Seeing Other People's Self-interest
When was the first time you noticed you were different? Or, when was the first time you remember seeing different people? How did it feel to be different? Was it scary, awkward, difficult?
Living a public life is about working with differences—different people, viewpoints and ideas. It can be difficult, but it can also be exciting and fun. Most important, the many differences that exist in public life can be a rich source of solutions to many of the complex problems we face.
If you try to solve problems by working only with people who are like you, it is a little like starting a band with four drummers—it limits the tunes you can play. Working with differences is like creating an entire orchestra that is versatile enough to play pop, jazz, classical, or rap.
To act effectively in public requires learning to listen and learning to see other people's self-interest. And it means learning that differences can give answers to some very difficult problems. When people discuss their ideas together and develop actions based on many points of view, they tap into a collective "wisdom" that is greater than any one person acting alone. Whoa! Do you agree with this description of being in public? Do you think that diversity is a strength when solving problems? Or does it create more problems than it's worth? Why?
Remember, earlier I said, Community Organizing is a process of events and engagement. So the key is for this organization to recognize what types of events do we host that helps us get support for our vision. Right now that vision incorporates a couple of programs, and administrative campaign and an organizing campaign. Both with the intent and purpose to roll out another organizing campaign in August. The August campaign is the biggest organizing campaign of the year. This campaign has the potential to create committees for each school level, High School, Middle School, and Elementary, and possibly committees at each grade level. Think of an organization that had a committee structure that was looking out for parents and students at each grade level. Think about that? Every time you change grades, there would be a support team to tell you what to look for, what the teachers are like, who to support and how to support the teachers that instruct your children. The number one priority is developing an organization that can support parents and families through collaboration and mentoring.