Today is the first day of the week-long Girl Effect Blogging Campaign. I think most of you know by now (but in case you don’t), I created the blogging campaign to mobilize bloggers to write about girls in the developing world.
 
About a year and a half ago, I first watched this short Girl Effect video (click here for the video if you reading this over email.)
 

 
I watched the video again and again and again, probably thirty times over the course of the week. I cried. I was moved. I was saddened and inspired.
 
And then that thing happened, when an idea pops into your head, and you really don’t know where it came from. A voice inside, a nonchalant, rather quiet voice said, “A day. There should be a day when the blogosphere is full with posts about The Girl Effect. There could be a day when people wake up and look in their blog reader, or inbox, or on twitter, and it will be buzzing with conversation about the harsh realities and incredible power of girls in the developing world. Oh, and Tara, you should go make that happen now.”
 
I know that voice well. When it shows up with a specific assignment like that, a clear vision that gives me that feeling of excitement and rightness, I go with it. I trust. I know I will be in for a great ride.
 
So the blogging campaign began.
 
Because of the work of incredible helpers, because of the tools The Girl Effect team has created, and because this topic resonates with so many bloggers, the project has grown with ease.
 
So, here’s the question:“Why a blogging campaign?” We are all very familiar with the campaigns that try to get us to donate money or sign a petition or raise funds for a cause.
 
This campaign is a bit unusual, because the real call to action is this: write a post.
 
I’ve gotten some unsettled questions about this lately: “But what do you want us to DO????” and “What good does writing a post do?” or “I understand that people are blogging, but what do you think is going to come of all this?”
 
I want to tell you my real answer to that question, and I feel petrified about saying it, for fear of being called naive: I am not worried that the bloggers writing are going to write a post and do nothing.
 
I’m not worried that people will write and feel, and form their own response to the issue, and leave it at that. I don’t feel I need to give people a specific x to do, a donation to make or action to take.
 
Do human beings ignore and do nothing about a ton of suffering in the world – the suffering down the block as well as the suffering around the world? Absolutely. But not when our hearts have been opened.
 
I believe that when people let their hearts make contact with some form of pain in the world – real contact – they change. Their hearts open. They want to make a difference. And they do.
 
I think that too many calls for social change focus so narrowly on making sure everyone does “x” that they fail to create the foundation for real, sustained doing. That foundation is changed awareness and being moved, emotionally. That inner “movement” is the precursor to powerful practical action. Too many efforts mobilize a bunch of people to make a donation – but there are no deep roots to the action, and so no further action flows from the small step taken that day.
 
I believe that writing is a kind of encounter that changes us. When a writer writes a blog post, or even a journal entry, about the Girl Effect, she has an encounter with the issues. An encounter with the upsetting statistics. An encounter with the inspiring stories. An encounter with her own feelings.
 
Writing forces us to sift through information, ideas, and feelings, and discern what is most important to write about. It requires us to explore and develop our ideas. In writing we “get further” – further through our own confusion, further toward our own core truth – than we would by just thinking about the issue.
 
I believe in the power of that process. I believe that when people let their hearts make contact with form of pain in the world – real contact – they change as a result.
 
You are invited to participate in the blogging campaign this week, by writing a post or by reading the posts. Click HERE to do that.
 
Love,
 
Tara