Preaching to the Choir: Thinking About Gifted Advocacy
Networks are glorious and productive creatures, and our networks that advocate for gifted children are extremely dynamic, passionate and purpose-driven. These networks, made up of parents, educators, professionals, and interested individuals, advocate locally, regionally and globally for the needs of gifted children. All of us in these networks are highly connected online through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, websites, forums and email. Offline, we connect through advocacy group meetings, support groups and personal relationships. We share, we tweet, we blog, we advocate, we study, we inform and we learn. We are a relentless, enthusiastic, intelligent, compassionate, humorous, engaging and successful bunch! We all have the same undeniably-worthy goal in mind. But, through all of our efforts, are we just preaching to the choir?
I thought about my own advocacy efforts and my own networks ….. everything I say and do is most often only shared with those within my own gifted network. I advocate, I tweet, I blog, I read, I learn and I share, but my efforts only reach those who are also singing my song. Without a doubt, all of our efforts fuel each other’s drive to improve the lives of our gifted children, and we provide each other with much-needed information and motivation. We are all truly a wondrous brotherhood with the momentum to move a mountain, this mountain of a better life for our gifted children! Does moving this mountain require us to also reach outside of our own networks?
My question is: how do we harness some of this momentum and direct it towards those outside of our networks who can most help us move this mountain and reach this worthy goal we share? Some of us are already reaching outside of our networks by advocating to our school administrators, legislators and elected officials. We may also be having uncomfortable conversations with family members and friends who don’t understand the needs of gifted children. Do we need to do more to reach outside of our networks? How do we reach those who are not singing our song? How do we preach outside of the choir?
These are my questions. I would love for you to share your answers!