Made by Survivors | Intro to this blog and your friendly but argumentative blogger
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Intro to this blog and your friendly but argumentative blogger

23 Dec 2008, by elance programmer in Uncategorized

Well, I had to start blogging sometime. Several times in my life I’ve tried to start a journal or diary, and I’ve never got past a few days before giving up. I think this is because one of the ways I learn the most is from getting into discussions so I seemed to be programmed more to get into arguments (constructive ones mostly) than to want to publish my thoughts. So make this easy on me and comment so I can get a discussion going!

As a context to this blog its probably worth explaining a bit about how we work here at TEN.

As you may know, my wife Sarah and I started TEN (backstory here) and while we now have a growing staff, a good part of the way we manage TEN derives from the fact that we are married and have very different personalities and interests. Sarah is an artist, social worker, empath, and motivator, and is the inspiration behind TEN. I come out of almost 20 years in Wall Street and am much more of an analytic business person. In my Wall Street past, I was a generalist and often had to quickly become an expert of some obscure industry, a skill set that I am now applying to building TEN as a business, and hopefully to helping build the larger abolition movement.

In many ways Sarah and I are very lucky that our backgrounds and interests are so different. Starting TEN has pushed us to the edge of bankruptcy and been a major disruption on our family. Even worse, Sarah has to put up with me all day.  I’ve had to learn how to deal with non-banker types, so I have to redirect my desire to analyze/argue when it might hurt someone’s feelings (it is so strange to me that people have feelings over ideas).  And how can I fire volunteers? If we had been more similar this would have been a huge strain on our marriage but our differences  have been our strength.

Another real strength Sarah and I have relied on, is that well before we were married, we have  been through some tough experiences together. When we met, Sarah worked with homeless kids in New York at Creative Arts Workshops, and I was a volunteer that ended up joining the Board. So we have been through some of the worst things humans can do to each other, from child rape to murder. There are, it turns out, some incredible parallels between the psychology of the kids we worked with at CAW and the survivors we work with today. 

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