While discussing the upcoming election with my family, it brought to mind great book I recently read, called, The Tipping Point, written by Malcolm Gladwell.
All three basic factors opened avenues for my thinking, and in fact, renewed my commitment to make a difference in the world I care about. Here are the three premises:
1) The Law of the Few – A tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work and can change the beliefs and actions of millions. Wide spread changes are possible and create a behavior modification epidemic.
2) The Stickiness Factor – Some messages are “sticky” to our minds and are memorable. Simple changes in message presentation make a difference in the impact. e.g. McDonalds slogan is, “I’m Loving It!” “Get your hands on a Toyota, and you’ll never let go.” Memorable ideas move us into action.
3) The Power of Context – People are a lot more sensitive to their environments than they seem. “We are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times.” Our present economy and needs help us look at the issues in new ways. Need makes us open to change.
Addressing politics and our voting system, I applied rule 1). Often as victims of the mob psychology phenomena, which Gladwell calls the “Bystander Problem,” we believe our vote doesn’t matter. We believe that someone else will express our preferences and therefore, we do nothing, when quite the opposite is true.
Rule 2) has to do with catchy slogans. It’s not only the candidates campaign headquarters that attempt to structure a creative political phrase that the voters remember, but I attempt to create slogans as well. I use them to define and develop my beliefs and to be prepared when my friends discuss politics. By expressing my thoughts, about our economy and living situations, though memorable language, it is possible, even in my small political circle, to spark an behavior epidemic. Anyone can do it. At least is is possible, if all the elements are there. Discontentment is the soil of change.
As humans, we care about our environment, Rule 3), and, when the system is broken, solutions to the problems open the doors to reassessment. The people we vote into office, perhaps as few as 500, directly effect how we live our lives. We write our congressman, and our letters do make a difference, especially because the action people are the few that are heard.
The message here is to emphasize how important your participation is and to call attention to the part you play in the political game. Yes, there are lots of political layers, but a handful of people can change the world for the better.
Read the book. The examples will dazzle you!
Written by Judith Evicci, October 30, 2010