Monday, August 20, 2007

Why do we advocate?

Advocacy this, advocacy that -- sometimes I get caught up in all the details of HOW to be an effective advocate that I forget WHY we do it in the first place!

Fortunately I was reminded of this while in Minnesota this weekend at a family reunion / wedding. There wasn't any particular reason -- no one needed an "advocacy intervention" of any sort. Being around family (even the, umm, somewhat off-balance members of my own family) reminded me of a number of simple yet meaningful reasons why we advocate.

Why Advocate?

We advocate to protect our health, well-being and livelihood
We advocate to help those less fortunate, whether we know them or not
We advocate for the benefit of those who can't speak up for themselves
We advocate on behalf of loved ones both near and far, living and dead
We advocate to make the world a better place, according to our own definition of a "better place"

Hmm, makes advocacy sound not that terrible, right? And it really isn't. Just remember, every time you speak up for yourself, for others, for the environment, for animals, for business -- for whatever is important to you, you are advocating.

Although some in DC have turned advocacy and its sinisted step-sister "lobbying" into a dirty word, you can choose to use your advocacy power for good. So get out there and advocate!

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