In The Nudist World Communication Is Tough!
Guest Post by Jordan Blum
Communicating in the Nudist World
Nudist World - Doing something good for others and the motives behind these voluntary actions is a topic that has come up. It’s a subject that I think, at the very least, warrants a discussion. Humans in general are egoistic creatures, which is why the debate continues as to whether or not there is such a thing as a “selfless good deed.”
Unfortunately I keep finding out that in the nudie world there seems to be an overwhelming amount of people for whom their ego is the main source behind their actions. So with that in mind let’s get to talking… You all know what we (YNA & Ranger World) went through to set up and promote our Nude Years Eve party. Hours and hours of emailing, posting, press releases, contacting sponsors (for our charity initiative), reviewing every single request that we got to try and weed out the odd balls (pardon the pun) and not to mention the money that went into putting it all together. Ask any one of the organizers (again – YNA & Ranger World people) just how much of our hearts and souls went into creating the naked party, how many emails and texts went back and forth at almost every hour of the day. There is no question that we reached out to as many people and organizations as we physically could. We knew that no matter what we would probably end up losing money, but for us that was far less important than bringing people together and celebrating our way of life only to have it all come crashing down a few hours before the event was supposed to start.
As soon as we found out, our number one concern was to inform as many people as we possibly could. Hotel reservations would need to be canceled, and people who were coming from far away needed to know to make other arrangements. The organizers who fronted up all the money needed to prepare for whatever lay ahead and try to come up with an alternative plan. Calls were made to everyone we could think of to try and find an alternative venue. Finally about 3 – 4 hours before the event was to begin, we got a call from one of the members of Vita Nuda Northeast who said that she found a venue for us. After speaking with the owner of the venue we were given his phone number and took it from there.
A venue being secured, we began scrambling. Luckily we have a great group of people who volunteered – some came early to help set up, some offered their vehicles, some drove hours and brought all kinds of things that were needed. There was a sense of unity that had it not been the case, the party would have never happened. To show our appreciation to the Vita Nuda people who helped find a venue, we posted a public thank you, stopped the party at some point to announce how appreciative we were for their help and even allowed them to hang up their flag – even though it was by no means their event. Basically they helped find a venue by making some phone calls and passing on the info to us.
After the party, we posted a blog thanking all the sponsors for their generosity and to all those who took an active role over the past few weeks. What happened next came as a bit of a surprise – even to me! The blog was posted by Vita Nuda Northeast with a comment that read:
”but miraculously we managed to put a new party together in three hours in Long Island City!” Not such a Miracle but rather the use of your available resources, Vita Nuda…
The first part is a quote from the blog while the second part is the comment from Vita Nuda.
This brings up an interesting question… should we have listed every single person that helped us put the event together? People helped set up, people helped clean up, some helped with the venue, others helped with getting security and the list goes on and on (kind of like the credits at the end of a movie). The fact of the matter is that we singled out those people who really invested a ton of money, time and energy into making this event possible in the first place. The claim that we used valuable resources is a bit of a stretch… don’t get me wrong, we were all happy that a venue was found but at the end of the day, wasn’t a public “thank you” enough?
All too often in this world, people do things that might have a positive impact. But if they do it for selfish and self-serving reasons then in the long run it might have proven better not to do anything at all. The reason that I say this is simple – it feels more like a set-up than a good deed. The repercussions of such acts echo for a long time after everything has been said and done. Would I assume correctly that if someone helps somebody out, only to throw it back in their faces, it ends up tearing people apart rather than bringing them together?
We at Young Naturists & Young Nudists America help people as well as organizations almost every other day. Most of which will never make it to the public domain because of this very reason. If I decided to help someone it is because that is what I feel is the right thing to do. If that person decides to return the favor then it is totally up to them. Doing something with ulterior self-serving motives has a tendency of breeding negativity as is the case here. Just look at the two responses that the post got and judge for yourself.
Another issue that keeps surfacing is the inability of people to be direct. Posting that comment publicly forced my hand and generated this public response. Whereas a private email would have most likely resulted in an update to the original article. Why post a spiteful and public response when all that was needed was an email along the lines of: “Hey I read your post about the event and was a little upset to see you did not mention me. Was it an oversight on your part? I feel it is only fair, so would you mind updating it? Or at least giving me an explanation as to why you did not mention me?”
So in closing…
1 – What are your thoughts about doing something just for the sake of helping others?
2 – What can be done to get people to understand the benefits of direct and open communication and the devastating repercussions of passive aggressive or negative public posts?
Category: Guest Nudist Bloggers
About the Author (Author Profile)Jordan Blum is a lifelong nudie and co-founder of Young Naturists America.
Where did all of this play out, Jordan? I'm afraid I missed it, and couldn't comment on it until now!
@NYLew Actually, this happened right after new years. Unfortunatly, this is going on right now: http://nudistnaturistamerica.org/young-nudist-drama
That makes complete sense to me, Jordan. There's only so much that I can personally change but I can also work with those groups that I'm a part of to change them, too. I have been doing this to the extent that I can and I'm hoping that we can all change ourselves for the better and work with those around us to do the same. What it boils down to is that nobody's perfect, we all make mistakes, feelings sometimes get in the way to productivity. BUT we can all choose to apologize, we can all choose to learn from our mistakes, and we can all choose to grow to be better people in our future. It's all about choice. Each day I see the importance of nudism in our world. I recently learned that the class that is most often failed in our local middle schools is gym. Gym! And I bet you can guess why: the kids won't change their clothes so they can participate in the class. That's crazy and underlines to me the importance of our message of accepting ourselves and our bodies. Not just to pass middle school, but to move through life happily and freely. My offer of working together to promote YNA events or to tell of YNA in the AANR-East eNewsletter stands. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to work together on this. I think YNA has a lot to offer and I'm proud to work alongside you to promote nudism to those who are interested.
Hey all, I pretty much agree with Melissa Napier's statements that maybe once give the perceived wrong doers the benefit of the doubt and see how things go. Causing yet another rift in group relations is not something that is easy to fix and needs to be swept away as quickly as possible. That said, I hope any feelings that were hurt on either side can be mended shortly. Also, I would like to formally invite Jordan and Felicity and all of the YNA Crew and friends to participate in the discussion about having a National Nude Conference and Summit either this year or next. To discuss and patch old issues, forge thru new ones, and make lasting friendly relationships with nudists/naturists and organizations across the country. Join the event page on Facebook. Thanks.
Hey Melissa, Thank you for your post and for the supportive comments. With all the drama that was thrust upon us, a kind word goes a long way :) We have been working so hard over the past year and the results speak for themselves. One cant fix anything unless there is a partner on the other side that is willing communicate. This pattern of hiding behind posts and not dealing with issues head on is a recurring cycle and I wish I had a way of making some individuals realize just how damaging it is to us all. The problem is that some people believe they know everything, they refuse to listen, reason or even talk directly. Perhaps it is our fault as a society that we don't prepare people for the real world. Some people tend to forget that they are deal with real live human-beings. We aren't pictures on someone's wall and we all have feelings & emotions. But with that said, we also have brains and need to be ready to think before we act. At this point, we are so tired and depressed by the actions of a handful of people. I think change can only come from within and I believe that the groups themselves need to hold the leadership to a higher standard. Until the me me me attitudes don't change then nothing will. The best answer I cant think of right now, believe or not, is the old AA mantra: grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference. So I say, lets figure out how to change the things we can and simply learn how to deal with the things we cant - how does that sound? J.
You raise many interesting points, as always, and I'm not 100% sure how to respond to all of the thoughts and ideas that you brought up. Regarding your question of our thoughts on doing something simply for the sake of others, obviously most people would agree that this is a good and important thing. The same answer applies to the question of whether communication- direct communication, especially- is important. It definitely is and, sadly, I feel that it's often forgotten in this age of public blogging and social media. There is a larger issue within this post, however, which seems to be a theme that I'd love so many nudist organizations to work on and that is working together. I'm a nudist and that is my first priority. Yes, I'm an AANR member, too, and I also follow YNA and TNS very closely so that I can be involved in those nudist events, too. In my utopian world, all of these organizations (and others that I may not know of!) should be working together for the cause of nudism. In my utopian world, it would be a no-brainer that one organization would help and support the others in its time of need. To me, that's a "well duh!" experience. I think we know that our real world is not my utopian world, though. Instead, not only are the groups not working together, but it even seems like they're at war with each other in many ways. How can we be a unified and respectable nudist community if we're at war??? All of the public mudslinging only hurts our cause. With the post that you mentioned, I did not see the full responses and we all know that tone is completely lost pretty often in the world of blogging. I can see both sides of the hurt feelings- Vita Nuda was hurt that they weren't mentioned in the very public blog for helping and you were hurt that their hurt wasn't handles privately. I like to think that maybe Vita Nuda posted their comment in an effort to show how Vita Nuda and YNA worked together to get the event to happen, which would be good PR for both groups but, more importantly, for the nudist community as a whole. Maybe this was their intent, maybe not- but I like to think that maybe there was just a misunderstanding in tone and that all was meant for the good. So what are we going to do to fix this rift in the nudist community? That's the big question for us all. For me, what can I do to help bring our community together as we work for the same cause? I don't know yet. But I can tell you that I'm MORE than happy to publish relevant YNA info on upcoming events or whatnot within the AANR-East eNEwsletter, of which I'm the Editor. That will publicize the important things going on with you and in our region and also show that we can work together. I'm worried about how all of these disputes are effecting the image of nudists in the larger world. Let's work together to show others the natural way....
I often do things to help others, and it's always in my perceived self interest (as is everything everyone does without exception)*. Most of the time, what I get from it is the satisfaction of making someone's life a little better. Often I get a smile and a thank you. Sometimes I make a friend (always a good thing). Sometimes the favor comes back, directly or indirectly, and that happens enough of the time that I feel a sense of community, also a desirable thing. So yes, I see helping others as an essential part of being part of a community, and of being a human being. Some people don't feel that way, and I feel sorry for them because they are missing out on an important emotionally satisfying connection with their fellow humans. A to the second question, I think that much of the poor communication I see is just lack of skill. Communication is, IMNSHO, one of the most difficult things we humans ever attempt, and building communication skills requires deliberate and direct effort. My first thought seeing the comment you complained about is to chalk it up to cluelessness, and the lack of anticipation of how the comment would be seen by you and others. * I believe that we all, always, act in our perceived self interest, and when we do something that clearly does not serve us, it is our inaccurate perception of self interest that is at fault. For example, many of us are nice to to others because we want to be good people (not just seen that way either) and we perceive that being nice to others makes us the kind of person we want to be. Humans are complex creatures, and any simple explanation for our motives is probably at least incomplete if not plain wrong.
Hi Joe, Thank you for the comment. Life is one big learning process and as the years go by I realize just how little I truly know, which in turn makes me want to educate myself even more. One of the reasons we have grown so fast is that we offer a sense of community and have extremely high moral and ethics to guide us along the way. When we do something it is because we feel it is the right thing to, nothing more nothing less. If something bothers us we contact the people directly and try to work things out. Unfortunately with social media these days, when someone posts something publicly we are forced to respond publicly. I just wish some people would just learn to confront issues head on and stop turning every little thing into a drawn out saga that seems to never end. We cant lower expectations - we have to raise the bar :) J.