My favorite community organizer talks about the need to build up our own “personal experience and testimony” for the sake of connecting meaningfully with people around their personal experience and testimony. It should work like this:
talk to lots of people in one-on-one encounters. Listen really carefully. Take notes afterward if you need to. As you talk to more and more people, their stories–their testimonies–become part of yours, so that you will start to say in these conversations, “I keep hearing from people that they are experiencing X. Is that true for you?”
As it relates to the community where you live and work and seek to make a difference, what is your personal experience and testimony? How will you deepen it today? Next week?