Scoby Society Membership Guidelines
Adapted from the CHANGES program, a community building workshop based on M. Scott Peck’s model for authentic community articulated in The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace.
The purpose of Scoby Society is to support our members in building authentic, healthy relationships online. Through our app, academy, studio, blog and other communications systems we invite people to relate to themselves and others in new and inspiring ways, leaving behind old patterns that no longer serve them.
We believe deep, trusting, and meaningful conversations can transform the quality of a person’s life and significantly enhance our chances of living lives that are full of kindness, generosity, love, and adventure.
Scoby Society was born out of the world as it is today. Many more connections and communications happen online than in-person, and we have the opportunity to form deeper connections across geographic, cultural, racial, gender, generational, and socio-economic divides.
The challenge is that some forms of communications, including text messages, social media posts, tweets, images, videos, and livestreams, are reducing our capacity for empathy on a massive scale. Science shows that the neurological keys to feeling empathy are missing when people communicate without seeing each other in real-time. Communication without meaningful conversation or emotional connection can lead to detachment, dehumanization, and emotional indifference.
But face-to-face conversation in itself isn’t enough. Just because we are able to speak does not mean we can connect. Conversation is an art, and conversations that heal, encourage, enlighten, surprise, and delight require skill.
In order to build authentic and healthy relationships online, Scoby Society members will train each other our ourselves through conversation in the art of heartfelt, meaningful dialogue. This means we will develop our capacity to:
- Communicate with authenticity
- Deal with difficult issues
- Welcome and affirm diversity
- Bridge differences with integrity
- Relate with love, gratitude and respect
- Tolerate ambiguity
- Remain open to other perspectives
- Support each other in our journeys
We acknowledge that open and honest public conversation is unfamiliar. There are many cultural and technical barriers to achieving large-scale authentic dialogue. Much of our online world as well as our society as a whole demands pretense, artifice, and submission to a dominant worldview.
We invite you to join us on a journey into the unknown, which can be filled with frustration, tension, and even despair, along with the joys of discovery, relatedness and freedom. In our work to serve and support others, we remember our reliance upon something that is bigger than ourselves.
What we know and what we don’t know
Here is what we can tell you about authentic conversation:
- Hosts are guides only.
- Achieving profound connection follows a pattern that can be learned and facilitated.
- At times, silence and breath can be more powerful than words.
- Every conversation is an adventure into the unknown.
- Your contribution will be very powerful if you listen for when you are moved to speak.
- You will gain the most, and contribute the most, if you experiment, discover, and learn.
- Sometimes the one sharing is the last to feel the breakthrough.
Here is what we cannot tell you about authentic conversation:
- How to do it.
- About the unknown.
- The specific experience of the host, guests, and viewers.
- The mystery about how it works.
- Use your name before you speak.
- Speak personally and specifically, using I statements
- Be inclusive -- avoid exclusivity
- Express displeasure within a conversation, not outside.
- Commit to remain engaged and not withdraw if a conversation becomes emotionally challenging
- Share when moved to share; listen if not moved
- Accept responsibility for yourself, your words, your actions, and your outcomes
- Remain emotionally present in conversations.
- This is a public forum, so only share what you believe to be true and what you would want the world to know.
- Avoid fixing, healing, or converting.
Most important -- enjoy yourself and others! We appreciate you and we're really happy you chose to join us.