Emotion, Stories, and Visuals

I don’t know if it is just that time of year, but I have been thinking a lot about the emotional connections that organizations need to make for meaningful change moving forward.  As I try to read daily, my eye has been going more towards visual blogs (like the Flickr blog) and blogs that share little stories.

Often, for inspiration, I will look at the “Awesome Things” blog and loved this post on “Pinky Swears“:

These days the world is full of buzzing phones, double-booking, and changing plans. Texts sit unanswered, parties shrink and shift, and sometimes nobody knows who’s coming or going.

That’s where pinky swears come in.

When someone offers a pinky, they’re showing that they’re actually interested in following through. Accept that pinky and you enter into an unbreakable promise to get there too.

Who hasn’t done a pinky swear at some point?  This is a simple story that people connect with and is probably why this book has been so successful.  The stories move people and connect with them on a level where they are attached emotionally.  One minute you can be laughing uncontrollably, and in the next, crying profusely.  Emotions move people.

Then I fell upon this blog post, sharing little stories of kindness and love.  There were several stories that were extremely powerful but this one of extreme unselfishness by a sibling stuck out:

Today, I operated on a little girl. She needed O- blood. We didn’t have any, but her twin brother has O- blood. I explained to him that it was a matter of life and death. He sat quietly for a moment, and then said goodbye to his parents. I didn’t think anything of it until after we took his blood and he asked, “So when will I die?” He thought he was giving his life for hers. Thankfully, they’ll both be fine.


We have to continue to take advantage of these short, powerful stories in the work that we do.

Here is another great collection of stories and visuals that Google has created to share the 2011 school year:


As I wait for my brother to fill me in on his little girl as she spent the night in the hospital, he shared this little picture with me to show how she is okay, although she is struggling with the IV in her arm.  It is one of those pictures that can make you both smile and tear up at the same time.



We have to remember that when we share these small visuals and stories, we can really connect and move those we serve.

People don’t want to be pushed, they want to be inspired.



  1. What a beautiful blog entry. When we feel that we are valued and can work in the area of our educational passion, then the learning sky's the limit. I'm so glad that your brother's daughter is doing better than last night.
    Have a wonderful Christmas,

  2. I hope Bea is okay, Pal.

    With a 2 year old beauty at home myself, I welled up a bit thinking of hospitals and IVs and kids.

    Thinking of y'all.

  3. What an inspiring post George – you capture the moment. I hope that all is well with little Bea – very touching photo!

  4. What a wonderful, inspiring and empathetic post. Thanks for sharing. I also hope all is well with Bea. And I love your last line — "People don’t want to be pushed, they want to be inspired." You've inspired me to share powerful stories more often in 2012 and beyond. Thanks.

  5. Lovely post George. and if there's anything that stuck out about your presentation 'style' – as with Alec – was that you love stories. I'm glad to see you post about it.

    As I mentioned in a farewell speech, "I may be going, but you travel with me now. You are now part of my story. " With everyone we connect with, we become part of each other's stories. Stories are so integral to our lives.

  6. Reading these comments it’s not hard to see the clash being acted out at an organizational level between older, suburban/exurban, club ride, conservative membership and younger, urban, transportational, progressive members . The former don’t seem to care for aggressive transportational cycling advocacy, and the latter (myself at least) could care less about club rides. Serotta vs Surly, car-toppers vs car-less. But for me, it was working. I joined CBC for the advocacy and support for Ride to School. Did it feel odd that I was the only one to ride my bike to the Ride Leader Training? A bit, but I felt like there was plenty of common ground with the others there. You don’t have to come on a Kidical Mass ride, and I can skip the STP. But we all want to be safe and accepted on the roads.

  7. just ask her “what do you do if someone you don’t know talks to you while mommy and daddy aren’t with you?” let her answer and just go off that i mean thats prob. the easiest way to start it

  8. I’m doing a real extended essay on this topic and was lucky to find a blog about it! My views are basically the same as yours and it was nice knowing that it is a significant topic

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