Saturday, July 7, 2012

#188 / Pro 100%

We base what we “do” on what we “say,” so we actually "talk ourselves into the truth." We live most immediately in a world we create ourselves, and within that world, we don’t “discover” reality as a preexisting “given,” the way a scientist or explorer might discover the realities of the World of Nature. Quite the opposite. We create new realities based on the declarations we make to ourselves about the realities we want to create. That is one of the basic rules derived from the “Two World Hypothesis,” and if this understanding is correct, we probably need to pay attention to how we say things.

Susan C. Strong runs The Metaphor Project, and she has a few suggestions for what she calls new American “truthbites.”

First of all, what if we just start by saying we’re “pro 100 % clean government” or we’re “pro 100% real health care reform,” or we’re “pro a 100% green economy,” or we’re “100% pro more American jobs,” or “100 % American workers,” and so on? Just fill in the blank, vary it, tweak it, but keep it positive, short and snappy. We can do this and keep our integrity perfectly intact. For more on how to shape short, positive phrases with a catchy rhythm, see The Metaphor Project’s website.

I’m stressing the positive here, because modern framing research shows that people move toward the positive, and that framing an “aspirational” message works best for reaching a broad American audience. That’s the kind we need to connect with in order to grow the 99% movement to be 100% of this country. Taking this framing route via actual phrases like “we’re pro 100%. . . .” can also help us bring together the many strands of what Occupy and 99% groups all over the country are doing now. Just as “1% and 99% “ catalyzed a huge change in this country’s political narrative last year, “pro 100%” could take that narrative shift even further in the coming year, if we do it right.

What we "say" precedes what we "do," so we have to say it right.

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