3.1 Agreeing the group’s priority for action

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Everyone has things they don’t like, that they’d like to change. They may be big national or international concerns even. Or they could be local: your park, your club, your town. There are thousands of possible issues. But of all the issues and concerns you may have, how do you agree which to take forward? How do you work out tensions in the group between those with big dreams and high aims and the realists, who might argue that it is best to aim lower but be more likely to succeed? This first aim helps the group to work as a team in reaching agreement in deciding what its priority for action is going to be. Part of this is being able to see things from other people’s points of view, taking a step back and not railroading your own views through. Sometimes you have to compromise or go with the majority. Sometimes you have to lower your sights. Sometimes you have to do tasks you don’t enjoy to achieve a greater aim. And, at all times, you need to keep a reasonable and realistic attitude about what can be achieved.

Some inspiration

From small beginnings, great things can happen. If you need inspiration, just think of those massive movements for change that started from the actions of a few dedicated people. Rosa Parks, whose refusal to move from her seat in the white section of an Alabama bus in 1955, sparked the Black civil rights movement in The USA. Mahatma Gandhi, who mobilised a nation in civil disobedience against the British occupation of India. Or the anti-apartheid movement, built on the opposition of ordinary people across the globe, the bravery of a few and the outstanding leadership of Nelson Mandela. Or the anti-slavery movement a hundred years before with William Wilberforce. You may not be heading for those heights, but be confident that by working together you can be powerful and make change happen. The first step is to be clear about your priority for action.

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