How to Write Letters and Influence People

August 7th, 2003

We are a busy people, we Americans. We put more hours on the job than most cultures. The state of the economy usually results in people working more than one job or having to put in overtime just to keep the one they have! It is hard to become involved in one’s government and culture when keeping food on the table and kids in school are the priority.

Yet that means critical decisions about your life are left in the hands of those who have no idea how you live it!

When one is disabled, disenfranchisement from the culture and society are typical. Nearly a third of Americans have chronic illness or a disability yet we have so little “clout” or say in our society. But most of us can have a voice if we take pen or keyboard in hand and express ourselves as members of a voting block, as active participants and thinking Americans no matter the physical limitations.

We need more Armchair Activists!

Instead of watching the news, read a paper or subscribe to one (they are usually free) on line. I read the NY Times and Washington Post headlines daily as they are emailed each morning. I choose stories which impact upon my philosophy or directly upon my life itself and write letters to the editor and letters to congressional representatives about my views.

As major papers are very selective about what they print, I then often go to more local sources around the country for similar stories and write those papers. I have had letters printed everywhere from here at home to England, to Australia and to Canada. It is surprising how similar human problems are around the globe.

Sometimes my letters get printed and make others think about things they may not have looked upon before. Sometimes they result in an article being written as a followup on the original from a new vantage point (I always copy my letters to the reporters writing the articles).

And lots to our representatives in governement! They take counts of yeas and nays on issues and it counts! Personal responses are exciting to receive and one can write to whole congressional committees by looking them up on THOMAS, where all legislative activity can be followed depending upon one’s interest and one’s time allowance.

Be Heard. Count. Your citizenship does require some participation to earn the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing ever came free.

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