How do you feel when you say these words: “vetting process”?
Do you cringe and feel an uncomfortable twitch in your stomach? You are not alone.
Vetting is about judgment. Will I fit in? Do I have the right pedigree and credentials?
Alternatively, certain types of communities are choosing to divest themselves of the vetting process.
They “accept” everyone.
Altruistic inclusion challenges many communities’ premiere asset: exclusivity.
Recently, I had an informational membership tour in a Manhattan community.
Here is the conversation:
LK: “What does your vetting process entail?” (I am thinking to myself, “prior to being offered an interview you will need to submit letters of reference, bio, press, etc.”)
Community (without missing a beat): “We don’t have one.”
LK: I thought I might not have expressed my question correctly or clearly. I repeated myself and her answer was the same. I then asked, “You let anyone join?”
LK: I blushed and sat down. I was shocked and confused. This was the first time I had ever heard this philosophy in Manhattan. WAIT! It gets even more engaging.
I asked, “What do you do when a member breaks a rule, for example, brings alcohol onto the premises or intrudes on another member when they are not interested in having a conversation?”
Community: “We try to help them! We want to understand why they behaved this way. We want to help them see that what they did was wrong and not part of our philosophy. We want to work with the member and try to resolve this issue
within themselves and the club. We do not want to ask them to leave.”
LK: I fell back into my chair and slumped down deep. I heard myself say out loud, “This is very Danish in theory. I think New Yorkers will be intrigued, drawn and rebuffed by this doctrine.”
LK: I am pausing to bask in this rare experience of altruism, civility and grace. Please ask yourself. “When was the last time you were in a community that held forth these qualities as a basic tenet of what they embody?”
The absence of a vetting process. Inclusiveness to all in a community. Never has this idea been more attractive and challenging to one’s sense of morality and hubris.
I invite you to have the following conversation internally and with others.
Do you want to join a community that validates its discernment in benevolence?
Or would you feel entitlement and solace within yourself by joining a community that embraces elitism?
Which speaks to you?