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3-30-3

A Plan to Make a Difference

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the World"

Anne Frank

Thank you for visiting this 3-30-3 page. Just a few months ago I began thinking about how people acting together could make a big difference with moderate commitments of time.  My hope is to develop a website to help turn thoughts into action. What follows is my initial attempt but it is still very embryonic and I am seeking people and suggestions to move the idea forward. Let's be in Touch!   You are a key person to move this idea forward.  I welcome a conversation about how I might help you engage the 3-30-3 concept with an issue that is personally important for you. Send an email to me at bflind58 (at) gmail (dot) com. In your subject line use "3-30-3." I will get back to you as quickly as I can. In the meantime, what follows is a few of my thoughts. Your help is essential. Your questions will help clarify and advance the 3-20-3 goal of engagement.  
Making a difference is a matter of asking; What can we do together? The answer means action. A small team, no matter how fleeting, assembles for action. *  For nearly 50 years. I have believed that the key element of moving forward is for many people to do small things that they find important. The masses of humanity work best in small groups. And, of course lest we forget, as the anthropologist Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

She also said; “We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.” There is no daylight between our environment, our economy, our education and our politics. While the environment, in the sense of an ecology, is a biology of being, the form and substance of our very existence.  As individual organisms across the massive spectrum of all forms of life, or as Gaia -- our self regulating layer of life surrounding our planet -- life exists beyond human presence even as the human species almost literally dominates all of planetary life. It is beyond argument or rhetoric and is nonsensical to deny the realities of humanities presence and influence on the planet, our human home. After 3.5 billion years of life on earth, the anthropocene has been recognized. Only humans are now responsible for all life on earth.** 3-30-3 is a way to do something about our collective responsibility by acting in thoughtful, small groups.  

3-30-3 is a way we engage through collective responsibility. That is our politics. It can be real and get important things done to change the direction of our democracy and assure that our environment will sustain a society that is worth sustaining. A key is stewardship and each person can do a little using the 3-30-3 Plan and each small action will make a huge difference.

What, then, does 3-30-3 mean? It means taking action for 3 to 30 minutes, making three contacts a day, three days a week. You and I can do this by following a personal passion to do something about an issue that needs social attention. Whatever your personal passion you begin a 3-30-3 plan by:

Deciding to do something and making a commitment or promise to devote 3-30 minutes to sending three thoughtful messages to three people three times a week. Sometimes the best messages just raise questions, but effective messages ask for action. It is action by recipients of your messages that amplify your actions and potentially generate a small group or team.  I am here to help! Contact me.

OR

First; pick a specific issue and then pick out three specific days a week that you will do something.

That leaves four days each week that you are not committed to anything related to 3-30-3. The 3-20-3 Plan is never meant to be overwhelming but must remain realistic in conjunction with all of the other obligations you have. Of course your usual routines of work and recreation must move forward also. The days you pick are only important if something definite is done. Being active all day everyday is unrealistic and falls outside the 3-30-3 Plan to make a difference. Remember small, focused actions make a big difference.

Only you can and should determine which three days will fit your life’s schedules and obligations. Three days a week can be different days every week if that works best for you. If you had to meet another person's schedule or an organization's schedule, it is unlikely and even unrealistic to expect to sustain any plan of action. People of faith practice their traditions around a routine that is required by an extrinsic routine or dogma. For some that is satisfying but for others it may be unsustainable. The 3-30-3 Planning is personal, diverse and different in order to make a difference. There is no intent to establish a big congregation and diversity is a powerful driver for sustainability.

Second; for each of the three days commit to 3-30 minutes for thought and action.

Most essential is making a definite time commitment to to taking tangible action. Writing down your thoughts and sending messages is real, unmistakable action.  You don’t have unlimited time and neither do those people who receive your messages, so brevity is a virtue. Provide an argument for a specific action. Be aware of facts and evidence. Let your purpose be clear. Raise awareness and questions. But remember, any message is better than no message. Your thoughts are important and your thoughts will change and mature as the power of your messages grows with action.

The ratio of thought to action may be 10:1. But even action with no thought is better than no action at all. Fortunately it is nearly impossible to take action without thought. And, every action can be a thought generator. New thoughts can be triggered internally or externally. Even a stinging criticism from your action may turn positive as you reflect and move forward with a slightly or hugely modified idea. The important thing is only that you keep moving forward guided by your passion.   

Third: use your time to make three contacts.

Every contact has a name that is important. Use it. Contacting different people from your lists of contacts, people you know, is a great way to start but you don’t have to know your contacts. You may actually find a better comfort level contacting strangers such as local officeholders or, perhaps, the President of the United States. Ask your contacts to do something, take a specific action, which may well be to NOT do something. Your contacts will eventually grow into a group. Make a list or any number of lists. Different lists may have common characteristics and may relate to your passion or issue in different ways. Contact lists can overlap and change depending on your interests and circumstances and strategic thinking. If nothing else the growth of your list or lists will give you a discernible sense of progress.

An old and proven strategy for training new life insurance sales agents was to give them a table, a chair, a telephone and a telephone book. Their assignment was to make cold calls until they had three appointments. This became their top priority for every day they worked. By serving strangers well these new agents became older agents with older clients that sent them new clients.

Here is an example of how 3-30-3 might work for a specific issue. I’m sure you could take your favorite issue and make up your own example. Sometimes a little brainstorming is helpful. Contact me. We can brainstorm together.

For my example a little background is needed.

Recently we were all confronted with the terrible problem of the Constitution’s Electoral College. Our current President does not represent the will of the majority of voters in the 2016 Presidential election; in other words Mr. Trump lost the popular vote. Amending the Constitution to replace the Electoral College is a long and difficult process. However, electing a President on the basis of a popular vote can be implemented without a Constitutional amendment. Here’s how.

Each state simply passes a bill that awards its electoral votes to the candidate who receives a majority of the popular vote. It turns out that 11 states have already done so and these states hold 165 of the needed 270 Electoral College votes to elect a President. States holding another 105 Electoral College votes are needed, and progress has been made in many including Minnesota and Wisconsin where a bill has passed one house of the legislature.

I know this because one of my Facebook friends (my wife) shared a post from former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. Sharing a post on Facebook takes nowhere near 30 minutes, but maybe 10 minutes if you think up something really clever and/or persuasive to say.

Just for the sake of argument, assume that I decided to make this Popular Vote Issue my passion for 2018 using the 3-30-3 Plan. To implement a 3-30-3 Plan, I would locate states with a total of 105 electoral votes. Then I would set about sending three messages on each of three days a week to contacts in those states. Not all at once and maybe just concentrate on Minnesota where I now live or Wisconsin where I still have many contacts. Maybe at first I would just search for someone to contact. That could be a Governor, a legislator or perhaps, a family member or friend I know from one of the states on my list. Then I start chipping away. Nine (9) contacts a week, 35-36 a month, over 400 a year.

Now imagine a multiplier. I ask each of those contacts to learn more and just consider adopting a 3-30-3 Plan of their own about this or any other issue of their choice. If just a small part of those 400 contacts picks up the Popular Vote Issue and urges legislative passage of a bill something very positive will begin to inch forward. If another few pick up and promote another issue, some really important things could begin to happen.

The big key and huge lesson in all of this is action. That is, if many do a little, huge change is possible. We are, none of us, exempt from being a positive force for change.

You can do this. You will make a difference. Together WE, and many others, will make a difference!

NOTES:

(On  a sustained basis, it would be wonderful if everyone could drop everything and concentrate on their passions. The world could be better, but if that happened there would be a lot of essential things undone because everyone would leave their work for their personal passions.)

** Those with strong religious persuasion may reflect on how humans are agents of God.