By Trinidad Cruz
I often find myself reflecting on Thoreauís description of his pretty game with the loon on Walden Pond. In the passage the true transcendentalist Thoreau easily projects himself as being involved in game of hide and seek with a diving loon. The passage is essentially written that way to draw the reader into the idea that such a game of hide and seek between a man and loon could actually occur. Most readers are drawn into the idea for a while. Chances are, the loon is not consciously engaging in any game, but just trying to avoid the man in the boat while continuing to dive and fish. The writer may believe it is an actual game, or may have just written the passage that way to move the reader. The reader, who is not actually present, is the most likely of the three to believe in the possibility of the man and loon, hide and seek game. That is the nature of communication.
Attempting to communicate with purpose is a very relative process. As activists the goal of our communication should essentially be to elevate the aspirations of whomever we communicate with. The targets we actively engage in protest are the least likely to be elevated. They may give the appearance of acquiescence to our protests for a while because we inconvenience them so. In the end, because most of them are simply interested in making money, their ethics will prevail within their own organizations. The best we can hope for from the targets of our activism is a modified less toxic business as usual behavior. They are like the loon. Our greatest opportunity for real communication is with the disengaged observers of our activities. Indeed, the story of our efforts has the potential to elevate the aspirations of the observers of our activities. In the end, this is how we truly fulfill our promise to communicate, and over time how real change occurs. The manner in which our story is reflected into the world at large is the single most important factor in our attempts to communicate with purpose.