Looking Across the River

Before we persuade, we need to first understand.

Imagine you are standing on a corner with a clipboard that clearly marks your purpose: voter registration. There’s an upcoming election and you want to make sure everyone has the chance to participate. A young man — let’s call him Oliver — heads in your direction. Seeing your clipboard, his face contorts into a grimace. You steel yourself.

“Good morning! Are you registered to vote?” you ask.

“I don’t vote,” Oliver shoots at you.

The moment freezes. You repeat Oliver’s statement in your head. I don’t vote. Immediately, your mind meets a torrent of frustration and outrage. In this moment, the two of you couldn’t be further apart: a non-voter and a volunteer helping people register to vote.

This is a preview only. Please subscribe to receive upcoming articles delivered in their entirety. You might also be interested in browsing the archive of all previously published volumes.

Leave a Reply