I once belonged to an organization as a student. It was an organization that had a relatively large membership, I would say more than 100 members. As such is the case with an organization of that size, cliques and sub-groups based on interests and backgrounds began to form. In addition, “in-crowds”, those considered popular and influential to the organization and its activities soon developed. Along with the “in-crowd” were those who felt marginalized as they felt their interests weren’t heard and acknowledged. Soon, the marginalized folks began to express their discontent about the lack of discourse and openness to alternative ideas which ultimately lead them to break-away from the main organization to form their own group.

What became of the new group, from my perspective, was an interesting one. Whether the members of this new group realized it or not, they themselves began to alienate new members because the new members did not align with the group’s ideologies. It’s ironic that the core group members began to practice the same behaviors of the “in-crowd” of the other organization they had criticized.

As we fight  for our own rights and the rights of others to be heard, just remember that when you are afforded the opportunity to finally be heard and to provide influence – just beware, don’t become the very thing you criticize.