September 11 came and went fairly quietly–at least at my home. Yet, I was aware of what day it was and what the date commemorated. For others, I know it was noisy–in their hearts and heads. And, of course, there were memorial services.
I often think about the souls that left this earth on 9-11, especially since I spend a fair amount of time in New York City and I notice that the Twin Towers no longer grace the skyline. I also think about the terrorists who felt so strongly that they needed to be heard that they had to do something so large and so loud.
How many of us feel frustrated by things we can’t change or by people who we perceive as not listening to us or not understanding us? Do we act out? Do we want to strike out at these people?
Admit it? How many times have you felt unheard, unseen, misunderstood…and so frustrated you wanted to hurt someone or something?
Most of us feel that way at some point. We don’t, of course, create terrorists plots. We may act out, yell, cry, throw things, slam doors, hit people, walk out of rooms, refuse to pay taxes, not vote in elections, or worse.
There are other ways to be noticed, other ways to create change in the world.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week as well as I prepare to go speak at the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. The post-9-11 period seems to have spawned so many new causes, concerns and reasons to to author change on a variety of levels:
I’m sure you could think of more to add to this list.
Today, we have so many ways to be heard and to become change agents. And to do so nonviolently. It’s so much easier to get heard and to create a community of like minded change agents ready to go out and champion your cause–a joint cause–or spread your message.
- create YouTube videos
- podcasts or use internet radio
- write and publish ebooks or print-on-demand books
- leverage social media
- write for traditional media
I think it’s probably easier today than ever before to be heard–to communicate a message–than ever before. It’s easier to inspire others to create change as well. Of course, those who feel desperate to get heard may still crash planes into buildings, but it’s possible to create a large impact and to move people to action with other means–to have millions of people watch a YouTube video or spread your blog post across cyberspace.
The question then remains, what impact will you have? What type of movement can you start? What type of change can you begin?This is an important question to answer if you feel frustrated or compelled to create change on some level.
Are you a change agent? Are you ready to author some change in your life, in the life of others or in the world? If so, pick a tool (not a weapon) from those I’ve suggested above and begin making a difference. (If you want to author some change, join me at the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference.)
Photo courtesy of ariel designs