Why do we do citizen advocacy?

This short piece written by citizen advocate and Ex Officio Board Member Linda Wittish is a great list of reasons why… let us know if you agree and want to learn more…

 

Every person matters.  If we believe that, we have a responsibility – an obligation – to protect one another.

 

Every person has talents and gifts – and contributions to make.

 

There are strong forces at work in our society that undermine that assumption:

        patient (medical)
        problem (social work)
        project (civic/religious)

 

We believe in the person as a doorway toward stronger a stronger community.

 

The world we live in chooses to segregate/separate people viewed as different or less valuable.

 

Being separated from community sets up barriers and devalues people’s perceived worth. This leads to more rejection and negative stereotypes. This devaluation is dangerous and puts people in harm’s way – at greater risk of being hurt. An example is a merry-go-round on the playground where the safest to be is in the middle and most dangerous place to be is on the edge.

 

Coming into a reciprocal relationship with a person who has been devalued opens up powerful opportunities to learn. That learning process teaches us that a lot of what we thought or grew up believing isn’t true. Example: peeling the layers of an onion.

 

We are inviting people into relationships where there will be great joy and also suffering. That is a difficult journey.

 

But, we also assume that, if asked, a certain number of people will choose to go on that journey and make a commitment to the well-being of another person. The relationship will be built on our common interests, not our differences.  

 

And personal commitment is the most powerful form of action over time.

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