(Issue #630) Everyone Has An Agenda.

We can get caught up in soundbites and loaded words and forget to dig deeper.


Ever notice when someone advocates for something she likes, it’s usually framed as value-driven, common sense, rational, or obvious?

When that same person, however, calls out something she does not agree with, it’s dangerous, ungodly, or an agenda?

Agenda. A rather innocuous term that has become a loaded word.

Think of all the meetings you have attended that handed out an agenda as you walked into the room. A bullet-point list of items, actions, considerations, and recommendations to be considered.  Go to almost any meeting—faculty conclave, community council, financial advisor session, a political action committee, or a yoga workout—and you will have an agenda (in written or spoken form) in front of you to consider. An agenda conveys why we gather.

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli (Negril, Jamaica). The Growth and Resilience Network®

Do not be fooled by inarticulate rhetoric. We all have agendas.

  • The person who approaches the landlord for rent relief has an agenda.
  • The landlord who approaches the city commission for tax relief has an agenda.
  • The concerned parent who speaks to (or shouts at) the local school board has an agenda.
  • The school board candidate who wants to be elected has an agenda.
  • The community mayor who quietly sits and listens as a rude resident yells and berates has an agenda.
  • The concerned citizen speaking about blight, food deserts, or crime has an agenda.
  • The doctor and patient confronting a serious illness have agendas.

Agenda, it seems, has become a loaded word to sway, degrade, or shame a person or group. It carries emotional appeal and, in some cases, may lack logic.

Consider how other words have become emotionally charged—and how they can be nuanced to serve a particular point of view. For instance, a person can be considered an immigrant, an ex-pat, or a digital nomad. Different connotations. Or does a person spread propaganda—or share insights of national interest?

We can get caught up in soundbites and loaded words and forget to dig deeper.

Or we can pay attention to what is said, who is saying it, and his or her agenda.

Video Recommendation for the Week.

A poignant reminder about words, how we use them, and to what people pay attention.


Make it a wonderful week and HTRB has needed.

You will find my latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

You can find my podcasts (all fifty episodes) here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2022. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®
Atlantic Beach, Florida

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
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