Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Tammy McLeod of Agrigirl.
Our local zoo has a Koala on loan from the San Diego Zoo. Sure, I’ve seen pictures and remember the old Quantas airlines ads but up close those black glossy buttons shining from within mounds of gray tufted fur are spectacular. Seeing the bear was the centerpiece of an innovative event where the zoo invited community leaders and board members of environmentally focused groups to gather and enjoy a meal in their gorgeous outdoor setting. Sitting around a table at sunset while giraffe sauntered by in the background was amazing.
Equally amazing were my table companions. I was amongst a well-educated, articulate, engaging group of individuals from a variety of professions and backgrounds and I felt privileged to be there. The conversation was rich. As we spoke with admiration at the zoo’s idea of bringing us together, our talk turned to other community advocacy opportunities. Suddenly I found myself center stage as I described the enchanted world of community supported agriculture. There’s the fun part about knowing my farmer and the altruistic feeling of knowing that the money I spend with my farmer is far more likely to remain in our local economy than money I might spend at a national chain. And of course, there is the issue of food miles and that our food has more nutrients when it’s local but that it’s also emitted fewer greenhouse gases getting to my table.
As I plunged into the data with fervent emotion, my table quieted and then they began to ooh and awe with my economic development talk about farmers creating secondary jobs and local sales tax revenue. And I realized that it wasn’t that I was overbearing. Rather, they were really listening and interested in what I was saying. “I never thought about that before.” “That makes so much sense.” “Would you be willing to talk to a group at my company about this?”
I was amazed. Here were nine well-intentioned, educated, informed and active community participants. Yet this thing, this issue that is at the center of my universe that I feel so passionate about was new information for them. The dinner gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge and viewpoints but it also caused me to reflect on the situation. So many good and viable causes need to find a way to extend their reach into new audiences that are open and interested to learning.
Lets face it: writing is not just a creative endeavor. It’s a talent and one of the best ways to nurture and grow our talent is by using it as a vehicle to serve other passions. As writers, we’re able to create emotion and trust and most of all to educate and cause action. Whether we’re green, believe in servant leadership, have a desire to help others, or are compelled by connecting with local farmers, our writing can be a tool to lead others to our passion and to build support for some element of our communities.
How can you use your writing to serve another cause that will make this world a better place?
Recipe for using Our Writing
Serves an audience
Ideas for getting started:
- decide what you are passionate about – if you don’t know, read the paper daily for a couple of weeks and keep track of the articles that attract you.
- go see it in person regardless of what it is; an animal shelter, homelessness, a riparian reserve
- find a story to tell–people relate to stories not to causes. Find a way to tell it that will inspire others.
Offer to help a not-for-profit with an article for their newsletter. Brainstorm other places that you can use the same material. Use your PR skills or those of others to find a wider audience. Is this something that might appeal to your local paper? On a slow news day? A trade publication?
Tammy McLeod is an advocate of Community Supported Agriculture who is enthusiastic about creating wellness for herself, her family and her community. She writes about life and leadership with food as the common denominator. You can check out her blog going here.
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