Friday, July 13, 2007

Majority Rule

When I worked among a group of about 20 women at Boeing, we were in the process of making a procedure manual for the jobs performed in our department. My lead (the supervisor over our immediate group) had not graduated from high school, and her written language skills left a lot to be desired. She wrote the procedure manual to begin with, and we all were to look at it on overhead and critique it for changes. This type of work is right up my alley. I love the use of words; grammar and spelling come easily to me, perhaps thanks to my Canadian mother. She used to continually correct my grammar, telling me tests by which I could determine how to construct a sentence.
The procedure manual would be published with all of our names on it, so we were encouraged to take ownership in making it the best it could be. The initial form of the manual had a great need for editing in all the basics of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I quickly became noticeable in the quantity of input I provided. They nicknamed me "Comma Connie," and I'm pretty sure it wasn't all in friendliness. Still, I didn't want my name on it in its original form.
Each time we met, it was clear that my lead didn't want my input. The changes I proposed were ignored and the passages in question were left in their original form. I spoke up about this and the supervisor over my lead provided a facilitator to make sure the meetings proceeded as they should and that the proper changes would be made. At one point, there was a question about a particular comma, and someone suggested that we vote on it. The facilitator was shocked. "Vote on whether a comma belongs in a sentence? Either it does or it doesn't. It isn't a matter of opinion."
The same is true in so many things in life--especially those of faith and conduct. A questionable behavior should always be held up to the Scriptures for evaluation. It isn't a matter of opinion or majority rule, but a matter of God's word. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.

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