Tagged: art of rangering
May 11, 2012 at 11:29 am #1305
flintKeymaster37pSF Bay Area
What the Heck is the “Art of Rangering”
The “Art of Rangering” is the philosophical foundation of the Ranger organization. Big Bear has described the “Art” in three components and overall rationale:
- An “informed intelligence” about Burning Man, the playa, the community, and what “non-confrontational mediation” of all of that means.
- An “emotional commitment”, a buying in at the level of the heart as to what it means to be a non-judgmental Black Rock Ranger (and also what it means not to be).
- Consciously choosing and actualizing that set of behaviors that allows the Black Rock Ranger to express and enjoy his or her self Rangering without spiritually damaging another person.
The punch line is that when all of these three elements are together and functioning in a Ranger, then the Ranger is participating in (not observing) Burning Man. And since all who truly participate in Burning Man are artists, then Rangers are a category of “behavioral artist”. Thus the phrase “The Art of Rangering”.
Additionally, the “Art” may be expressed as:
- Set an example for other participants, other staff, and each other
- Calm people by remaining calm ourselves
- Help others re-frame their perspectives
- Show people how to FLAME a situation
- Remain objective and not take or create sides
- Being part of the solution and not part of the problem
- Choose to just listen as people express their feelings
Transcending the Model
The tools and concepts taught in Ranger training stem from our department’s ideas about what makes up a “model Ranger” However, it is not effective to have a “model” walking around the playa, thinking about all of their newly learned skills and trying to use them separately and individually. A Ranger is more than the sum of a set of tools and concepts; a Ranger rises above the prescribed model, integrating and surpassing what they learned in training. By transcending the model, you will live and work within the boundaries of the tool set provided while finding your own style shaped by your gut, heart, mind and training. You will become even more than the model Ranger that you aspired to be. Transcending the model happens over time; it cannot be forced and it takes practice. All you can do is be who you are and learn from the interactions you have. Be authentic, and Ranger with curiosity and humility. If you are relaxed and not thinking about every move you make, but instead integrate the concepts of Rangering as your own, you are a Ranger, not a walking toolbox.
Favorite Quotes on the “Art of Rangering”
“It’s logistically impossible to teach you to anticipate everything. Therefore we endeavor to teach you to anticipate nothing. That way you will always be prepared.” – Unknown
“Only by cultivating a receptive state of mind, without preconceived ideas or thoughts, can one master the secret art of reacting spontaneously and naturally without hesitation and without purposeless resistance.” – Seishiro Okazeki
“Learn the rules, and then forget them” – Matsuo Basho
“I guess the decision the Rangers face is: do we stay Rangers and continue to use what we do much of the time as a teaching moment, to improve our community, to foster the ideas of radical self reliance and radical self sufficiency? Or do we become park ranger/enablers who walk around looking to fix problems for people who choose to vacation in a barren desert, but don’t care to fix any of the inevitable problems themselves?” – Longshot
“Usually the best way to clear muddy water is to leave it the fuck alone.” – Longshot
“The best Rangers let rangering come to them.” – Longshot
“Wei-wu-wei” (Chinese) – action that is non-action; a deliberate, and principled, decision to do nothing whatsoever, and to do it for a particular reason.
“First, do nothing, then do the least you can do to achieve the necessary result.” – unknown RangerJune 20, 2012 at 10:03 am #1461
What really stands out for me in your post, Flint, is this chunk:
“Additionally, the “Art” may be expressed as:
Set an example for other participants, other staff, and each other
Calm people by remaining calm ourselves
Help others re-frame their perspectives
Show people how to FLAME a situation
Remain objective and not take or create sides
Being part of the solution and not part of the problem
Choose to just listen as people express their feelings”
In my book, that’s an excellent definition of Leadership. For me, part of the Art of Rangering has been an opportunity to provide Leadership. That doesn’t mean I need a bunch of people following me, but that I’m carrying myself in a way that gives others either a compass, or a port in a storm if they needed it or just the resources they need to be able to be Leaders themselves.
Leadership sometimes gets confused with Authority and I don’t mean that kind of leadership. I mean being an example of the quality of Leadership; creating a space in which others get to shine as Leaders in their own lives, camps, etc.June 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm #1496
It’s interesting when people are decompressing from being under authority. I get asked sometimes when Rangering “Can I DO that?” Like I am the authority figurine or something. I explain my role and remind people that “You have Permission!” Then I ask them to wait a sec while I clear a perimeter. =DAugust 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm #1565
Love that first quote. I always say “Desire nothing and you can have whatever you want.”
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