Ego versus cause

About being taken seriously in your cause—I, like many Ashevilleans, share many common concerns on many social and developmental issues. The problem as I have seen it for a long time is in the way people present these ideas/concerns. While most people have no opposition to protest, if the people at the heart of these protests really care and want to attract people to their cause, they must realize that it is their job to get the general public on their side.

That being said, there is a reason why the term “general public” is used. It means “the general body of mankind.” I know and sympathize with the freaky Asheville type, but if you really really care about your issue—and not your ego—it is time to put away the tie-dyes and witchcraft references, and make your appeal to the “normal” population. By bringing “your group” into the equation, you only succeed in alienating many people who would otherwise support your cause.

Drop the nicknames, the religion and the shock value, and support the cause. Don’t put controversial figures (community or otherwise) on your posters, and show that solidarity means truly reaching across social lines for any given cause. It’s the cause that matters.

And when you win, have your little group meeting sporting your cool “Asheville” name and celebrate in your own funky way. “Lady Love Swooping Eagle Dank Astronaut” will still be loved among his/her peers for helping save the tree/ park/mountaintop. But instead of alienating 20 people, he or she may have brought 20 to the cause and tipped the balance. Social lubrication goes a long way.

— Chad Battles
Asheville

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