To kickstart Change: Start with an Outrageous Request and a Bargain.

There’s always a way to change things: start with an outrageous request and a bargain.

In her lecture “On Self Esteem and Scholars, Witches and other Freedom Fighters”, Gloria Steinem advocates for breaking isolation to give purpose to your life, play your part and make change happen.

“If we are alone, we feel disempowered, weak, crazy, the problem seems too big. We don’t have the institutions that reflect our changed values, no schools, no churches, etc.”

[ they don’t change as fast as we do, do they?] 

The solution is, find a small group of people with whom you meet once a week, so you can tell the truth, say the unsayable things… They are your “alternate family”, because books or political organisations are not enough.

We need to come together in big groups of course as well. So we have to send signals, that make us find out we are not alone. We need to come together. Organise more. Movements are only people’s movements, really, no one else’s.

Then Gloria continues and asks the audience two things, before they go: a request and a bargain.

gloria-steinem-pic-by-gage-skidmoreA REQUEST

“Before you leave the conference, look around and see at least four people you don’t know, introduce yourself, what you do, what you care about, the values you share… By doing so you might bag yourself a new friend, a new love affair, a new revolutionary colleague.”


“If each of you promises me to do at least one outrageous thing in the cause of self-respect and social justice, whatever it is… in the next 24 hours, starring tomorrow at 9 am.

For some it will be about telling each other their salary… or decide to run for local political office, or form a community, a revolutionary cell… an exchange…

In addition to this, you can give 10% of your salary to social justice, the best investment you can do – next year it won’t be there- it is how churches do -, then send 5 letters a week, praising or criticising something. Phone if you can’t send a mail…”

Act as if the country belongs to you, go vote, take part in one demonstration a month just to keep your blood tingling”

You will get two results: the world will be better by the weekend, and you will have such a good time.

Who is in? Share your outrageous bargains and requests with me here.

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