Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

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csiegner's picture
csiegner
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Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

I suspect there are lots of people who are having trouble getting friends and family to engage in the issues.  It is, after all, not polite to discuss politics or religion.  The following is a letter I wrote to my brother and sister-in-law along with sending them a DVD copy of the "Crash Course".  I think it is important for people to work especially hard in their own immediate circles - that is after all where most of us have maximum influence.

 

If you like this approach, feel free to use any or all of the content.  If you have better ideas or alternative approaches, I'd love to hear about them:

 M & T,

Hello there.  This is a special gift from your crazy brother.  Please note the word gift.  I’m sending this in the sincere belief that you will find the content both interesting and useful – not to propagandize you.  If you don’t feel that way after watching 30 minutes throw it away and let me know what sort of drivel you thought it was next time we get together.  As I mentioned, I think it explains better than I ever could some of the challenges you and I will be dealing with in the next 20 years.  It is not partisan and it does not advocate any whacko solutions.

While we’re on the subject of whacko, I’d like to make a couple of points.  First, believe it or not, I don’t spend a lot of time rocking on my heels and sucking my thumb - muttering about the end of the world.  It’s fairly obvious by now that I have a pretty dim view of the federal government and I like to talk about it.  That does not mean I am agitating for violent revolution or the total elimination of government.  I haven’t produced a single home video on how to fortify your basement against government attack.  I am, in fact, a huge fan of our system of federal government as it was originally designed.  I am looking for ways to reform government within the rule of law.

Our government DOES need reform.  Think about this.  More than half of the federal budget is devoted to income redistribution (Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Welfare, Unemployment etc., etc.).  They take income from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not.  This is morally wrong.  It punishes earning and rewards the unproductive.  However, there is an even more reprehensible system.  It's the one where government confiscates income from people who have earned it and redistributes it to themselves and the politically well-connected.  Of course we have the worst system of all - our government does both.  It’s a system designed to create the maximum possible citizen dependency on government so our beloved congress can keep itself getting re-elected and continue doing favors for themselves and their friends.  It’s hard, after all, not to vote for Barney Frank when he sends you a small check every month – even if you don’t think his boyfriend with a degree in cosmetology is really all that well qualified to be Vice President at Countrywide Home Mortgage.

You know what? I suspect you agree with the sentiments above.  I think the only place where we really differ is in how to address the problem and here only by a little.  I don’t think everyone needs to devote their entire life to politics.  I don’t.  However, the people that designed our system of government, who put a lot more thought and study into these issues than I ever will, knew for a certainty that their system would only work if people understood why government should be limited and devoted a sliver of their lives making sure it stayed that way.  Absent that, their system, like ALL other governments before it, will fall from its perch at the balanced center between tyranny and anarchy.

If simply voting were enough, we wouldn’t have the problems that we do.  People must make informed decisions before casting a vote.  Toward that end, at a minimum, I think people should devote some very modest portion of their lives to understanding government’s proper role and sharing it with their neighbors. 

So, watch the damn video and we’ll discuss next time we get together.

Love,

C

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

C -

Welcome to the forums.

Great topic.  It ran awhile back but is probablty worth revisiting with all the new people here. 

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/coping-triple-e-interpersonal-problems/12564

I have had the exact conversation outlined in your letter countless times with my family members and with the exception of my parents, all I get is blank, polite "here we go again" looks.

Thanks for rejuvenating the discussion.  It will be interesting to see what other people have been through trying to get their family members to do (or not do).

JAG's picture
JAG
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Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
Good Luck!

Good luck with that C,

I have been trying to gently persuade my family circle for over a year to no avail. My father, a PhD. in Inorganic Chemistry and former researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, actually watched the crash course, but remains rather skeptical. My brother, on the other hand, will not even speak of such matters, because he believes it is a fool's game, and will not participate in it. I certainly cannot dismiss this viewpoint.

Personally, I have come to appreciate my family's opposing viewpoints, as it provides an important context to evaluate my own perspective, and the actions/preparations that I take on account of my perspective. 

 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

JAG -

Went to the beach last weekend with my sister and brother in law.  When we asked him if he had watched the Crash Course DVD (we gave them last Christmas) he looked at me and asked in all seriousness, "So what if I watch this and I find out I already know everything that's in there?"

My answer is unprintable but falls something to the right of "Not flippin' likely"

Your challenge is a bit tougher than mine, but I guess we just plant and can more food and get ready.

And keep the door unlocked for friends and family when they do come knocking.

bluebird's picture
bluebird
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Joined: Sep 4 2008
Posts: 75
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

Hi csiegner,

Oh yes, we have all been trying to get family and friends on-board. Here's another forum to read with a similar topic:

Don't be surprised if they don't wana know

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/dont-be-surprised-if-they-dont-wana-...

 

and Welcome!

 

sylviada's picture
sylviada
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Posts: 1
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

I am getting the Crash Course out to friends and family--especially local friends, so I can build community-- but gradually, because I have alot of my own self assessment to do. But I am seeing that one has more to do than just send the link, because of all the stupid cat video links we all get. But C, I didn't appreciate the back handed slap to Barney Frank and his boy friend--it smacks of homophobia. Would you take a look at that? All citizens deserve respect and equal rights. 

Thanks, smd

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
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Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

 I need success stories on how it is going  with buying and passing out the DVD .   I am not comfortable telling many to visit here because of some of the topics and such bickering  .   They just need to see the basics of what has happened , how we got here, and how to prepare . 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention
Full Moon wrote:

....I am not comfortable telling many to visit here because of some of the topics and such bickering  .   They just need to see the basics of what has happened , how we got here, and how to prepare . 

Full Moon -

Pass your concerns on to the moderators when you see such postings.  There are a few who are only here for nonsensical, self-indulgent posting, then there are those who continue to post topics in the main threads that are in no stretch related to the 3Es - in clear contrast to Chris' stated wishes for posting and thread content. 

If you see such a thread, flag it and let the mods decide, they have done a good job at keeping the threads on target but they need help as they don't read everything that gets posted.

Bear in mind, Chris has never said that the off-topic material "can't" be posted and discussed here, only a request that such topics are posted in the Controversial Topics folder where people are free to discuss without the material being visible on the main threads.

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

   ok , now I understand why I am having so much trouble getting  my peeps to listen . http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20091202/sc_livescience/ruralamericasurprisinglyprosperousstudyfinds

 We have our head in the sand or the clouds , one or the other .   Our time and money is invested in land and not gold .    This article also reveals why I am behind on the over Population issues.

   The stores are full of people shopping  and everyone lighting up for Christmas.    Even when I talk to the older people they say "Honey we have been through this time after time, just going to take longer this time ."       I am wondering if this means we will fall harder than most .

  My husband tells me he finds more and more people hoboing on the trains.   Found a young dead guy  a while back . .. it is just to cold to hitch the rail !

patriciaj79's picture
patriciaj79
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Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 1
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

I joined this community over a year ago but never really did anything with the information. I am now reviewing the crash course again so I can start talking with friends and family about it. There is so much information that its hard to know where to start.

Ed Archer's picture
Ed Archer
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 225
Re: Getting Your Friends and Family to Pay Attention

Hi all, I just found a video that might serve as a good primer for the crash course, check out http://www.storyofstuff.com/ and let me know what you think.

Its quick, clean and easy to digest while showing the fundamental instability of our current economic system.

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