I read A LOT this summer, and I have notes about some of my insights from that reading all over my desk.
In an effort to clean off my workspace and clean out some of the thoughts swirling around my head, the next several weeks will be sort of ‘book review’ time at Classroom to Capitol. I hope that you add some new titles to your ‘to-read’ lists (mine are SO long!) and find some new ideas to seed your own thinking, as we head into fall.
Reading about Auschwitz on vacation prompts some strange looks, I’ll admit.
But it’s good mental exercise, and I found myself reflecting on more than just the obvious horror of the Holocaust, although that’s what kept me up some nights.
But this quote from Goebbels was one of the first pieces that struck me.
He described his communication efforts as relying on repetition and constant, only somewhat varied, reiteration. His technique was to ‘move like a convoy–always at the speed of the slowest vessel’ (p. xvi).
I’m not, I promise, suggesting that we strive to emulate the Nazi propagandist, it is an undeniably poignant example of the power of communication.
But that idea, that we need to be always aware of how we’re bringing people along with us, as we’re messaging, is incredibly important.
It means that racing along at our preferred speed won’t work, when what we’re trying to do is get people to adopt our lens to see the world. It means that we will leave people behind unless we’re not only scanning the horizon but also looking in the rearview mirror. It means that we can’t be afraid of saying the same thing over and over again, because that’s how we give people a chance to connect to our messages, at whatever point they encounter them.
It means that we never lose sight of the purpose of our communication, at least in an advocacy context: to share a vision of the world as it should be, and to invite others to be part of it, too.