I found this definition of Collective Wisdom and I think it illustrates the point of this post very nicely.
“Collective wisdom, also called group wisdom and co-intelligence, is shared knowledge arrived at by individuals and groups.”
I went along to something that was referred to as a “Workshop” last night and I’m afraid it fell far short of the mark of what I would have expected. It was presented by someone who might have good credentials as an academic, but to me they were far short of the expertise needed to engage the group who attended. One thing that I find frustrating is sitting in a room with a group of people who have the wisdom gained through their own lived experience and that wisdom is not recognised or encouraged to be shared.
We are all in the early stages of this condition, some may be slightly further along, but we were certainly more closely aligned than the group I attended on Monday, which had a wide range of abilities. The shame of it all is that this was an opportunity for those of us affected – both carers and people with Parkies – to share the knowledge we have gained with each other. This to me is the real strength of any group of people with a common experience. I have been part of many groups, both personally and professionally and I know that the thing that keeps people engaged and wanting to return is building connections. This group unfortunately did not provide that opportunity and it saddened me. In fact I came home and talked to my husband about it and I cried! I cried because I know what we need more than ‘professional’ advice in a lot of ways. What we need is each other! It made me sad to think of the lost opportunity and to think that others like me might have come away disappointed that we didn’t get to connect.
I have given feedback on my personal experience and hope that this might help them in planning other workshops or meetings. I have run many groups in the past and I would love to see a cohesive group for people like me to be formed. I have offered to help if I can and would gladly volunteer my time to try to make a group for people like me in the early stages work.
Hopefully, we will find a way to connect. As I have said before in this Blog, I see people who read this Blog as my ‘tribe’ and I would like to think that those of us who might meet as a group at a similar stage become a ‘tribe’ too through our shared experiences.
Only time will tell, but I feel that I don’t just want to be a person who sits and critiques but someone who might be able to help towards a solution.
6 thoughts on “Collective Wisdom…”
I truly wonder whether you are psychic! I went to my first support group meeting last month. It was exactly the same experience. All the seats were arranged lecture style, facing the front. The OT who coordinates the group spoke for about an hour and a half about stress management.
I kept looking around at the audience and thinking “What a sad waste of resources”. There were people from a wide range of backgrounds, at varying stages of PD, who undoubtedly would have had valuable insights and tips to share. The woman sitting next me was a retired doctor, who told me her first symptom was when she fell backwards down stairs and then fell again in the hospital emergency department. My own experience was much less dramatic but took a long time to diagnose. I would hazard a guess that the combined PD expertise in the room would challenge that of a neurologist. Such a pity that it’s not utilised.
On another topic, how is your leg going?
Hi Rebecca. Thanks for another thoughtful comment. I always look forward to your feedback. I am going to speak to someone from the organisation on Monday and intend to offer to help in some way if they will let me. I am happy to do that on a voluntary basis. As to my leg, I have good days and not so good days. It is still a bit tweaky, but the Physio is good and I have been given some new exercises, which I hope will help. She is also encouraging me to get out on my bike as often as I can, because apparently knees like the range of motion you get when riding a bike and it should help to move the fluid buildup in my leg and improve the swelling. Hope all is well with you.
Hi pommykiwisue, I am really enjoying your posts and have to say that you are right on about going to groups that don’t measure up. I am the secretary of our peer support group in our area and we have members in varying stages of pd. We have group get togethers every couple of months where we have a meeting about what’s happening in the group inincoming/outgoing mail then if we don’t have a guest speaker, we talk amongst ourselves and that can be very valuable as we can discuss and try to resolve it.
Keep up your great posts.
Hi there. Thank you. I’m glad you are enjoying my posts. I am going to see if I can be more involved with the organisation and maybe offer to facilitate a group on a voluntary basis. I would rather do that as a volunteer than feel that we are not going to get the sort of group that we actually need!
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Totally agree Sue .
There was a couple in there 40s the husband was recently diagnosed and clearly still coming to terms with it all .
I’m 20 plus years in but i chatted to him saying no more than i have been where you are .
Wanted to just chat offering a different view .
I rated the course a little low for the same reasons as well meaning as they were .
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