Change: 1) Care and 2) Connect

Becoming a Change-Maker
Image Description: The text, “Time for change” is written in white chalk on a blackboard.

I appreciate the perspectives of David LaMotte, songwriter, musician, and author of Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness. He reminds us that we are not always able to fix the many challenges of the world, but we are enabled to change them. Change is the powerful and empowering paradigm.

In my work, I am at times presented with challenges I don’t know how to fix. In those moments, I don’t have the personal knowledge, experiences, or access to necessary resources. In such situations, I have two primary strategies. They sound simplistic, but they are powerful and empowering too:

1) Care and 2) Connect.

We participate in changing situations when we care for the people experiencing them. There are times when people are bolstered by being heard, seen, understood, and loved.

We’ve likely heard about the placebo effect when it comes to medications. But this can be applied to caring presence as well. Studies have revealed that cancer patients do better on their treatment regimen when a doctor walks in to tell them that the treatment is beginning. In such moments, the doctor shares nothing overtly medical. They only offer their presence in connection to the treatment. When patients connect their treatment to a symbol and presence of care, the treatment is more effective.

When we add our presence and care to the people around us, we change difficult situations.

As I shared above, there are times when we don’t have the personal knowledge, experiences, or access to necessary resources. In these moments, I think, “Get this person to people.” Sometimes, this involves a referral to a trusted source who will have that knowledge, experience, or access to necessary resources. But sometimes, we can’t think of anyone, and this is a general strategy to “get this person to community.”

The community often has the personal knowledge, experience, and access to resources. These are all held in the collective, and while you can’t always anticipate the precise relationships from which they will emerge, so often, they do come specifically from the community. This is something I trust because I watch it happen repeatedly. Every single week, I witness this.

We can change things. When in doubt,
1) Care and 2) Connect.

Renee Roederer

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