Monday, April 01, 2013

Making a Change

There are numerous sites out there that try to make it easy to create petitions and help encourage social changes. Many of them do a great job, and encourage you to share and spread the word of campaigns.

Today however, I saw something from the site that went one step further.

As you may know, the government in the UK is currently putting an extremely unbalanced weight of cuts on the poor and disadvantaged. The manner is so heartless and ill-considered that people are getting very angry.

Today someone started a petition to get the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith to try living on £53 a week, after he claimed he could do so when challenged by a claimant. I signed it, more as a statement than out of belief that someone with such little compassion could ever truly change his mind based on facts.

What surprised me though, was that twenty minutes after sharing it on Facebook, I got an email from saying "Thank you, you got Matthew to sign."


Now putting privacy considerations aside (it never gives a surname). This is a brilliantly simple thing.

People make petitions to try and change bad things in society, but typically people don't really expect to make a difference. What this simple action does is make you feel like you really are making a difference. Suddenly you see your actions are responsible for someone getting involved. The sharing effect becomes visible, and it is quite empowering.

Now every time I sign a petition, I'll be looking out for this kind of notification, because the only thing better than trying to make a difference, is knowing that you are, even if only a tiny one.

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