The Power of ONE

Nancy Diraison. February 8, 2019

Conquering Apathy in a world that needs leaders

As individuals we too often underestimate the power of our influence. We wait for someone else to take the lead, to solve a problem, to make the sacrifice.

Yes, we are all short on time. Our priorities determine how we use our twenty-four hours.

Meanwhile bad things happen. As an example in recent years, public schools have derailed into programs and indoctrinations we revile to have our children exposed to. And the curriculum is no longer preparing children for life. Where are the parents to object? To redirect? To fight for changes?

If we wait for those who have nothing else to do, who are less busy than us, they may not be the most qualified to represent others. And they may never do it either.

I learned a lesson in college that stayed with me through life, about how to become the ONE who makes a difference, even if it’s a small one.

I tended to be busy, serve in many venues, worked almost full-time and pretty much had a full plate. I never fit in with cliques and didn’t socialize much. I also thought I was an introvert. Really I wasn’t; I just didn’t have the courage to meet new people.

It was said in a forum that as human beings we tend to be egocentric. We are at the middle of a set of concentric circles. The first circle out from our pinpoint location might be our family, the second one a few friends we feel comfortable with, the third those people we interact with at work, in classes, going through the cafeteria line. There may or may not be much invested in those contacts.

The circles expand and very quickly include people we don’t know at all.

Most people stay in their inner circle or two. They never reach beyond.

I felt a desire to reach as many circles as possible, but couldn’t make the transition. Going to the dining hall presented an opportunity three times a day, and I decided to grow past my limits starting with that location. My interest in people fed the ambition.

I decided the best way to “grow” my reach was to do it the tough way. Find someone I didn’t know at all who might be sitting alone and introduce myself. What’s the worst that could happen? A rebuttal? Shrug. I wouldn’t take it personally. If they didn’t look friendly that would not deter me. I might make their day better. Either way I would learn something.

In fact my breakthrough came when I finally realized that if I waited until I felt like doing it, I was never going to do it!  So I resolved — I had to do it before I “felt” like it. 

Feelings should never get in the way of doing the right thing. That was the key. It’s the key to many things in life. 

So it is with proactive involvement in many things, whether it’s the school board, showing up at a Town Hall meeting for the first time and overcoming the fear of commenting or asking a question. What’s the worse that can happen? Probably nothing serious. No one is going to lose sleep over our small mistakes. On the other hand, doing nothing can contribute to disasters.

Point number one was not waiting until I felt like it. Point number two, which is harder for some than for others, is don’t wait for someone else to join you. Be prepared to do it alone. If you’re waiting for a group to form before taking the first step, you never will. The group may form later, after you have initiated.

These days many parents are expressing consternation and outrage about sex education agendas being presented in schools without their consent. That is serious. There is no “undo”, no unviewing what children are shown, no way to restore an innocence we wanted them to retain for later years. Parental rights are disregarded, snubbed and even mocked. And it’s always too late for the children.

While households with two working parents face more scheduling challenges than others, someone has to take the step, make the decision, to be the ONE to lead the way. If more join together at the outset, that is even better, but someone has to start the process. Perhaps appoint one person to inform the others, then all show up in force when the impact matters most.

Never underestimate. All it takes is one blade of grass coming through a slab of cement or that seemingly solid wall for erosion to begin. 

Fracture the impossible. It’s the power of ONE.

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All Photos Dreamstime stock photos.

Copyright 2019 Nancy Diraison/DiraisonPublishing. All Rights reserved.

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