Refining one of my core message: Systemic Change Begins With Personal Change

New: Systemic change begins with personal change.

Old: Systemic change begins with personal transformation.

What difference does a word make? I believe the bigger one is that unifying the two changes through repetition highlights the contrast between them. Making one a change and the other a transformation made one big complex concept. This way simplifies and calls attention to the action of personal change on systemic.

My goal in this message is to liberate people from the debilitating and counterproductive fear that their actions don’t matter, nor any other individual. People are debilitated by thinking that only solutions that solve everything on a global scale are worth trying. Nothing meets that criteria so they give up.

They also heard that BP and other oil companies pushed personal responsibility to deflect their responsibility. Maybe, but people confuse blame in the past with taking responsibility to act now, again debilitating themselves from acting.

I may add “If we don’t change ourselves, we can’t change systems” or “only by changing ourselves can we change systems.”

I owe thanks to podcast guest Warren Farrell. I recorded our first conversation the other day, now in the editing queue. I asked him about his practice of turns of phrases like “Men’s facade of strength is their weakness. Women’s facade of weakness is their strength” and “boys who hurt hurt us.” I thought he would say it just came to him. Instead, he described the process, which emerged when he found important points. He examined them and worked with them until such a phrase emerged.

I shared with him the challenge of my mouthful, “systemic change begins with personal transformation.” He suggested the small change and it made sense. Still, I’m testing it before, say, making it the title of my book. You’ll hear the interchange at the end of our recording, which I recommend. His message and work transformed me as much as nearly anyone’s.

A couple of the memes I created a couple years ago apply here (check out the rest. I hadn’t seen them in a while and found them poignant as ever):

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