The Power of Your Pen


I heard a story about an attempt to inhibit drunk driving in a university town. One campaign told the story of “increasing numbers of students are driving while drunk.” The other campaign told the story of “students at this university are increasingly choosing not to drink as much and when they do choose a designated driver.” In testing the two campaigns, the second positive story was more effective at reducing the numbers of young people driving while intoxicated. This is probably due to the impact of social pressure on people. If people think lots of people are driving intoxicated a larger number will do so, and vice versa.

This spring we are celebrating the convergence of many holy days in many traditions. In April this includes the celebrations of Ramadan, Passover, Easter, Vaisakhi, Mahavir Jayanti, Theravada New Year, and the Gathering of Nations. This means that Muslims, Jews, Christians, Baha’is, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, and Indigenous nations will all be practicing their significant religious and cultural traditions around the same time.

This spring I encourage us to use the power of our pen and write a letter to the editor of our local paper about how we respect and celebrate our religious diversity and the constitutional rights that support them.

Here is one sample of a topic you could share:

Our country’s highest ideals of freedom, fairness, and dignity for all come into reality when we work together to address religious discrimination in the many ways it shows up in society. Our religious traditions offer wisdom for how to best live and work together to co-create communities where we can all flourish. In order to do this fully, we must name and address discrimination.

Our friends at the Shoulder To Shoulder Campaign and other partners have put together a document that can help you draft just such a letter. Here is the link.

In a time when so many are longing for positive news, we can share positive stories and build on shared values. We all have the power of our pen. Let’s use it!

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

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