Tag Archives: heartsandminds

Perhaps I missed a memo?

I’m really really sorry the bad thing happened.  I’m sorry it happens all the frakking time.  I really really wish there was anything that could be done about it, but shy of removing all the humans from the equation (and I’m not sure that would solve the overarching problem, but let’s leave survival of the fittest out of this for the moment), I don’t see a way to stop it.

You’re right – that doesn’t mean that it should be allowed to continue unchecked or uncommented upon.

That doesn’t mean the only thing I ever hear from you needs to be about how bad this is.

I’m not Catholic, but I was raised that way.  I remember the priest that showed me how to “work an audience” as it were.  To be able to give a group of people the somber message about the bad things in the world and in our collective hearts WITHOUT making them all feel either 3″ tall or grumpy because of…well, the preachiness.  That’s the reason, far as I can see, for the existence of the homily.  It’s there to give the priest a chance to briefly lighten the mood – to make the whole sermon more accessible and absorbable.

There’s little point in hammering that pulpit every minute of the day because no matter how ardent your follower, eventually?  It gets a little wearisome.  Either they get sick of hearing it and stop paying attention or they get heart-sick that nothing can be done because despite of all the publicizing and effort, the same horrible things keep happening.

So here’s a thought – find your homily.  Find your moment of humour, lightness, something not quite so damned awful.  Share it with people.  It will help engage them when you are deadly serious.

Just because they keep following you online doesn’t mean they’re paying attention any more.

You know that doesn’t work, right?

So we’ve talked a bunch, in various formats, about spreading the word.

I keep coming back to a fundamental belief.  It’s more or less “wtf are you thinking?”  I am still confused as to why you’re under the impression that preaching to people works – that talking down to those who disagree with you works.

I mean, yes, there are people for whom that would work – the way the religious right in the US has demonstrated that.  In that case, however, the “preacher” is offering an easy way to be part of the superior mob – there’s little or no effort involved in calling someone else a moron.

It’s much harder to engage someone in discussion and make them want to do work towards your effort.  The people who are more inclined to actually do that aren’t likely to respond well to being told they’re stupid or miserly or NIMBY or what have you as a way to get their attention.

Ultimately, getting people to change their mind about something is easiest done by finding their “currency” – what is the thing they want.  Just because you don’t think it’s valuable doesn’t mean that they don’t.  Find someone’s currency and you can pretty much get them to do anything.  Parents have been using this trick for generations now.  Trust me, it works.

I think what you’re trying to do is awesome.  I slap my forehead in frustration when I look at the way you’re doing it.