This blog is about the effects of Framing. Why is this relevant? Well, frames are critical to how we understand reality. Frames can literally form the basis of our thoughts and emotions regarding the most critically relevant issues affecting our health and well-being. Framing lies at the heart of the opinions we form on every major social issue, and often lead people to vote against their self-interest, and support public policies and programs that have a negative impact on our communities and neighborhoods. What are some of the negative effects of framing? For starters, we lead the world in having the highest percentage of our population behind bars. We have the highest rates of depression, homicides, an alarming number of citizens with drug and alcohol addiction, an obesity epidemic, high teenage birth rates, high infant mortality rates, and the lowest levels of trust in our fellow citizens, and despite repeated framing attempts, the United States also has the lowest level of social mobility (or what we all know as the “American Dream”) compared to most other industrialized countries throughout the globe. Interestingly, all of these negative social outcomes are a result of a system of income inequality that is detrimental to our health and well-being, and is destroying the communities we live in. So, why are we being framed? Nearly all of “us” (99%) are being framed, literally and linguistically by a select few of “them” (.01%) to believe in and adopt an ideology based on this system of income inequality that threatens “our” way of life on a daily basis. Once “framed”, people tend to ignore relevant facts regarding the devastating consequences of income inequality, and eventually become advocates of a system that is designed to benefit a few of “them” at the expense of all of “us”. In order to ensure our communities remain in-tact, and are unaffected by the negative effect of framing, as well as to restore those areas that have already suffered the consequences of such framing tactics, it is imperative that we all gain an understanding of how to recognize the common frames used against us, and to call “them” out whenever and wherever they attempt to use them. Please join me in my pursuit to STOP “them” from framing all of “us”.