|Friends of Yeshey Esangha Theory|
Why not voting?
Majority rule tends to ignore the importance of those who are in the minority, and of their values.
How it works
When, for example, we have a new member to consider, if even just one of us does not want to admit her, we will not. We will be interested in the dissenter's reasons, and respect them. In turn, she has the responsibility to consider how important her reasons are, whether she can in good conscience consent to the new member, by "stepping aside" from her preferences.
Tolerating differences of opinion
Consensus, as I understand it, is about learning to tolerate differences of opinion, so that people can work together even with their differences. Making a commitment to consensus is not making a commitment to agree, but rather
This applies to the process we use for decision-making not to our thoughts and feelings. We are not interested in agreeing on everything. Most threads show a large diversity of approaches and opinions, and we are interested in challenging our habitual thinking by hearing differences.
When we use it
The decisions so far that the group has needed to make together, have included...
The bottom line
It is a more demanding process than voting but, we think, a more compassionate and mindful one; more respectful of differences. We ask prospective members to think about whether they can commit to engaging in both sides of it.
Last updated 10 March 2001