The Power of Words to Inspire A Call To Action


That passionate artery of mine was flowing freely as I received my invite along with thousands of others this week. I became part of yet another Obama inspired online movement: The Citizen’s Briefing Book.

Actually, intending just to sit down and edit my manuscript, I committed the cardinal crime: I checked my email first. There it was, an invitation from Valerie Jarrett asking us to contribute ideas for President-elect Obama. Much like going to the grocery store hungry, this invitation fed me unlike past ones sent to Obama supporters since the election.  Without hesitating, I jumped in with the others that evening, voting on ideas for the president elect like filling my grocery basket, hoping each of my choices would make it into the book of ideas from us, his loyal supporters because this Citizen’s Briefing Book will be given to him to read.

How could I also make a statement that would encourage votes for my idea so it would make it into this book that that our future President Obama would read? With ravenous furvor, I typed a proposal that has been at the forefront of my thoughts for years as well as the main inspiration for the book I am writing.  In fulfilled haste, I proofread my idea for our next president and sent it off into cyberspace with the thousands of other worthy ideas, watching with baited breath to see what happened.

To my surprise, negative votes and posted comments started rolling in. Flush with concern, I realized instantly the error was in my word choice.  In the end, there was a (negative)-320 points with 14 posted comments.  I had used the word ‘mandate’, where I should have used ‘campaign’. This error contorted my message and inspired a call to action in the form of  inflammatory comments and negative votes. 

Curious as to what would happen if the wording was changed ever so slightly, I clarifyied my proposal by replacing the word ‘mandate’ with ‘campaign’, and shifted the title’s wording somewhat.

Without the word ‘mandate’, this revised idea gained positive votes slowly but surely, yet prompted no comments. In the end, it had a (positive)+490 points with only 1 comment.

What does this prove? Yes, anger does inspire action more than just a great idea.  A vote was easier than a vote with another step to write a comment, but if you were angry about the possibility of something you didn’t like becoming a reality, you jumped into action. In the end, the reception of my idea was positive and helped me find the pulse on how to communicate ideas more effectively.

As a postscript, I might just entertain the idea to inflame when I want to inspire a call to action; negative publicity really does work. (Kidding, I think.) Perhaps this is why so many of us came out in full force when John McCain picked Sarah Palin for his VP. 

What was my idea?

“Prevent Diabetes Where it Starts!” 

Beginning with a massive ‘campaign’ to encourage and support all mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for at least six months, thereby reducing the propensity towards obesity with infant formulas made with high fructose corn syrup, etc. 

To read the entire idea, go to: http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004wI6&srPos=0&srKp=087   

Let’s see if it makes it into the Citizen’s Briefing Book to President Obama.  For the sake of our country, our health care system, and our children, I hope so!

Christina Ivazes

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5 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama

5 responses to “The Power of Words to Inspire A Call To Action

  1. Roanne

    I was just wondering why you have to be an Obama supporter to be included in the book? When I clicked to vote for your idea, it said I had to be a member of change.org. If Obama really wants to know what we think, shouldn’t he also get ideas from those who did not vote for him? Actually, these are the people he should be wanting to hear from the most.

    As far as your idea goes– I love it and I am with you all the way! One of the reason’s I did not vote for Obama is because of his emphasis on National Health Care. Unless that care will help me to feed my children healthy food and pay for their nutritional supplements, we are supporting a “Sick-Care” system, not a “Health Care System.” In addition, we cannot ‘change’ the prevalance of high-fructose syrup in foods without also revamping the agricultural industry. Do you realize how much money the food industry will lose if all mothers excusively breastfeed for 6 months?! Not to mention pharmeceutical companies, formula manufacturers, and even doctors themselves.

    • grannypants

      Yes, I agree on point no. 1. In fact, one of the most popular ideas on the website was to include all Americans in this process, which I also voted for along with thousands of others.

      For your other points, it is vital that the agricultural industry have replacements so they can still survive (see future blogs on my ideas). As far as the pharm. industry goes, well I have no sympathy personally. They need to step down off from their powerful positions to manipulate doctors, health care, and our nation much like hedge fund managers, who also need to step down (more on this thought in later blogs).

      As far as Obama’s Health Care Plan, I don’t think it will reward illness; in fact, prevention has been a cornerstone of the health care conversation.

      Thanks for your comments!

  2. Well, it is about time I see all your wonderful Potential and Abilities focus on such great ideas, as food and health! I look around and see a generation of children so far removed from real food, they have no idea- how to cook real food or find real food, the way our grandmas did so naturally. You talk Christina- and keep talking- each person will get hungry -in their own time- and be ready to hear!

  3. Sue Redding

    Congratulations on your process to publication~~

  4. Will Linquist

    Hi-It’s a wonderful sunny day before the ‘kids’ head off to Mexico for 5 months. We are playing cards and slowin’ down as they are on a 5-day cleansing fast to enhance the immune system while they’re away. We all are so hopeful for this century to become the cure that ails the planet and its inhabitants. Here locally this recent election brought ‘progressive change’ on all levels from City Councilor and County Commissioner to Senator and of course our new President Barrack Hussein Obama and his outstanding First Lady and two girls. What a family! May peace and health(Single-Payer HS) be yours. Lovingly, Uncle Will

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