In order for people to take the time to listen about anything that won’t directly affect their lives, what you’re saying has to be remarkable. As stated by Seth Godin, something that is remarkable is something worthy of making a remark about. With the number of tragedies that befall people in nearly every country on this planet, there seems to be only a select few that are deemed, by this definition, remarkable. What does it take for a remark to be made? Why is it that often the killing of so many is never reported but the attack on a single, specific person can incite an uproar? Not to say that that one life wasn’t worthy of making a remark, but why not report the entire group? In the same way, an ad on TV for a Pillow Pet can excite people or at least give them something to make a remark about, but an ad or an article on recent killings in some foreign country is left unexamined.
These ideas aren’t new. The sad, but obvious, part about this is that tragedy isn’t new. Targeting the average person with an idea that seems to have been around for decades and centuries is not going to elicit a response that remains for more than a few minutes. You’ve lost the attention of that person and are left at square one. What you find remarkable, and what may even be the only item that truly should be deemed remarkable at that time, is not necessarily what that person finds to be remarkable. But then how do you get the message across? At a 2003 TED Talk, Godin stated that “people who can spread ideas, regardless of what those ideas are, win.” In a world where times are continuously changing, new gadgets are constantly being put out into the market and new trends are making their way in fashion, ideas can’t stay remarkable for very long. If you lose the attention of the person you’re talking to after five minutes, then you’ve lost because that idea won’t spread, and there’s a very small chance that you’ve even struck a chord with the person in front of you.
Making your ideas spread is key. Making the things that are truly remarkable appear remarkable to someone else is the only way to have your message spread. Targeting an audience that is interested enough to care might be the first step, but finding a way to connect with everyone else is how you create a revolution. Our world has made tragedy too common, to the point where lending a hand is just something else to do. I think the most important part of trying to create change is convincing everyone else that tragedy doesn’t have to be common, and with right intentions, can be stopped.
by Habiba Fayyaz