Dominos? Links in a chain? Boats that rise? Passing relay batons?
These were just a few of the analogies bantered about recently as I caught up with a fellow storytelling-with-purpose professional. Over the hour we drained our coffee cups, his journey repeatedly reminded me why collaboration is among Stories Change Power's values.
Whether we keep this fact front of mind or not, we've all experienced significant change over the last several years. From decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and new laws from state legislatures, to massive shifts (visible or not) on our social media platforms and emerging topics and technologies that divide us, we've navigated more than "just" a global pandemic.
When you work in advocacy, change can be in your face all day every day. Work you've done for years may be undone with the stroke of a pen. A door of opportunity open one day may be shut and locked the next. Media coverage can be frustrating for anyone - but imagine how you'd feel if it were your job to track it all and break through the noise with a different message.
The world changing rapidly around us while the change we are working toward is frustratingly slow means at least two things:
We cannot do it alone.
And sometimes we ourselves need a change.
Like dominos or links in a chain, we need everyone -- from those providing on-the-ground direct services in communities to those meeting directly with policymakers -- to work together. We need those who are building just, equitable, and peaceful communities to share effective strategies with others so everyone can have access to a "boat" and those metaphorical boats can rise together. When changemakers find themselves tapped out of energy, it may be time to pass the baton to someone else and move to another place in our collective work with renewed purpose. (In fact, the topic of pacing ourselves and preventing burnout is a key objective in our programming, including for new professionals.)
In short, there's a need for all of us and a place for all of us, and we can swap those places as we swap our knowledge, while both sharing talents and building skills.
If you have other thoughts, including more analogies to suggest, use the contact form below to be in touch!
- Piper Hendricks, Executive Director