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Dispensing Facts vs Creating a Movement

Why isn't everyone doing this?

I would ask my self that question over and over. I had just switched over to eating primarily raw foods and within 1 month I was already sleeping less, my acne was gone, I had more energy throughout the day and I felt more mentally aware. And heck, I was 19 with no history of serious illness or disease. If I felt this good and I was already supposed to be healthy, imagine what others would feel?!

"Why isn't everyone eating and living this way?" I would ask my self.

I just started reading a fantastic book today on building and leading community. The book is called Tribes and it's by one of my most favorite authors and bloggers, Seth Godin. Here's a little section I came across in the book today that address the question the 19 year old me had:

What Does It Take to Create a Movement?

If we look at two Nobel Prize winners and their movements - Muhammad Yunus and Al Gore - some parallels become clear, and they directly relate to the tactics available to you as you lead your tribe.

Microfiance as a tool to fight poverty and the effort to recognize and stem global warming have both become movements. But as Yasmina Zaidman, at the Acumen Fund, told me, both problems (and their solutions!) were recognized more than thirty tears ago. We weren't lacking the answer - Muhammad Yunus had it all along. So why did it take thirty years for the idea to gain steam?

The answer, as you've probably guessed, is that there's a difference between telling people what to do and inciting a movement. The movement happens when people talk to one another, when ideas spread within the community, and most of all, when peer support leads people to do what they always knew was the right thing.

When thoughtful people get the 411 on eating a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables they are almost always interested. Who wouldn't be interested in a more holistic and results oriented way to approach cancer or obesity or autism or fibromyalgia?

But just because you're interested in an idea and get the facts on a subject doesn't mean you'll jump in. In fact, time and time again, I've seen that information is not the biggest factor in whether one is successful in transforming their health (just ask Steve). Sure, it's important to be educated, but even more important than education is community.

That's why this movement, the raw food movement, exploded when the web came out. And then it exploded again when the web really became a tool to connect people.

All the raw blogs, twitter buddies, facebook friends, social networks and such... all they are really doing is creating community. Building a movement! Making it fun to live, eat, talk, walk and think this way.

Just because the facts about eating raw are readily available doesn't mean that we should expect people to go crazy over the life style. Most people won't.

It may take the raw food community another 20 years before the ideas of holistic health become mainstream. But whether it goes mainstream or not will have little to do with how many people come across the facts.

Everyday, little by little, we're all working together to make this movement stronger. And in the end it will be just that, our strong community, that makes all the difference.