(2018-09-20 18:10)WolfVanZandt Wrote: I've been told that all the emphasis on individual therianthropy down to the color of one's fur was "for fun". That's okay, but when the majority focus in the were community is self service, we can't expect a strong community. We need to shift some of our focus to the community. We need to think about what we mean to the community as much as what the community means to us.
(2018-09-20 22:11)WolfVanZandt Wrote: And perhaps it's not about "community" but "communities'. I'm a member of several and through me the therian community adjoins many others - that multiplied by how many therians? It's perhaps auspicious for me that I will be attending a conference tomorrow at Denver University about creating inclusive, neurodiverse friendly communities. Maybe it'll get me into the right mindset.
(2018-04-22 18:34)LycanTheory Wrote:
(2018-04-22 2:31)Zefer Nezumi Wrote:
(2018-04-21 19:40)LycanTheory Wrote: I purpose that we make a tradition of going out of our way for someone else.
They don't have to be therian or even human at all. Can be a totally random person or animal, not necessarily friends or family.
Doesn't have to be a gift or anything special, perhaps just a few genuine words of encouragement, whatever one can do or offer.
But this should be an everyday thing...
You've got a point
All these things, together.
I joined Therian-Guide a week or so before Therianthropy Day last year in search of a community to invest in. Over the course of my almost-year here, I've come to agree that, while my personal and individual experience is important, it's only part of a much, much bigger picture.
I am a piece of the therian community, which is a piece of a much larger "human community" (sorry to those who cringe at those words ha ha). Both require a tremendous amount of effort to support and sustain. Both are parts of a larger puzzle.
While I understand the importance of the individual focusing on the individual, I agree whole-heartedly that it seems incredibly self-serving to focus exclusively on therianthropy out of context of everything else.
Many of us have tales of survival and strife. It's important that we celebrate that survival.
Our identities bridge something between animal and human. It's important that we celebrate that connection.
Our individual experiences supplement diversity within the human experience and rely on the exchange of support from other humans. It's important that we celebrate that camaraderie.
I was reflecting on this not too long ago but the more precise words I used have evaded me... Shifting is a vital component of the therian experience. Shifting. Change. What do we, or can we, change outside our own sense of "self?" As many of us grow and mature, that focus does become external.
I try to use mine to support big cats and other endangered species whose futures are much more uncertain than those of humans. I try to use mine to support community members who are going through the struggles I've gone through. I try to use mine to figure out how to make what seems like a chaotic world at times at least a touch more friendly and balanced.
So I agree. To a certain degree, the celebration of our personal therianthropy is important for this day; but maybe the shift should be on how we heal and interact with other communities, or the world at large. The application of insights gained from our experience toward building a stronger connection, rather than an effort at isolation.
If we do so earnestly, perhaps the reward will be respect from the mainstream. Not to compare us to furries, but I look at their experience; the funds they raise for animal charities and many others, the good they push out into their local and widespread communities. Furries still have a long way to go to overcome bad media rap but they're trying, and making progress.
If we as therians seem selfish, that progress may never come for us. Again, we are a piece of something far, far greater, though sometimes we're lost in the moment, in our personal views, in our personal experiences.
How can we show others that our experience brings something vital to the table? That our hard-earned strength brings us the capacity to support? That we're not just here to demand and isolate?
We're familiar with change. How can we bring it about?
Food for thought but this year, I may try to figure out how to express some of this in observation of the howlyday.