The Importance of Movements”

by Guest Blogger Emma Springer

Movements are many things. They are powerful, and influential. Most of all Movements have the ability to usher in a great sense of hope, especially in times when we yearn for it so deeply.

We are living through a unique moment in time, one that will become chapters in future history books our children will read in school. We are educating ourselves more than ever, coming to terms with our history and facing our facts. Former President James Madison once said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” Following in that same fashion, we are going to arm ourselves with some definitions, so we have a better understanding as we read through.

Common Outlook

Let us first take a look at the meaning of a social movement, as defined by the Britannica dictionary.

“Loosely organized but sustained campaign in support of a social goal, typically either the implementation or prevention of a change in society’s structure of values.”

It goes on to say, “That is, they result from the more or less spontaneous coming together of people whose relationships are not defined by rules and procedures but who merely share a common outlook on society.”

While the PinchPals are not perceived as a “social movement” per se, like the ones we are witnessing and taking part in today in the various fights for equality, they can and do evoke similar feelings of unity, hope and progress towards a better tomorrow. The gift of a PinchPal can be spontaneous or thought-out, but nonetheless those who gift it and receive it share a similar outlook on our society, one where equality is standard.


Where there is movement, there is motion. Let’s bring it back to 5th grade science class where we learned about one very important law. Newton’s Law of Motion. A law that is quite applicable far beyond the lab.

“An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

In other words, for a stationary object to move, something greater than it needs to come in contact with it, propelling it into motion. PinchPals can serve as that unbalanced force. That little nudge or push to get others moving in the direction of their hopes, goals and dreams. They can also serve as a push or shift in mindset. Sometimes we become consumed in our own thoughts and can feel stuck in ruts or certain moods, even when we don’t want to. PinchPals can help pull us from those ruts, to see the light and look at the glass as half full again. With everything that is going on in our current climate it is difficult to not become overwhelmed, however, seeing random yet intentional acts of humanity help give us hope and push us to more positive ways of thinking and acting.


Many of us have seen small painted rocks with positive and at times affirmational words on them, scattered throughout our communities. These small rocks are gestures of kindness, meant to bring a smile to someone’s face. PinchPals are similar in the sense that while they are small, their significance is large and spreads kindness to all who receive one.

Often times we don’t know the impact we have on others, in fact, most times we will never truly know just how meaningful a simple word or act could be to another person. Nevertheless, these moments prove to be powerful and often spark similar ones to occur.

With movements such as these small rocks, we have seen that the size of the movement isn’t what is powerful, it is the intentionality behind it which is. PinchPals are exactly that. They are intentional communicators and reminders. They are given to say, “Keep going”, “I believe in you”, “I support you”, and “I have your back through it all”, each message providing its recipient with reassurance, comfort and hope.

As we continue to move forward, let us do so with some compassion, with some empathy and with some understanding. Let us not lose sight of the power of knowledge and education as we work to better our communities. And most of all let us work to touch the lives of others, communicating messages of support, affirmation and hope.

In the words of Vanda Scaravelli, “Movement is the song of the body.” What song will you sing, what song will you share and with whom will you share it with?

PinchPals are all of us! Connect. Let someone know you’ve got their back.

Emma Springer is a recent college graduate. I asked her to “write” something for the PinchPals. I had no idea this is what would the result. Gives me great faith in our youth and our future.


“Plan Your Vote” , another PinchPals artwork.

  • Shona
    Posted at 02:03h, 29 June Reply

    Beautifully penned. And true.

  • Elisa Fleener
    Posted at 03:11h, 29 June Reply

    Excellent research Emma. You’ve made timely and valid points. Let’s all join the PinchPal movement and keep spreading empathy to all.

  • k. wozniak
    Posted at 14:25h, 29 June Reply

    Brava! Emma!

  • k. wozniak
    Posted at 14:25h, 29 June Reply

    Brava! Emma!

  • Debra Tinker
    Posted at 14:39h, 29 June Reply

    Beautiful and profound. This is an amazing article one would expect to find in a major publication. Thank you for sharing these insights.

  • Susan Starr
    Posted at 19:29h, 29 June Reply

    Very moving and profound. A ray of light beckoning through the clods. There is hope!

  • Susan Starr
    Posted at 20:03h, 29 June Reply

    I meant to say clouds, but somehow clods also work…

  • Lisa A. Horowitz
    Posted at 01:36h, 15 July Reply

    Lovely message and very timely. We are living through strange and difficult times and messages like this are so affirming!

  • Cheryl Hiller
    Posted at 01:51h, 17 July Reply

    In times such as this, we truly need something that keeps us connected with love, friendship and hope. Beautiful and inspirational for so many❤️

  • Kenny F.
    Posted at 13:01h, 04 September Reply

    Wonder art with messages of inspiration and support. Will share this with friends and colleagues.

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