© 2019 Gregory F. Augustine Pierce
This blog is an
attempt to convince community leaders and organizers that writing can be
another tool in their power toolbox. It offers examples and suggestions on how
to write both artfully and effectively. I have been a publisher for over thirty
years and a community leader and organizer for almost fifty years, so the combination
of these two topics is a natural for me, as in this piece.
“Love your neighbor,” the Teacher taught.
I asked the Teacher, “Who is my neighbor?”
“A Somalian was on the road from Mugadishu to Hobyo along the coast of the Somali Sea when she came upon a man who had been beset by robbers and thrown into a ditch. She picked the man up, put him in the back of her pickup truck, and drove him to the nearest healthcare facility. She paid the man’s fees, continued on her way, and on the way back stopped to check on his well-being.”
“What happened next?” I asked the Teacher.
“A week later, on the same route, the woman came upon another man who had been beset by robbers and thrown into a ditch, and she did the same things for him. Then a week after that, on the same route, the same series of events happened. Then the following week…. And the week after that…. The Somalian woman was a good neighbor and always helped each of these people.”
“How long,” I asked the Teacher, “did this go on?”
“Eventually, the woman realized that what was really needed was to make the road safe for everyone. She began to organize all the groups connected to the road, starting with her own extended family, then the congregation she attended, then other religious institutions of all faiths up and down the road. They formed The Committee for a Safe Road from Mugadishu to Hobyo.They recruited businesses and farms and labor unions and not-for-profit organizations and other institutions of good will in Somalia to back them. They approached law enforcement officials and healthcare providers to be on their side. They called for a series of meetings that was attended by hundreds of people, and all the local politicians and the governor of the province and eventually even the president of the country were there. The people demanded that the road be made safe for everyone, and eventually it was. Then they formed a permanent organization, United Power for a Better Somalia, to make sure that the road remained safe. This organization went to deal successfully with many other issues in Somalia. And they thanked the Good Somalian for organizing them to become real neighbors to one another.”
Gregory F. Augustine Pierce is the publisher of ACTA Publications in Chicago and the author of many books, including The World as It Should Be and Spirituality at Work. He runs “intensive immersion” workshops on writing for specific kinds of writers, such as the “Writing for Community Leaders and Organizers.” For more information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-397-2282.