3.1. Why Can’t We Agree on What to Do?

Arguing over goals trips up almost every good cause.

Arguing over goals trips up almost every good cause.

People come together with a common desire to make the world a better place…but different ideas about what needs to be addressed, what needs to be done, how it should be done, which things to be done are most important, and which things should be done first.

Usually, the result is an interesting exchange of ideas. But usually, it doesn’t end in a consensus. And it rarely results in meaningful, collective action.

In a lot of ways, it’s this process of coming together and collaboratively coming up with clear, actionable, effective goals that’s the biggest obstacle to social change.

Sometimes, the will is lacking. But that’s not the case today.

Today, just about everyone is fed up and frustrated with what’s going on. Today, just about everyone would jump onboard, if a real opportunity came along to make the world a better place.

So the desire is there. And the action would be there, if we could get to that point. But we’re miscarrying and going awry along the way.

So getting some clarity, getting some consensus, and getting past all those arguments and disagreements that derail things in the middle is really of tremendous importance.

I can’t tell you precisely what our goals should be. I can’t give you a magic formula to mechanically perform that’ll make everything better. No one can.

But as I said at the very beginning of this series, what I can say, based on my years of experience in sociology, is there are certain things that simply have to happen, and certain ways we need to go about making those things happen.

We don’t agree on everything—and we never will. And there will come a point when we just need to step up and work out some sort of mutually satisfactory solution, in spite of these differences.

But there are certain basic, proven principles for creating real, lasting social change.

There are certain parameters, guidelines, strategies, and tactics we can draw on, to help us get the better outcomes we want.

And there are certain obstacles, booby traps, circular arguments, and common mistakes to avoid as we set our goals, and work toward real, lasting change.

It’s not the whole story. But it’s a good starting point. It gives us some boundaries to work within, and some landmarks to help us stay on course.

That’s what I want to focus on elaborating, in the next several videos.

How we can set better, smarter, more inclusive goals in our efforts for social change.

How we can avoid getting bogged down in or blown off course by the same impediments and distractions, over and over again.

How we can finally bridge that maddening, frustrating gap between our thwarted desires for real, lasting change…and the actual realization of the better world we seek.


This is the 45th in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *