of the most fundamental ideals GCRG continues to stress is cooperation;
getting along with each other. All in the same boat and all that.
We do better than most groups. We have to.
But we must remain vigilant; we must keep after
it. Our community is too tight, our boat is too small. Just as its
necessary to wash your hands a lot on a river trip lest something
unhealthy start to grow, weve got to constantly wash our hands
of the excess baggage of animosity before it does lasting damage.
I said we do better than most, but some friction points
continue to flare up.
Oars vs. Motors - you thought wed
dealt with this in the 70s? So did I. Yet there is a
resurgence of some oar groups boatier-than-thou attitudes
towards motors, a rudeness toward motor trips, a shunning of motor
boatmen. Its unprofessional, its counterproductive,
and its inexcusable.
Commercial vs. Private - Even this year
there are reports of commercial boatmen pulling fast ones on privates,
taking all the good spots and to hell with them. At the same time
we hear of private trips with a blatant anti-commercial agenda,
going out of their way to interpret us as evil. Who gains by this?
Guides vs. Park - This is almost a tradition,
with the sides viewing each other as hooligans vs. gestapo. Some
folks on each side dug in pretty deep. Very productive, eh?
Okay, sure, everybody can think of a few stories to
back up any attitude they may have. Face it: some of the motor guys
are jerks. Some of the oar guys are jerks. Some of the NPS guys
are jerks. Some of the privates are jerks. Sometimes Im a
jerk. So are you. So what? Welcome to the planet.
Then theres reputations - every entity, every
company, every constituency eventually gets a reputation, good,
bad or ugly. But times, personnel and attitudes change; whereas
reputations linger, get outdated and fester. And we all know its
a hundred times easier to make a good reputation go bad than vice
Were all in the same boat and weve all
got to paddle. If I get mad at someone else, does it help me to
hit him with my paddle? Or paddle backwards? Or call him unspeakable
things? Or just give up? No. Well all miss the run and still
all have to get back in the same boat again tomorrow. Better to
paddle a little harder in a positive direction.
If someone or some group is consistantly out of line,
address it. Confront it. Dont mutter and grumble. Self righteousness
is utterly useless.
If youve lost all your friends down there, wake
up. Pay attention. When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
Consistantly, repeatedly wipe the slate clean. Carrying
a chip on your shoulder makes you walk funny.
The fact is theres folks in every category that
shine like pearls. The fact is were all damned lucky to work
here and play here. We all need to search ourselves now and then.
Forget the arrogance. Dump the animosity. Take a few aspirin; it
thins the blood and reduces swelling. Its antiinflamatory.