SLSA and the SL Community

A commentary and history of SLSA and the SL surfing community, by Flynn Sheridan

I have witnessed a lot different interactions and relationships in my time, when I was actively participating or watching over Cierra’s shoulders over the past six years. I’ve gotten involved in some heated discussions and conflicts, which eventually made me decide to bail out because it made me that unhappy. But there are two things I have learned over the years. One is from a lifetime of experience, the other is from Cierra guiding me with her own wisdom.

The first is that if I have a conflict with another person, that conflict is between me and them. I do not involve other people, because I believe it is our problem not anyone else’s. My closest friends can decide on their own their thoughts, feelings, and ultimately relationships with that person I might be in conflict with and it is not fair for me to get them to side with me. I would not appreciate being pressured into taking sides with a person I like between two “friends”.

The other took me a while to learn and has helped me be a better person… I am still learning it too. That wisdom is when I am mad about something (and I am an Irish redhead) I can say some really angry things. Cierra has taught me to write it out and wait a day, cool down and if I feel the same way… OK send it out. Otherwise, I think about what I really wanted to say and rewrite things from a calmer perspective.

There has always been conflict and anger between people in our surfing community since I’ve been around. That is real and no different from RL, and I’ve been around from almost the beginning of our community. When SLSA was first formed and just before the first comp even began, there was a very real and angry discussion about how things should be done. And it destroyed at least two relationships. I regret that today.

At the end of the comp I walked away from SLSA, which was far from fair, and another thing I regret. Because SLSA needed me and I needed it and the community. But that is spilled milk. I see and feel a lot of anger that can be resolved. I do not think most people in our community do or say things to hurt others. I just believe that we need to think about what we say and do, discuss what we individually think with the right person and allow ourselves to cool down before we say angry things we will regret later.

Like any family and community, it takes all kinds. And we may not always agree, but we all have the same goal. Love of the waves and surfing them the best we can, and sharing that stoke with each other.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “SLSA and the SL Community

  1. “Like any family and community, it takes all kinds. And we may not always agree, but we all have the same goal. Love of the waves and surfing them the best we can, and sharing that stoke with each other.”
    I couldn’t have said it better. Its like Thanksgiving, squirming youngsters wondering whats all the fuss, weird uncle Ted ranting, grandpa George who dislikes this or that and is stubborn, Aunt tilly insists we always did it that way. Grandma with rolling pin ready to wack someone cause they don’t like cranberries. FAMILY πŸ™‚

  2. Wise words Flynn. I would like to add that, forgiveness is important, we get upset about things, but at the end of the day, those things aren’t so important. I believe we should have the courage to say sorry, and have the courage to forgive, when someone does, or even if they don’t. Someone said to me today that they don’t know why they let a silly virtual game get to them. It is silly in a way, but what is important are the friendships and relationships that have developed from this group. Those relationships are what is important, those are why we feel so strongly, and those are the things most worth the effort to preserve.

  3. Revy

    “We Just Disagree” is a song by English singer-guitarist Dave Mason, written by Jim Kruege.

    Been away, haven’t seen you in a while.
    How’ve you been? Have you changed your style?
    And do you think that we’ve grown up differently?
    Don’t seem the same since you’ve lost your feel for me.

    So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye.
    There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy,
    There’s only you and me and we just disagree.
    Ooh-ooh-ooh, oh-oh-oh.

    I’m going back to a place that’s far away.
    How ’bout you? Have you got a place to stay?
    Why should I care when I’m just trying to get along?
    We were friends, but now’s the end of our love song.

    So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye.
    There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy,
    There’s only you and me and we just disagree.
    Ooh-ooh-ooh, oh-oh-oh.

    So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye.
    There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy,
    There’s only you and me and we just disagree.
    Ooh-ooh-ooh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh.

    • I wholeheartedly agree, especially with the very deep line “Ooh-ooh-ooh, oh-oh-oh”!

      (Joke over.) Thanks so much for choosing a song I’ve always liked, and I wish everyone could think of this song when there’s a disagreement. πŸ™‚ Let’s request this song at every comp!

  4. Flynn said, “I do not think most people in our community do or say things to hurt others.” Unfortunately, I have been witness on several occasions that Flynn’s thought, while a positive one, is truly not the case. The venom and malice with which the frequent vitriol has been spewed from the keyboard of angry folks directed personally at another in the community IS more common in SL than any I’ve witnessed in my RL. More than any silly comp or team drama it is the palpable hate that made me walk away. Walk away from people…and the SLSA.

    When folks become at odds with one another and directly attack in say, the SLSA group chat with words like F YOU (insert name), those words are meant to hurt and and the question later from the person on the other end of that attack to me was, “why do they hate me?” I felt deeply saddened by the silly little virtual game.

    My very first knowledge of what was the SLSA was about was hate based. I was a noob and I was indoctrinated and predisposed by the influence of other people who literally hated the SLSA and the people who ran/run it. I own my part in letting that hate predispose and influence me. I have been called a hater…I hate the hate…and while I regret many things that have virtually happened to me, Sally is right when she says, “what is important are the friendships and relationships that have developed from this group. Those relationships are what is important, those are why we feel so strongly, and those are the things most worth the effort to preserve.” At the end of the day…I hope we can all learn to treat each other better.

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