Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Be the Catalyst.

The children's story about the little red hen goes like this.  A little red hen found some grains of wheat, she decided to plant them and asked all around the farm for the other animals to help but everyone refused. So she did the work herself and when the grain was ripe, when it was ready to be ground, and when she was baking it into bread she again asked for help and all of the other animals continued to refuse. However when the bread was baked everyone was ready and willing to reap the benefits of all of her hard work. Ultimately she refused to share the bread and the moral lesson that was to be learned was that if you don't do the work you won't reap the benefits.

I prefer an alternate ending - one where the little red hen shares the bread with everyone and they love it so much that the next time she asks for help they all jump in to volunteer their services - and that as  a result of everyone's hard work the second batch of bread is big enough for everyone to have a fair share.  

I know I am an optimist and that bystander effect is a default behavior in more than just emergency situations (aka inertia).  Grass root changes tend to attract only the most fervent believers while everyone else just stands around watching to see what will result - but I have to hold onto the belief that when the results are proven - when the benefits of change are clearly observed that the hard work of the few will be the necessary catalyst to draw in the observers and affect the bigger and very necessary changes ahead of us. 

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