Never Discount the Power of One
We seem to have lots to
complain about in this profession: low pay, lack of recognition, a flat career ladder
and encroachment on our scope of practice for starters. Next to pointing out our
ills the runner up theme is the mantra things will not improve until “they” fix
it. Who are they?
Depending on whom you
ask, the real influential people who can make a difference are professional organizations,
employers, pathologists, regulatory agencies and, possibly, the government. Maybe
if we formed a group or put together a petition, then we could influence the real powerbrokers.
Notice it is never, “What can I do?”
The proof that one person
can in fact make a difference has been driven home to us over the years. The road
of history is paved with examples of heroic individuals who made a difference.
Even if they eventually influenced a large group, they often started alone with
an idea or belief and then ventured forth while it was still unpopular. One person
can indeed make a difference.
This idea of the Power
of One was demonstrated to me recently. The two-man bobsled Jamaican team qualified
to participate in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
How someone in a tiny tropical island conceived
of creating a team capable of competing against world class athletes in a
winter sport is a miracle in itself. In any event the team
found itself so strapped for cash that there was the real possibility they would
not be able to make it to the games. Then one sports fan in
Washington, DC decided to use the magic of social media and start a fundraising
campaign on the crowdfunding site Crowdtilt.
The news quickly went
viral being shared by thousands on social media and covered by major news organizations
Cash started rolling
in and within a couple of days the campaign had netted almost $130, 000. I emailed both the fan
who started the campaign and the CEO of Crowdtilt and they
both said they were blown away by the response. All
they had going in was a passion for the cause and a belief that they should do
something, rather than waiting for others.
Think for a minute; what
were the odds of success without a big corporation or government (“they”) stepping
in and helping? The existence of the bobsled team, their qualifying for the Olympics,
one individual starting a fundraiser, the creation of crowdfunding
sites like Crowdtilt; all speak to the Power of One.
Success is always great,
but it is instructive to remember that many times the most phenomenal feats have
been achieved not through a large group of others, but simply by each one of us
doing something to start the ball rolling. We all can influence, even if not totally transform, simply by harnessing the Power of One.