As public health professionals we often take a page out of noted anthropologist Margaret Mead’s playbook and “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Our aim is to create awareness and promote behavior change around society’s most pressing issues. We work as a team to come up with the best strategies, measure the action taken as a result of our initial ideas, build off of successful campaigns and tweak other to gain better results. We also take a team approach and learn from others until we lead others to a better place. Weighing the balance of risk and reward that we intend the audience to take is also something do as we develop campaign framework.
Athletes also weigh the risks against the rewards of playing the game and whether a potential short-term injury or a long-term disability is worth the reward of crucial, game changing moment. Politicians throwing their opinion into the fierce discussion of gun control is also a delicate issue.
Incidents, whether small or larger, can create a ripple in conversations, allowing those in the public health world to build off of it and create space for a larger discussion.
No matter what the topic may be or where you stand on a particular issue, we need to remember to not be afraid to toss that first stone and ask the tough questions of each other. The important part is that these questions are being asked, either through breaking news or an unfortunate event, but a balanced conversation is what needs to continue to create change needed by us all.