Pain, Perspective and Pardon

Yesterday, following my post about the lamentable situation at the Merida English Language Library, I received many positive comments and emails. I also received a few from those who worry this will fracture our community,

The members of the library placed their trust in the Board, and we expected them to act in our Library’s best interests. Now that the trust has been broken by ONE of them, it is understandable that we as a collective unit will look for a place to lay blame.

But, we need to remember that MELL’s Board are all VOLUNTEERS. In good faith, they stepped up to the plate and offered their time to serve as officers.

Think too of the Library’s volunteers who are not on the Board… those selfless people who show up every time they are supposed to, and work hard at keeping the Library running smoothly.

All these people work free of charge for us. They are between a rock and a hard place and I believe they deserve all our support.

Anyone who has served in a voluntary position of any organization knows how frustrating and thankless that job can be. You put in your best efforts and often your reward is criticism. But you feel a sense of camaraderie with your fellow Board members and you accept the slights because you feel you are doing a good thing…

When your trust in one of your comrades is broken, and you discover you have been duped, you feel terrible and you accept the blame. You are ready to take the rap. But there is no need for that.

We need to remember that the fraud was committed by ONE person. That person was on MELL’s Board. He has accepted responsibility and is looking for a way to repair the damage he caused. He did a stupid thing – indeed he did. But by carrying a grudge, we will only succeed in making our own lives harder. Actually many of MELL’s volunteers and members feel compassion for our betrayer’s weakness… I do too, and can’t help but think, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

For about a year and a half, there has been disaccord in the international community. Many of us have felt confused and hurt by the actions and accusations of a person with an axe to grind. And now… we have the MELL situation to contend with… Already I have heard some ask, “What is happening to our little place in paradise?”

But stop and think… paradise doesn’t come without a price. I believe the international community, as a whole, has an opportunity here. We have an opportunity to be better than we think we are. We have the opportunity to show that we do not have to resort to gossip and name calling. We can lick our wounds and move on…

Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving and we do all have so much to be thankful for… let’s reflect on that and remember:

“This too shall pass.”

*** Read Mitch Keenan’s letter in the Comments section of yesterday’s post

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2 Comments

Filed under Vida Latina

2 responses to “Pain, Perspective and Pardon

  1. Lee

    The fact that this happened is not as important as the response to it, and clearly you’re taking the high road here. I’m impressed that this community of expats is made up of enough people of substance that such an event has galvanized this community. A lesser group would have been brought down by anger and resentment.

    When our neighborhood in the U.S. was hit by a burglary spree, the neighbors bonded. We got to know each other better and form a support system. Over 15 years later, we’re still stronger for it, and consider ourselves a tight-knit community.

    Count me in for MELL membership, even if I can’t be there in person very often just yet.

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