Reform America
We the People demanding a voice.
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Politics & Power

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Reforming America: Getting Involved

Once youíve waded through the rhetoric and determined what needs to be done to address the real problems you need to take action. The biggest challenge to change is the enormity of substantial change. The thing to always remember though is that long-term systematic change most often comes from many small actions. To bring real change on a large scale you need to convince a lot of people to make small changes to their lives. The more easily these changes are incorporated into peopleís daily lives the more likely they are to stick with it and make the larger change happen.

Barack Obama was swept into office on a wave of popular support for major change. Since then President Obama has learned that sustained support for change that requires hard work is much harder to maintain. People want change that benefits them but they donít want to be too highly inconvenienced to get it. If it takes a long sustained effort it is a much harder sell than something that they can do with little real effort. The exception to this is cases where you can show a substantial tangible benefit to keeping the effort going. To do that there need to be many little victories along the way.

If people can see real results in their daily lives they are more inclined to work at something. The best analogy for this would be dieting and exercise. People on a new diet and exercise program are really good about sticking to it because they see results almost right away. As water weight is lost they think they are getting thin quickly so they keep up the effort. As time goes on and the weight loss slows and sometimes stops because long term weight loss takes time, many get discouraged and quit trying. While not true of everyone it is very typical and explains the yo-yo type weight issues many people have. A similar situation exists with social change. If it is hard to do people want to see ongoing tangible results despite the fact that social change is a long slow process.

To keep people involved you need to find ways to make it easy to be a part of the effort or set goals that are quickly achievable with concentrated effort. A good example of a successful program for change is recycling. People recycle because itís easy. You get a special can from the city or county and put your recyclables in it. You feel good about helping the environment and it is not that hard to separate your garbage out. A good example of getting people involved for the short term to achieve a realizable goal is an election. People fight for the side they choose and within a year or two they see the result. Unfortunately many of the issues facing our nation require sustained effort with few short term tangible results. Improving education for the masses will require massive effort and will not yield large tangible results for years to come. But there can be small victories along the way if you look at the problem holistically and work to turn little victories into larger change.

To address larger issues through popular activism you need to tackle small pieces of the problem with an eye to the larger picture. Instead of trying to overhaul education, try to organize a drive to get the local school district resources it needs to improve the schools for the kids. As you solve the smaller problems the larger issues begin to be resolved or begin to be exposed as being related to the organizational structure of the establishment and motivate voters to remove the people in power that support the status quo. Additionally success tends to breed success and when you can show people on the fence the success of previous small efforts it can motivate them to get involved in current small efforts. As efforts succeed the success also deepens the commitment of the people involved in making more changes happen.

Change is achievable but it requires both tenacity and intelligence. Trying to start a major revolution is most often a fruitless effort. People will only pursue major change requiring personal sacrifice when it seems likely that the change will come and last. Change does not always have to come in large accomplishments. Sometimes itís the small victories that lead to the longest lasting change. Thinking big over the long haul while taking seemingly small actions to achieve a larger goal can often be a recipe for long term success. Getting involved does not have to be painful to be successful. If you can embrace that philosophy and instill it in others you can make real change happen.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom | Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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