Words from the Kingdom Seneschal, AS 50 (April 2016)

seneschal_75x75Remember when you started out at the Kids Table at holiday gatherings. Somehow, you never quite seem to get chair at the adult table. The adults get first dibs on the choice cuts. Your older cousin gets to ride up front in the family car because they have “time in grade,” and so on. And perhaps the older cousin got to do other stuff that you know you could do if you just had the chance. It was frustrating. Maybe you wanted to be the one who held the leash when the family dog got taken for walks. You wanted to be trusted with responsibilities so you could show how well you performed. You wanted to be given a chance.

The Middle Kingdom is a lot like that family gathering. There are a lot of people out there who want to be given the chance to perform in a role. Without the opportunity to walk the big family dog (stewarding your annual local event), being trusted with important chores (being a local officer), or being asked what they might want from the platter (getting them actively involved), people will find something else to do. They’ll find somewhere else to be.

Look around you. How can you coach or mentor newer members, or even next generation members who have grown up in the Society so they can grow? Encouragement and mentoring can be a cure to apathy. Trusting people with a job will help them stay interested in this amazing organization. Coaching them through deputy positions and having a succession plan and timeline is key to having appropriately-trained replacements.

Remember when you were the little cousin. Remember how proud you were when you got to the adult table. Take the time to reach back to the kids table and help bring someone up. There is room for us all.

Caitriona