There is a teeny boppy movie called “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Play List” in which Nick and Nora and their friends spend the entire movie looking for a band named Fluffy – the best band in the cosmos! To make a loud and silly movie short Nick and Nora decided that finding and listening to the band, Fluffy, is not near as important as what they found in looking for Fluffy. The journey was way more important than the destination.
This movie makes me think of some in the water polo community who are looking for a “Fluffy” USAWP. They too are more concerned about having a Fluffy USAWP than they are in helping to create a functional, meaningful, and lasting USAWP. Many in this fraction of the water polo community would rather criticize than help create, rather tear down than build up, and rather post negative than positive anonymous comments on the message board.
Think about it. How well could you do your job if there existed a message board in your work community that continually criticized your every move, your every decision, and even your no-calls? It would be like trying to work in a fish bowl. Count the number of negative anonymous comments on the message board about the USAWP and count the number of positive anonymous comments about the USAWP and then you will understand what I am griping about. Let us use the message board not just for bad remarks but also for good remarks; not just to criticize but also to praise. My old Daddy taught me long time ago that if you are not a part of the solution then you are a part of the problem.
Let us use the message board also for random acts of kindness not just for mean spirited anonymous personal attacks. Some of these anonymous personal attacks not just of the USAWP but of others as well remind me of vigilantes in the “old west”. These vigilantes can’t get their way through a constructive debate, the law of the message board, so they hang ‘em high with anonymous personal attacks. Let us use the message board as a tool for good not as a sign board for trashing fellow members of the water polo community. Let us use the message board to build up water polo not to tear it down. Let us not just use it to show peoples weaknesses and short comings but also use it as a billboard to declare peoples strengths and efforts to do good as well.
Anonymous comments became so vicious on the USAWP message board that the USAWP had to require users to use their own name to post messages. (Noted that many of the unkind posts were about the USAWP.) If I have said it once I have said it a hundred times, anonymous personal attacks, to me, are the same as anonymous dirty telephone calls. This is time for my favorite saying of the month, “They who forget the past are condemned to repeat it - George Santayana”
Okay gang! Let us reinvent the WPP message board. Something that is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound … SUPERMOUSE
Let us think of this as our new mouse to the message board and a mouse that we can only click on positive posts. This will also mean, hopefully, fingers that click the SUPERMOUSE will not be able to write anonymous negative posts to the message board. For every one anonymous, hurtful post you write on the message board pledge to the SUPERMOUSE to write two anonymous, helpful posts. Wait some anonymous users are addicted to reading and writing of anonymous negative posts so hopefully the twelve steps of the ANA, Anonymous to Non-Anonymous Posters, will help them:
THE TWELVE STEPS OF ANONYMOUS TO NON-ANONYMOUS POSTERS
- We admitted we were powerless over anonymous posts—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that the Moderator can restore us to sanity on the MB only by using the delete button.
- Made a decision to turn our anonymous negative post into positive posts on the MB.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our posts on the MB.
- Admitted to users of the MB and to ourselves that anonymous personal attacks are wrong.
- We ask the MB users not to show all the defects of our character on the MB and we won’t share theirs.
- Humbly ask users not to use the MB to broadcast anyone’s shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and are willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it.
- Sought through thought and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the Message Board.
- Having had a MB awakening as the result of these Steps, we will try to carry this message to all anonymous posters
Finally I will leave you with words Superman or woman might say to a WPP MB user after deleting a negative anonymous post on our message board, “NO SIR OR MADAME. DON”T THANK ME. WE ARE ALL PART OF THE SAME TEAM”.