Progressive Place

Friday, November 30, 2007

How can we help people to change, not just tell them to?

This message is a brain-storm that I’m working thru the details of. Maybe you’ll have some insights or suggestions.

I was looking at non-profit jobs on Craigslist. Most appear to be for a variety of canvassing campaigns, to raise funds for progressive legislative and promotional initiatives. Of course, I support their objectives, and donate a bit to many of the ones I encounter.

But I wonder— Are any of these smart, energetic, dedicated young workers being paid to share the knowledge and expertise of their organizations, in ways that will really change how people act, to start bringing about the changes they promote?

I could see these street workers as the action end of a real support network, connecting better-living expertise with those who need to apply it.

More thoughts, not yet expressed for presentation:

…homes and communities learning and doing things differently, immediately, and consistently. Campaign workers take problems, issues, and obstacles to their knowledgeable communities of practice, initiate dialogs, to connect those who can and who’ve done, with those who need to do.

…paid to work directly with municipalities, churches, service organizations, and membership organizations to help their constituents take direct action, compost, use less energy, eat more sensibly, drive less, treat themselves and each other better, and so on.

Do you know of anything like this going on anywhere? I just feel like I’m living in a big disconnect. We’re writing checks, and reading what articles we can. But every day, we may still be doing things, out of sheer habit, that invalidate the outcomes we’re paying somebody else to promote.