a statement of their displeasure that would be left like an ugly scar for the rest of time to remind everyone of the amputation.
I urge anyone here who has issues with any other member to privately PM him or her to work on getting past their issues. If not for the well-being of the entire board, but so that you and that member can enjoy it here again. Enjoy participating in our activities. Find the happiness that we used to share here again. Be a family again. You don't have to love everyone, but there's no room for hate here. This is no place for avoidance. This is a place to commune, share and have fun. And we need to bring that back.
I don't care if this thread has no responses, but I do want everyone here to think about what is said here. If you're at odds with someone here that you used to care about, or were friendly with, then open the lines of communication to try to heal those old wounds.
Members who have left are welcomed back. We can look at restoring profiles, if it's an option. Not to sound condescending, and I truly don't want to... we all need to act like adults now if we're going to heal this body. We need to eat and drink healthy, get exercise and take our vitamins... or in our case, we need to forgive, apologize, and be willing to accept responsibility for any part we may have played in it. We can't keep destroying the body by talking badly about others, forming unions against others, etc.
I write this out of love, not anger. More than anything I'm sad that this has happened. There's not one person here who I dislike. There are people I've fought with, there are people who annoy me from time to time. If you're one of them, you probably know that. And that's okay... I'm sure I annoy people from time to time too. But I hope no one outright dislikes me or avoids me. Ask yourself if you're someone who is disliked by anyone here, and if you honestly can work to heal that. If there's someone who has harmed or upset you in the past, please reach out to that person. I can tell you just from my experiences of talking with people here that we're a good group of people. But, we're REAL people. We have flaws. We can't be perfect, and we can't be held to a standard of needing to be.
If one of your co-workers has a bad day, they may snap at you, and someone will come along and say "It's his son, he's been really sick so he's on edge." You'd understand. You might even go up and say "Hey, are you okay? You want to go to lunch and talk about things?" Here, we have someone say something, and the other person writes someone else "so and so is a total jerk", and then it goes on and on for years.
I'm just asking you to open up and look inside, and if this applies to you, try to fix it. I'd like to see this board be a more vibrant community again. We may be a small number, but we've never been large. We've always only had a core of 12-20 members... that hasn't changed. We'll never be a big board. But, we also used to be a lot more special than this.
Think about it. And thanks for taking the time to consider all of this and how you can help fix things again.