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

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Reforming America: Making It Personal

Often people get involved in community efforts because they have some personal stake in whatever they are working for. The outcome of the change they are looking for will make their personal lives better in some way. That personal attachment motivates them to work much harder to succeed in their efforts. So how do we transfer people’s passions to causes that do not as directly affect them? The short answer; make it personal for them.

Some of the most successful efforts for change have happened because a human face that people could identify with was put on the problem. Because people identify with the person having the problem it they are motivated to solve the problem. They know how they would feel in a similar situation and their empathy takes over from there. It is not being deceptive or manipulative to demonstrate the human side of a problem. That is simply making the problem more real for the audience you are trying to persuade to solve it.

The big question most people ask is “How do you make it personal?” The answer is to tell a good story. The presentation of the problem is the key to motivating people to want to do something about it. For example, you can simply say “Schools need more money. We should do something about it.” and that might motivate a few people to act or give. A better approach would be to tell people the story of a student that was brilliant but ended up out on the streets because the school didn’t have the resources to keep the child engaged and flourishing in the classroom. As you tell the story of this child with such great potential that was lost due to a failed system you have given a face to the problem and tugged on the heartstrings of the audience you are trying to motivate to action.

In addition to telling the story well you need to show how you are connected to the story as the teller. Your credibility is essential to your success in motivating your audience. You have to feel the emotions that you are trying to impart to your audience as you tell the story. People won’t believe in you or the cause if you don’t show that your passion for doing the greater good comes from a real place in your heart and not just some political platform. Purely political movements are usually short-lived and do not garner the long term support of the larger public. To bring real substantive change you have to have the masses on your side over the long haul. Your passion and emotional investment in the cause and how you share that passion with others will often make the difference between success and failure.

Personal investment is vital to commitment to change. If people are not personally invested in the change they won’t tend to stick with the effort until the goal is achieved. People can be motivated to give or help one time or two when it’s just “the right thing to do”. If you want true commitment you need their hearts and souls in it. Passion drives change and emotional connections drive passion. If you want your efforts to be successful you need people to believe in your cause and feel your connection to the people in need of the change. Without that belief and connection success is much less likely.

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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