Advocacy

This weekend I responded to a call from colleagues to sign an online petition, about an issue that had been on my mind for a long time. I felt confident sharing my position on the issue, but wasn’t happy with the outcome of my action.

My “signature” generated emails to a number of people, many of whom hold positions of influence, but who are not directly able to take action on the issue. I didn’t know how broadly my “spam” emails had travelled until I began receiving responses from several people I greatly respect.

I am so embarrassed that I filled their inboxes on a weekend, and expressed my position to them via email.

Despite the fall-out from this campaign, I still respect the organization that requested my “signature”, and the colleagues whose tweets had inspired me to sign.

However, I would have preferred the option of composing individual emails to each person. And I would not have timed them to interrupt the necessary rest time on the weekend.

What have I learned? I am certainly going to be much more hesitant about signing any online petitions. And I am going to have to think more seriously about those issues that mean the most to me.

I am also going to much more sympathetic to my colleagues, who may find themselves with a much more public profile than they anticipated, due to this campaign.

Having taken a stand, I now feel compelled to become part of the solution. I cannot speak out, and then not follow through. I own my words.

So, I now must give thought to possible solutions. Stay tuned for my next blog post!

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