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Guideline to write your Why Do I Care

The environmental crisis and climate change are such vast and wide-reaching issue, it can be hard to identify how you personally can play any role to address them. We’ve been overwhelmed by data, which has had the effect of squeezing out the personal. This is why the “why do I care” programme has been created: to enable all of us to reflect on our core values and from this to be empowered to join others in making a personal difference. We start by telling our own stories.
  1. To tell this story, it helps to focus on a single moment or event at its heart.
    1. This could be a memory, a relationship, a place, an object, or even a piece of art that touched you. To identify this, you might want to reach back to your childhood or to a defining moment in your life.
    2. This could be something that acted as a catalyst for your conscience, something that prompted a moment of increased clarity, or even a token that stands as a metaphor for why you care.
    3. Think about what role religious or spiritual beliefs, the arts, your own culture have played in giving you the language, imagery and sense of tradition from which you care?
  2. To make this story effective:
    1. Get into the memory and describe it with your senses.
    2. Explain how it made you feel.
    3. If you can, give it a narrative structure of beginning (in what scenario did you encounter it), middle (what happened) and end (why did this enhance your caring).
    4. Try to get your personality into your story, so readers will be left with a sense of connection with, and hopefully affection for, you.
  3. If you wish, you can then use this personal story as a gateway for explaining the importance of any broader values or arguments about the environmental crisis that are important to you. Coming at these through the story of your own personal and emotional connection will make readers much more likely to be empathetic to them.
  4. Try and keep it short: 100-250 words or a one minute video.
  5. Post it on whydoIcare.org, and on any websites or twitter accounts (#WhyDoICare) or other social media places you have access to; make it into a meme, tell people about it, and in turn ask them why they care about the living planet and climate change and see whether they want to join whydoIcare

Having told your personal story go to the next question: What can I do now?

For the struggle to protect the environment to be effective we need to make it personal, we need to touch our own consciences and help people touch theirs. Join us, and leaders from around the world, in exploring WhyDoICare and from that, we can go on to touch the conscience of the world.

Experiences

Some people find it easy, and just sit down at a computer, and five minutes later it’s there, fully formed. Some write or say too much and need to edit. Others – including many of the team members at WhyDoICare? – find it surprisingly hard to commit themselves to an answer (a good way to overcome this is to get a colleague or friend to “interview them”). And many find their first answer is not quite right, and needs a day or two to shape it so it’s truer.

 

“It was surprisingly cathartic.”

 

“I hated sitting down and doing it. I resisted it for days, kept making excuses that I was too busy. But when I finally did it, I was brought back to a moment in my childhood where things were still and made perfect sense, and when I came out of that I felt slightly renewed.”

 

“When I read about what made others care, it made me think about why I did. Of course my obvious response was that it’s a massive crisis, but then while I was walking and driving and doing other things I’d find my mind turning on it and finding solutions.”