Personally?

My approach to this project has been a small one, a personal one. I haven’t gotten as vocal as some of my peers—who have gone to local schools, student government, radio, and businesses.  Well, I went to the radio, but I wasn’t the one who was on the air. What I’m saying is that my work has been smaller. I’ve just been talking to folks that I know and people that I run into in my usual life. As far as I can tell, this hasn’t netted the amount of contributions that have come from courting big groups of people, but it’s something. And that’s really the point isn’t it?

The thing is, that when you are talking to people on an individual level, there is a personal element that you have to recognize, and use.  In addressing a group or a crowd, there are general sentiments that motivate people to help others or contribute to a good cause, and those same motivations are at work in the people that make up those crowds, but each person also has their own life too.  And if you know those people you can give them a message that they won’t hear, but that they will feel. I feel good, and I’m sure that everyone that can contribute to this cause does too, but it means more when it’s personal. And, since I’m not the one who is making the personal connection on the other end, I’ll do what I can on this end.

Distant places can be brought so much closer.

When I talk to one friend, he cares about helping kids get the education they deserve, but as a guy in the ROTC program over here he’s  just as happy for the ‘good press’.  When I talk to my professor, he wants students have the basic tools of their trade, but he’s also the kind of teacher that sees education as the key to society’s ills, and is willing to give just that much more if it’s part of the cure. When I talk to my friend from Eastern Europe, he’s a charitable guy, but it’s the idea of growing up in poverty that reminds him of the former soviet bloc state where he was born.  People have their individual motivations, and when you can touch on those then something that’s impact is only felt on the other side of the globe is suddenly a personal endeavor. It’s what moves people.

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