Friday, 27 May 2016

It’s good to talk...

...but bad to be indecisive

It all began when a few of us felt that we needed something to keep our brains active. We thought it might be a good idea to organise a monthly discussion group but we didn’t know if it would work, if there would be any interest in it or even if we were up to the job. After much indecision we agreed that the only way to find out was to try.

That was over a year ago. The group has gone from strength to strength. We meet in the local Synagogue Hall. Everyone we know is invited to join us and I’m delighted to say that people are turning up regularly. The group is called Thinking Allowed (with apologies to Radio 4's Laurie Taylor) because it seems to accurately describe what we do. We have covered a wide range of topics, from the effects of superstition on our actions to the role of music in our lives to the influence of the Internet. This month’s topic was, inevitably, the EU referendum. I thought people would groan and stay away but no. The discussion was as animated and enthusiastic as ever. (For those who are interested, we held our very own secret ballot at the end of the discussion and the result was overwhelmingly in favour of staying in.) 

These discussions don’t run themselves. We meet a few weeks before each session to plan arguments for and against our topic, create a list of bullet points so that the chairperson - we take it in turns in the chair - can move the discussion on if necessary. (Sometimes we have a more in-depth discussion at these planning meetings than at the real thing but that’s another story.) Then there’s the hall to arrange, the advertising of each month's meeting, the cake, biscuits, tea, coffee, milk etc to buy. One day I suspect we will run out of topics, energy and drive for all this but for now it’s a regular feature in our diaries and I, for one, am glad we took the plunge. 
Have you been unsure about organising something and then been pleased that you did? Or are you still indecisive? And if you are then might I politely suggest you give it a try. What have you got to lose?




9 comments:

  1. Hi Ros - fascinating .. I'd love to live closer and join in - but the south coast holds me down! The EU referendum is 'interesting' to be involved in ... we have an active European Movement down here - with lots of people (professors, MEPs, lecturers etc varied speakers) who come and speak - it's taught me a lot as I missed out on so much being in South Africa for 14 years.

    Yes - when I got involved with the Squash Committee in South Africa - I realised I'd missed out on so much - not getting involved earlier in my life. I now sit on the Film Society Committee, and the European Movement Committee ... I can't do the University of the 3rd Age - as I must concentrate on me ... but I am active in my various groups etc - giving talks etc ...

    Definitely wish I'd done it earlier ... so pleased to read this - congratulations to you and your fellow friends ...

    I was taught at the start of my working life - make a decision ... it doesn't matter if it's the wrong one ... things can be sorted, but make the best decision at that time and make it! Good maxim - held me in good stead ... cheers Hilary

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    1. That Squash Committe is South Africa sounds fascinating, Hilary. If you were closer I'd love it if you joined us and don't forget to let me know if you ever come to our Richard III City!

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  2. Sounds interesting. My sister has been in a group of about 14 people who meet monthly in each others houses and take it in turns to prepare a topic - with food and drink of course.

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    1. We thought of using houses but it works quite well using a hall. Your sister's food option sounds good though.

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  3. What a great idea. How big is your group? Do you have a floating membership, so anyone can come, or are you a fixed group?

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    1. Thanks, Jo. The group can be anything from ten to over twenty people. I think twenty is a good maximum number to allow people to have their say but we don't restrict attendance. Anyone can come and many select the topics that appeal to them. So far it seems to work.

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  4. I have no doubt things get lively - I wish I were across the pond and could join you. (and from the bits I've read, I'm glad your secret poll chose to stay IN). You do some of the most interesting things! And no, you'll never run out of topics. Have a good weekend

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  5. Your discussion group sounds very interesting and lively. I am always ready for a good discussion and argument. However,as I passed by, I resisted engaging with "Britain First" who demonstrated in my city centre over the last two Saturdays. Petra.

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  6. That sounds like a lively night and very interesting.

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