Today, I’ll be speaking to 200 nurses, members of the Minnesota Nurses Association, about how their personal stories can provide powerful support to their advocacy
Living Proof Blog
All 30 men and women sitting in front of me have one thing in common: a distracted driver changed their lives. Some have lost a spouse, a parent or a child. Others have lost the ability to walk. In every case, the driver responsible was texting, using a cell phone or, in one instance, putting on nail polish.
When we began imagining the cover of Living Proof, we immediately thought of the work of graphic designer Brad Norr.
Headquartered in Ames, Iowa, Practical Farmers helps farmers throughout the region share information and become more profitable while protecting the environment and their communities. They encourage farm diversity, sustainable agriculture and family farms that can meet the growing demands for fresh and local foods.
Tim and I visited the memorial at Ground Zero this past weekend. As we stood watching the rush of fountain waters cascading into a seemingly bottomless hollow, it began to rain lightly.
Here’s another inspired and inspiring organization that understands what it means to use personal narrative as an agent of change: Adversity to Advocacy (A2A) Alliance, an organization we recently featured here on the website, in the press and in our speaking engagements.
In the early pages of Living Proof, Tim and I make this important point:
Your story doesn’t have to be extraordinarily shocking to be memorable and have an impact. True, the events of one life may seem more sensational than another, but this doesn’t discount individual experience. The power of your story may not lie in its drama, but in its absolutely perfect relationship to your cause.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of valuing one kind of story over another. Did we fall into that trap in Living Proof?
When 19-year-old college student Zach Wahls gave a brief personal testimony to the Iowa House Judiciary Committee opposing a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, he had no idea a video of his speech would go viral, becoming YouTube’s top political video of 2011. It’s since been viewed more than 17 million times. Zach landed in the national spotlight and his advocacy story—an Eagle Scout raised by a lesbian couple—has spread rapidly.