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Posts with tag mandala

Guilds may come and go, but friendships are forever.

Recently, I wrote a piece called "All guilds are is dust in the wind," and our reader Rihlsul has written a "rebuttal" to it, entitled "5 tips for a long lived guild," for which I am surprisingly quite thankful. Personally I don't see it as a rebuttal at all; rather it complements my overall point, which perhaps I did not express as clearly as possible before. Some people heard me flippantly dismissing guilds as pointless and suggesting that we should hop from one to the other selfishly any time we felt the inclination. To the contrary, my post (as well as my reference to mandala art) has to do with unrealistic expectations, and dealing with the sadness that comes along when your guild hopes don't work out.

The majority of my time in World of Warcraft so far has been in two guilds. Both meant a lot to me, and both broke up because we didn't follow Rihlsul's 4th tip, that as a guild you really need to be doing things together, and that means having common goals in the game. In both cases, different members of the guild changed their minds as to what they wanted to do -- which is perfectly natural, since they gained levels, the expansion came out, and new activities opened up. These were small guilds anyway, and they no longer felt like thriving communities. At first, it seemed as if each guild was a failure.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

All guilds are is dust in the wind

Recently my WoW friends and I decided to start a new guild. We're really excited about all the interesting things we plan to do together, we've thought of new ways to recruit people, and naturally we think we're starting something pretty special. But there's one thing that makes me feel prouder and happier about this than I have been before, something my new guild leader pointed out: that this guild, no matter how great it is, is just dust in the wind.

In fact, we realized all guilds are basically temporary arrangements of diverse people for certain purposes; they grow, change, and dissolve even as the people in them grow and adapt to new situations. A lot of people become upset by guild changes, especially if they're trying to lead and lots of drama ensues. They know in their head of course that no guild will last forever, that WoW itself will not last forever, but they still become sad when, eventually, things fall apart.

My friends and I are discovering that there's no need for this sadness. A great guild, you could say, is like a Buddhist Mandala: an impermanent gathering of individual grains of sand, destined to live its time and then get brushed away. Most of my friends come from a guild that had served us well and gotten old with us, and leaving it behind just felt like the right thing to do. Someday our new guild will get old and we'll leave it behind to do other things -- and that's okay. The purpose of a guild is not to reign eternal, just to let us do what we want to do together now, and enjoy every minute of the present.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

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