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User Content Guidelines

Welcome to our community and the big experiment.  We are trying to create the type of community that doesn’t seem to exist on many online platforms these days — a gathering of people committed to learning, building connection, and engaging with kindness and accountability.   

The Process

All comments will be moderated before posting, and comments that do not adhere to the guidelines below will not be posted.

We have the right to remove or refuse to post any user comment for any or no reason at our sole discretion.

Don’t impersonate someone else. 

Spam or commercial content will be removed. 

In order to minimize spam we do not accept comments with external links.

Don’t include personal identifying information in your comments (address, etc.) or display name (no first+last names combined or email addresses). 

We reserve the right to remove comments left to protest a removed comment.

Repeated abuse of our guidelines will lead to commenting privileges being revoked. 

The Expectations

Here are the values and types of behaviors that support our community, the near enemy of these values and behaviors, and the far enemies. Near and far enemies are Buddhist concepts that have profoundly changed the way I think about human behavior (including my own).

A far enemy is easy to spot because it’s the OPPOSITE of what we’re trying to achieve — for example, the far enemy of being curious can be attacking behaviors, defensiveness, and/or putting someone down. Far enemies are often behaviors that are self-protective, sometimes thoughtless, and, in the case of social media, shitty ways to offload pain or anger.

Near enemies are trickier because they masquerade as value aligned, while actually undermining what we’re trying to achieve. For example, the near enemy of curiosity might be advice-giving and teaching rather than empathizing and listening. On the surface, advice giving may not seem like a bad thing, but it’s a huge disconnector — especially when no one asked for our advice. It’s one of the most common empathic misses.

Our Community Values

Practicing curiosity and humility
Engaging in respectful and informed debate and disagreement
Honoring the diversity of lived experiences
Showing up authentically and with appropriate boundaries
Practicing empathy and compassion
Being accountable

Our Values in Action

“Listening with the same passion with which you want to be heard.” Harriet Lerner

“Seeking first to understand, then to be understood.” Steven Covey

Asking clarifying questions rather than making assumptions.

It’s OK to say, “In my experience” or “When I was struggling with this, I found it helpful to . . .” Don’t try to fix anyone.

Use I statements when possible.

Be responsible for your intentions, your words, your actions, and the energy you bring to this space.

Enter the community space with good intentions and be willing to own when your intent doesn’t align with your action.

The Near Enemy Behaviors

Being a knower versus a learner when it comes to other people’s experiences
Advice giving and fixing versus listening and empathizing
Pity and sympathy versus compassion (It’s a “bless your heart” free zone)
Assuming the worst in others
Sarcasm is not helpful online
Over-sharing and over-disclosure (we will delete these)
Hijacking conversations
Diminishing experiences that are different than yours
Not taking responsibility for misaligned intention and impact: “I didn’t mean to, so I’m not accountable.”
Diminishing how someone might be affected by your words and actions

The Far Enemy Behaviors (These behaviors will absolutely not be tolerated and will most likely get you blocked from the community. They are clearly the opposite of what we value. And, there are plenty of other places to be shitty).

Dehumanizing individuals or groups
Inappropriate disclosure
Disclosing personal information about yourself or others (addresses, workplace, both first and last names of private people, etc.)
Pretending to be someone you are not
Indifference about how your words or behaviors affect others
Misinformation, disinformation, and non-supported data

Last Updated: January 22, 2024

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