Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes
Tell me, what are you FOR?
We have choices in this world. We literally have hundreds, if not thousands, of choices each and every day. One of which is the way we choose to articulate our ideas, our views, our wishes, and our desires.
Do you wish more people listened to you? Do you wish more people came around to your way of thinking?
Tell them what you are FOR
If you want to build a better world around you, start by telling people what you are for instead of what you are against.
We can choose to frame our ideas, our arguments, and our desired outcomes in either a positive or negative light. In a world so full of darkness people are drawn to the light. They are hungry for it, they crave it, and they desperately want to find it. We can be that source of light by communicating our ideas in a positive manner.
We have the power to choose.
This principle cuts across subjects. It transcends cultures. It is not inhibited by the audience’s or listener’s background.
We have become so accustomed, as a society, in our daily interactions to espouse what we are against. Sometimes this IS necessary. Sometimes we must take a stand for what we will not tolerate and where we will not bend. In certain cases loss avoidance is a better motivator for change than potential benefits. In the fields of economics and decision theory this is known as “loss aversion”. In certain instances it is helpful to inform people of the deleterious effects of particular ideologies or actions.
But, more often than not, especially in trying to bring others around to our way of thinking, it is more effective to tell them what you are for, why a certain idea or action will BENEFIT them, and what they will gain from it. Describe to them how they will be made better off by adopting your point of view.
The list of potential examples we can apply this concept to is truly endless. From daily interactions to advocating for monumental changes in public policy there is no shortage of potential applications of this concept:
Do you want to see your significant other spend more time paying attention to you than nose deep in their phone on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram? Instead of nagging, griping, or complaining about it (which is sure to drive them even deeper into their phones) show them that interacting WITH you is the more attractive option. Ask them to take a walk with you. Ask them to listen to an album with you. Ask them to help you start a project that THEY have been thinking of doing.
Do you want to see your local church filled to capacity? Tell people (and SHOW them) about the love of Jesus. Tell them about the beautiful community of fellowship you have at your church that they can be a part of. Tell them about the freedom they gain from worry, from anxiety, from despair, from bondage, from hopelessness. Tell them about what they gain when they come to know Christ. And let them SEE it in your daily interactions. Let them see the joy, the happiness, the love that is palpable in your life. Let them see Christ in you and the difference it makes in how you live your life.
Do you want to see a more free and prosperous society for all people? Then tell people about the virtues and benefits of liberty. Advocate for limited government and couch your arguments in ways that highlight the positive attributes of liberty to people. Railing against Statism and big government won’t win anyone over to our side of thinking. We have to show them why liberty is the best way and how it is relevant to their life.
Do you want to see more people adopt a healthy lifestyle? Show them how easy it can be to start exercising. Tell them about how easy it can be to start making better food choices. Help them imagine a life where they have more energy to play with their kids and grandkids. Help them understand that feeling and looking good will help them be more confident and comfortable in ALL areas of their lives.
Are you a proponent of competitive capitalism? Then tell folks how markets based upon voluntary exchange and unencumbered by excessive government regulation and intervention foster more competition and better outcomes in terms of lower prices and more choices for consumers. Tell them how fewer regulations and government control afford fewer opportunities for cronyism and political representatives that aren’t beholden to special corporate interests. Illuminate for them the greater opportunities THEY will have when taxes are lower and entrepreneurs can create more and better paying jobs.
If we are going to move our society to a place where more people are happier, more free, more fulfilled, more peaceful, and more prosperous we have to create that world in our minds and our words first. We have to give others reasons to join us on that journey. To be certain there ARE instances when ideas and intuitions and ideologies must be decried and resisted, but we have to have something to go toward. It does us no good to complain about something without also proposing a solution. We must have and present alternative ways of doing things. We have to give them reasons to embrace those alternatives. We have to show people why our solutions, our ideas, and our polices will help them and those they care about live a life that they WANT. Tell them what you are for, tell them how they can benefit from it, and tell them what you are building. Then invite them to come along.