We've discussed a few potential reasons why the WT is promoting April 2011 as a month of special activity. Reasons include manipulating statistics, and trying to provide some kind of spark to increasingly apathetic and discouraged congregations. I'm sure there are others I'm missing too, feel free to include those. Yesterday, after an incident at the KH, I'm wondering if there's another motive. I'll tell ya what happened.
As some of you know, I've been a little ill this month. Had a couple bugs going on, and I'm starting to get back on my feet again. I was looking forward to attending the meeting on Sunday as I hadn't been there in a while. I enjoyed my time there for the most part as it was good to see old friends, children running and playing, and people generally in a good mood. It's hard to be cranky around a group of people smiling and enjoying one another's company. After the meeting, I had to pass out KMs, and magazines to those in my group. It was also our turn to clean and secure the building. So I hung around after the meeting a little longer than I typically do. I was leaning against a wall right outside of the library, and one of the pioneers approached me. She's a little eccentric, but a genuinely nice lady. Her husband is an elder, and he has some significant health problems. I wonder at times when we'll get the phone call that he's passed. I don't know him that well, but he's nice guy, and I'll miss him when that happens. She's significantly younger than him, and considering their age difference, and his health problems, its difficult for him to keep up with her. She's a dynamic woman, a go-getter, quite vibrant and full of life. As a result, he's often lonely, and its not uncommon for him to call certain folks in the middle of day, only to call them later on that evening just to talk about nothing in general. Note to self, don't marry someone a couple decades younger than you because eventually, you will get old and she just might not want to play nurse.
Well yesterday after the meeting, she approached me and asked how I was, and I responded in kind. Then she comes closer to me, and inquires as to whether or not I'm going to auxilliary pioneer in April? This question kinda caught me off guard, as I wasn't really expecting anyone to ask me this. In hindsight, I should have expected this question, because despite my own personal cynical and apathetic nature, this is actually a big deal for some. Well, I responded to her, "I really don't know at this time." She responded, "WHAT?!?!?" Then she grabbed my suit jacket with both of her hands for emphasis, and said, "you better do it!!! What do you mean you don't know! You have to do it! I tell you what, you have until Tuesday to make your decision!" At that point, I'm somewhat embarrased, yet its rare that I lose my sense of humor, so I responded, "Can it wait until two Tuesdays from now for my decision?" She eased up on my jacket, and said, "alright, I'll let you have two weeks from now!" I knew this conversation wasn't quite over yet, so I embraced for what was coming next, my interrogation. She goes, "So do you work everyday?" "Yes." "Typically 9-5?" "Typically I get off a little later." "My husband and I can work with you every evening for an hour or so after you get off work." "Wow, that would be nice, but I have to think about it. I've got a lot on my plate right now, and April is too far away for me to make that decision at this time." At that point, my knight in shining armour arrived, "Misery, can you give me a hand counting the money in the boxes?" "I'd be glad to!"
Don't get me wrong about this sister, she's eccentric, but she has a good heart on her. I wasn't exactly forthcoming with her regarding my hesitation to commit on saying yes to auxillary pioneering in April. The real reason why I couldn't tell her that I hadn't reached a decision yet, had nothing to do with too much on my plate. To be completely honest with you, I actually had made my decision as to whether or not I would pioneer during the month of April. My decision was actually, no, I'm not going to do it. I have no intention on pioneering during that month or any other month in the near or distant future. The reason being goes back to what I mentioned at the outset of this post, apathy and discouragement. The general public in our territories are extremely apathetic and its worn off on me and others in the congregation to the point that I find field service discouraging. If I'm already averaging anywhere from 15-20 hours a month, and accomplishing absolutely zilch, why would I want to spend an additional 15-30 hours extra accomplishing "double zilch?"
That leads me to what I feel is a possible ulterior motive behind this 30 hour initiative. Its no secret on this message board that this organization has mastered the art of subtle peer pressure. Kids, and teenagers get baptized often enough not because they've really dedicated themselves to Jehovah, but because their families and congregations are looking at them funny because they're yet to get dipped. Young brothers reach out for privileges not because they want to do more, but because its whats expected of them. I can testify to that from my own personal experiences. This 30 hour initiative is in the same vein as the aforementioned. This pioneer that approached me and was agasped that I hadn't made up my mind yet, did exactly what this organization expects of the truly indoctrinated. In her mind she was encouraging me, in my mind however, she was pressuring me. I'm in a position where I don't really have to answer to anyone, with the exception of the CO, and those in my field service group. So her actions don't bother me too much, and besides she was being playful. She means well and I love her.
However I fear for others who will find themselves in the same predicament in other congregations across the States. They're going to be asked whether or not they're going to pioneer during the month of April. Depending on their answer, they may get viewed poorly by others in the congregation. Whether this is intentional or not is debateable, but make no mistake about it, this has the potential to be a massive congregational "marking" inititiative. A distinction will be made between those who appreciate the Slave's provisions and arrangements, and those like myself, who do not. Maybe I'm looking too far into this, I don't know. What do you think?