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The Activism of Hope: Pep talk and open discussion thread

By       Message Kathryn Smith     Permalink
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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 6/28/08

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Get the college newsletter editors involved in printing a censored matter. Get the County Supervisors and local City officials to draft resolutions. With the publicity that ensues, hopefully the mainstream news would become jealous and want to scoop the story.

Mission accomplished!

We also can turn to the local papers, which are sometimes eager to print things not covered by the mainstream because it gives them a cutting edge in the market. Submit any censored letters to them and my experience (with more than 150 letters to the editor in print) is that the smaller papers will print matters dropped by the mainstream.

What good does it do to turn to the smaller newspapers, you may ask yourself, with its small readership?

That question holds several cognitive oversights:

A) It is not only those who read the paper who will hear about the contents of your letter. It will be those who the readers talk to, who post to blogs, etc. People talk and spread word. So your outreach will be much more than just the 30,000 readers of that one paper, or whatever the figure may be.

B) We never know who we are going to reach. All it takes is reaching one proactive person who has influence, and the ball begins to roll. I had one such person contact me as a result of a letter I had written, who marched my election reform proposal directly to Kucinich himself at a house party. Kucinich, in turn, liked the proposal and wanted it penned into law.

That same proactive person also passed my election reform idea to a movie maker, who proposed making a movie out of it to pass word along.

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So we never know who we are going to reach, do we. I wish to stress that this was not a large paper at all which printed my letter: It was, in fact, one of the smaller local papers. And that's all it took. Because of a letter in one small paper, legislative material ended up in Kucinich's lap and a movie maker stepped forward. Plus I gained an activist partner.

How much more do we want from one small letter to the editor?

Folks, I am not trying to brag. Please don't misunderstand my intent. Instead, I heartily wish to encourage and provide uplift and hope. Our word CAN make a difference and we CAN have outreach!

Let us begin. The ten thousand mile journey begins with one step. If we say "Yes" to life and "thank you" for every opportunity we have, however small it may be, instead of thinking of all that is lost and bemoaning our fate, we may end up with a different country.

That is, if enough people participate and do their part.

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I hope to see more activists on this site taking part in the solution instead of focusing on The Problem. However real those problems may be, and I fully agree by the way! Don't get me wrong.

Here is a list of things we can do:

~Letters to the local editors and college newsletter editors

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This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)

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