Changing baselines — it’s hard, but possible

This article was written from an entirely different context (environmental concerns, culture in general), but I think it has something to say for our process.

When normal is a moving target. Raleigh News and Observer, Jan. 11, 2007 —

[There are] two lines: the one that runs across the bottom of how we expect the world to be and the one that runs across the top of the world that we will tolerate. Those lines are constantly changing position in cultural space. …

Shifting baselines “are the chronic, slow, hard-to-notice changes in things, from the disappearance of birds and frogs in the countryside to the increased drive time from Los Angeles to San Diego,” writes marine biologist Randy Olson. “If your ideal weight used to be 150 pounds and now it’s 160, your baseline — as well as your waistline — has shifted.” …

Can we apply this notion to communicate our process? Do some still hold to the baseline of AAUW as the organization that sent them a year’s worth of program, provided hands on support from the national office, and was their only way to connect with other educated women? How to we encourage them to change?

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