1. Identify a leader at any level of government who you would like to influence.
2. Choose one burning issue that is not being addressed the way that you want it to be.
3. Share your concern in a positive and personal way, and provide plausible alternatives.
I hate to admit it, but I’m not politically astute. Though I vote in every election, I rarely consider myself adequately informed. This is something I’m not proud of, and I know that being more engaged in policy discourse is important. Somehow it always seems that other duties in my life are prioritized over current political affairs.
Then I got my tax bill, and all of a sudden, I’m more motivated to know what’s happening with my hard-earned money. When I started to consider this, it became clear that many current government decisions do not align very much with my values. I bet you can relate.
This month commit to one letter. Keep a notebook on your kitchen counter for a few days and find 10 minute periods to consider and record your thoughts on an issue that matters deeply to you.
Here are just a few places where you can dedicate some purposeful reflection into your daily routine:
- Doing dishes/folding laundry
- Commuting to/from work
- Sitting in a pointless meeting
- Waiting in line
- Finishing your taxes
Hot tips when you’re ready to bring it all together:
- Write the letter in your own words
- Keep it short – focus on a single issue
- Be polite and keep a positive tone
- Include supporting facts and details
- Make your message personal
- Suggest specific actions and ask for a reply
Anybody can call the Prime Minister! Or call any other leader, for that matter. Elected officials (those people paid with your hard-earned taxes) pay attention to public feedback – especially written letters. The more they hear about an issue, the more they believe they need to make it a priority. Plus, writing a letter feels so satisfying, once you try it, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to start.