So there is this society, this world that I dove into and discovered along the way. And they call their society a samenleving. That’s the Dutch heritage of some of their people speaking. It literally means co-living so they justly decided this was a way better word than the English word ‘society’. And it is.
These people are ruled by three leaders at the same time. Or, well, ruled sounds a bit harsh maybe. But anyway, their leadership is The Three. And it consists of a woman, a man and and a fluid. For those readers who have the bad luck to still live in a backwards samenleving, which I assume is most of you, a fluid is a person who neither identifies as being a heterosexual woman nor as being a heterosexual man. (more about that later)
This leadership is divided into three roles and they are still discovering whether they have picked the right ones, the basics of what a samenleving needs to prosper. But anyway, here they are as they were originally designed and in place today, where our little tale begins.
The first role is the visionair. This person is responsible for shaping and keeping the desired direction of the samenleving. The second role is the tasker. This person’s responsibility is making sure the chosen direction is being transformed into actual doing and living. Then there is the connecter whose role is to find and enhance common ground between all the differences that come up when people try and actually live together with a common goal.
You really don’t want to know how long it took them to figure out and be somewhat, just enough in agreement about these three roles but I do applaud their persistence and careful thinking.
At this moment in time, where we get to peek into their effort of samenleving and see a bit of action, the connecter is having a really hard time. She has to deal with the dual gymnastics of bringing a close to her period of rule and making way for a new leader on the one hand and at the same time keeping her people from dividing themselves into two groups which find it hard to do proper samenleving together.
The citizens of this samenleving have wholeheartedly jumped on their constitutional right to change course. Every three years, (yes they love the number three), a meeting has to take place in which they consider what they need to get rid of or simplify. This Simplification Meeting was put in place to keep themselves from the trap of getting entangled in bureaucratics of having to waste time searching for holes in the nets of their own rules in order to make things work. Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? And it is. It is just not easy.
The campaigning for selecting the new connecter (done with public funding only, mind you!) is behind them ( and has caused enough trouble by itself but none about that now). One part of this samenleving considers a certain woman Mokia to be their champion for the role. And the other part has elevated a man called Mettar to be the one.
Now I know that from where you, the reader are coming from, all seems to be in perfect order. Maybe you even find it reassuring to think that maybe this samenleving isn’t as much different than yours. Which would make yours not as backwards as you know and hate it to be. But it is.
Mokia is a nice enough woman but she is really not up to the job. At least that is what the Mettar folks say and to be honest, what the Mokia people know is true as well. They are just not there yet, taking their chances on the tri-annual simplification meeting.
For one thing, Mokia hasn’t done the three obligatory years of serving in the advisory boards which (among other things) serve as a way of the samenleving being able to assess someone’s possible fitness for the role. (more on the advisory boards later because they are really interesting and not what you would expect at all)
This alone makes her totally not allowed by constitutional will to be anyones champion for one of The Three.
Yet the thing that had her supporters divert from the legal course of events is the fact that Mettar is, horror be thy name, a man.
And this simple facts happens to also be against the constitution.
So here we have the situation where we have two champions for the role of connecter, neither of which is in accordance with the law of this samenleving.
Can you now better imagine why Esmeéï, the connecter in leaving is having a hard time sleeping at night? She has been granted the blessing of navigating the fact of two unconstitutionally unsound succeeders for her role, while having to sail the winds of a division in her samenleving which is on the verge of becoming a polarisation.
Now, why can’t a man be a connecter, you are probably wondering, as some of them are as well.
Esmeéï had to really catch herself when she was asked the same question in the simplification meeting.
“Because it’s the l..”
Back in the days of the Great Redesign it had actually been put into law that this was never allowed to be an argument to win whatever discussion. Because well, of course law is set in stone but stone is a changing thing, just like all things natural. The faction that had worked hard to get themselves this law had made the argument that when the same thing is said to children ‘because I say so’ is definite proof of a lack of verbal, emotional and intellectual skill. All being traits they would probably forgive in the parents of their samenleving if it was an incidental slip of the tongue but never to be acceptable in their leaders. And this was a good argument, Esmeéï agreed.
While choking back the last word just in time she had to acknowledge the fact that she must feel totally out of her depth here to sink so low. So she asked for a fifteen minute break in order to collect herself back to her usual sanity, which she was granted. Of course.
While we wait and she recollects herself I will take the time to give you a bit more pictures about this meeting and thus, the advisory boards. Of course, even in a rather sane samenlevings you can’t have meetings with all of you together when you have reached a certain amount of population. So there is not much to it, the people need to pick representatives. It is as practical as it sounds boring. But they already have The Three you say. Well, that only shows where you are coming from. These people have the same heritage as you do but for a change, they have learned. And so, back in the days of the Great Redesign they decided they needed advisory boards for the The Three, which then would double as the eyes and ears and mouth of the people themselves. And not only that. All age groups should be represented in these boards. Because here is a thing I haven’t yet told you about. A person can only be one of The Three as long as they are in the middle age group.
It took months and months of bickering to find agreement on which age groups to divide their lifespan into. Some even said it had to be as much as seven groups but there there wish for simplicity kicked in and they ended up deciding on three.
The middle age group, where The Three come from starts around a person’s 30th year and ends when fertility ends. For women and fluids with female biology this would vary of course. For men and fluids with male biology they have set the age at 60 as well as for sterile people of all genders. It’s interesting to know why they decided on not allowing people above that age to lead. It’s because, and maybe you can guess it, of a heritage of 70 plus leaders wracking the earth with their misguided minds. They reasoned that a person should be younger, have more future left (in theory) to be able to actually care about the future enough to make decisions which would cause the next generation to have a world left to thrive on. And to me that sounds reasonable enough. Even more so when I found out that this was not age discrimination. Or maybe it was but with good reason. Because to make the best use of older people’s life experience they created the boards. As well as to make use of the younger people’s inexperience and fresh minds. So in general, they decided to grant childhood to around the age of 10. Then there is the age group from 11 till 30, the youngsters. The one’s from 30 till around 60, the middle age people, and the one’s from 60 till 80, the older people.
These age rules for the groups are not set in stone. If people make a good argument for belonging to one group or the other they can do so and if the people are convinced they get there way.
Every one of The Three has an advisory board of every age group. So that makes 9 advisory boards in total. With 9 people in each board. 81 + 3 people sitting together, all wanting to speak their mind is a bore, or so they found out after the first meeting and so they invented the simplification meeting and the first thing they put to vote there was having three spokespeople from each board of nine doing the actual talking. The other six would be sitting behind them and did get to vote or whisper to their spokespeople.
So, if we go back to that moment in time where Esmeéï has her 15 minutes of sanity recovering time, I can paint you a clearer picture of the scene now.
Imagine a great circle in which The Three are seated at one end (Esmeéï hasn’t returned yet but she will in a minute). Then, following the circle clockwise, there are the 3 and 3 and 3 of the visionary advisory boards (the other six are seated behind them in an outer circle). Then there are the connecter advisory board people and closing the circle are the tasker boards.
The building where this meeting takes place is twice as big as their circle and round as well and very, very high with glass windows in the low pointed roof ( which can actually open when the weather allows). The whole structure is made of wood and the outer 2 metres or so is mostly indoor garden, compleet with trees. The wood is made from earth, or not made is a better way of saying it. Just flattened out by conscious effort first and many years of feeting walking over it second.(as a peculiar and, I find, endearing, detail: they banished the word ‘dirt’ from their vocabulary, at least when being used in the meaning of earth or soil).
It does bring up a sense of peace and order, this whole setting with the boards and the age groups and the building and the indoor garden, don’t you think?
The atmosphere was heated enough however.
Esmeéï walks back in and takes her seat between her fellow leaders. She does look better indeed.
“Back in the days we decided a man can’t be a connecter because heterosexual males seem to not be strong in that skill mostly. Not as strong as women or part of fluids. Our science established that their biology makes them better fit for other roles. We paid dearly for that blind spot and therefore we established this rule.”
She jumped right back into where they had left of and nobody seemed to find that odd. What did take place just before was the standing up first and a little nod of the head to Esmeéï second from a person in the room which I have not yet introduced. This person was the chairperson and hir sole role was to keep the time and makes sure not one person took up all the space for talking. They was seated next to the visionary leader and the tasker advisory boards.
Of course everybody knew why the rule had been established in the first place but it was regarded as good custom to dig back into the former why of things and then work their way up to the possible validity or non validity of that why in the current reality.
“I don’t question the truth of that assessment back then, but what I see now is a man with very good connecter skills. Also he has served not only the obligatory three years in the connecter boards, but did 7 in total, first as a youngster and now as a middle ager. We had plenty of time to assess his skills and they are there in abundance.”
This was one person of the connecter board youngsters.
“But we don’t know what’s hiding in the depth of his system! Or better said, we know very well what could hiding there! Just one year of having a bad connecter would be disaster to the peace of our samenleving. It’s just too big a risk.”
Of course this came from a connecter board person. Her concern plain on her face.
In this samenleving it was generally considered that people tended to be either mostly stayers or changers. And it was acknowledged that both tendencies had their own value and worth in the chances of prospering of them all. Stayers tended to defend continuity and stability, changers of course tended to campion change. True, it was a broad scale and sliding along it was allowed of course depending on the pragmatism of the moment or the person. No need to stick people in tight boxes. Psychology, with all it’s boxes of types of people and disorders and methods of treatment fitting those boxes was seen as pseudoscience in this day and age. And with good cause if you study the statistics of success rates of psychological treatments in your day and age.
Now I can either give you the full dialogue that took place or wrap it up in something more edible.
The basic differences between the two factions were on the one hand fear of the risk of hetero male incapability of connectorness and the willingness to take that risk in the face of the apparent qualities in this specific man on the other hand. In the meeting room the talk was civil, even when somewhat emotionally charged now and then. On the streets however, it had almost come to blows here and there on this topic. And that was regarded as a pretty worrying sign of a possible rupture in their wholeness. Not used to violence, these people were. Not anymore. Can you imagine that? I bet it’s a bit of challenge for you.
One thing all the people in the meeting room were agreed on was the importance of the role of connector. Or better said, the wholeness of their samenleving it was chosen to guard and keep. And I guess, in the end, that saved the day.
In this unspoken but nevertheless active chemistry of common ground Esmeéï asked the one question that would be able to knit them back together.
“What would it take to accept Mettar as connector? How can this made an acceptable choice for those of you who oppose the risk?”
A short silence followed … after which the meeters agreed (some grumbling) that safeguards should be put into place when Mettar was installed as connector. Because that was the other thing they found out that they actually all agreed on. There was no one else for the job but him. And he was very promising, even though according to some, equally dangerous.
A separate committee was to be put in place, made up of a person of each connector board and 3 new people from outside the leadership circle. This committee would interview Mettar monthly and keep a close eye on him and him alone. They were given the right to veto him out of position if they saw fit. The 3 people in this committee from outside the leadership circles where of course part of the plan to connect the samenleving back together. And this idea came from Esmeéï naturally, seeing the rupture on the streets that needed mending. Furthermore half a year would be taken in which the three board members of this committee would travel the land, holding meetings everywhere, explaining the common sense behind the choice, taking questions, while at the same time finding and collecting the three newcomers.
And so it was done.
Peace rippled back over the land in the wake of the travels of the committee and when the ripple met the other shore Mettar was installed and Esmeéï finally able to take a rest from her duties.