Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
Monday Will Be Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day
A few months ago, in my talk "What Would Open Source Look Like If It Were Healthy?", I told a story of an overwhelmed open source software maintainer. Every solstice is a Responsibility Amnesty Day, and he uses one to say "Sorry, I need to stop doing this."
Sean maintains a lot of stuff, right?...So Sean has taken on more and more, and he realizes one day that he's feeling a little more burned out, feeling kind of exhausted. And a friend of his, instead of sending him some list of 10 productivity hacks, does, perhaps, a kinder thing and actually takes some time to sit down with him and do a responsibility audit. Just a big list of “what are all the open source things that you're responsible for right now.” And there's a lot on that list. And Sean realizes that this [particular project] is just not where he wants to be putting his time, he needs to concentrate on fewer things that have higher priority to him.
And so at the next solstice, he uses the open source tradition that has arisen that twice a year at the solstices, there's a Responsibility Amnesty Day, which is the day when you can just say, “hey, I can't keep doing this anymore so I'm putting it down.” And everyone understands. So he does that at the next solstice.
Several people really perked up at that idea. So now there's a website: https://www.volunteeramnestyday.net/.
The next solstice is Monday, June 21st, 2021. Maybe you should take a moment between now and then to list out what you're responsible for, so on Monday, you can announce that you're setting something down.