building well-being is a messaging framework
Why do we need this story? Several years ago, members of the Seattle Human Services Coalition noticed that when a question would come up about a public sector role to help people meet their basic human needs, the predominant story being told on the street was about how people should just “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.” We realized in our conversations that, yes, individual effort is important, and the part that is missing from that story is the role that cooperation and collaboration have in building success for individuals and for communities in America. Part of the story of success in America that was being neglected was the work we pitch in and do together; from the old-time, all-American barn raising, to pooling our money for public infrastructure that we all benefit from, in order to build roads, distribute safe drinking water, and run schools.
We need to change the story we are telling: change the underlying narrative. We need a story that conveys “we are all in this together” and “everybody does better, when everybody does better.”
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