The Power of One

I’m sure you’ve heard this story a million times before. It only takes one to make a difference. Sometimes we don’t believe things we hear so often because we have situations arise where we feel quite powerless.

We think that just because we can’t affect certain major things in our lives that perhaps we can’t affect any major change for the better.

At my workplace, we’re doing some office rearranging which has left a bunch of us displaced while we’re waiting for other offices to be built. I ended up in one of the conference rooms that originally had lots of large chairs in it.

Well, unless I wanted to be climbing over office chairs to accommodate the huge plotter printer that came with me, in addition to boxes and tables, those chairs needed to go out.

But here’s the thing. There’s literally nowhere for those chairs to go. We don’t have the space for them right now to be stored anywhere. I shoved them out in the hallway, hoping they were just saying one thing while not really meaning that thing.

But there the chairs stayed, all clumped together in chaos because no one knew what to do with them. Even the night cleaning crew, who tends to straighten up areas, left them as is. I believe in zen-energy when it comes to work spaces. Not that things can’t be chaotic in some ways, but just that a certain kind of chaos leaves an angst-like feeling behind.

So after a few days of this, I decided to line them up along the wall. Sure, it wasn’t ideal, but it cleared them out of the way. Suddenly there was a different atmosphere in that area. I noticed the cleaning crew even straightened them up if they’d been misplaced during the day.

Sometimes things are left disorganized or in chaos, not because people want them to be, but because they can’t think of a better solution for that problem.

It seems like a small thing, but it’s by small and simple things that we can make our world a more positive and functional place. I don’t think the situation would have changed otherwise.

But maybe that’s not big enough for you. Sure, I can organize the space in my life, but is that really the power of one?

Let me give you one other example. A group of friends and I went and saw a Doctor Who parody called Doctor U (our local university goes by the nickname the U, although there wasn’t any other specific reference to the university, but I think you get the point). It was a wonder we’d heard about it and the audience wasn’t terribly full, but what a performance! The two actors who portrayed Ten and Eleven almost made you forget it wasn’t Tennant and Smith you were watching. We were ready to hand them some more money and watch again.

But we couldn’t. That was it. One night only, never to be seen again. Days later we were still talking about it and wishing they’d perform it at the upcoming Comic Con or perhaps in celebration of the upcoming 50th Anniversary.

Well, we decided we’d ask. Why not? If they said it wasn’t possible, we’d be no worse off than if we hadn’t asked. But if we asked and they said yes… I sent the lady in charge an email, telling her we thought it would be successful because we knew so many fans and groups of people who hadn’t heard of it and would want to see it. I thanked her for sharing the performance, that we enjoyed it, and if it wasn’t possible, no hard feelings, just wanted to let her know.

Long story short, they’re putting the show on again one more time this November, the week before the 50th Anniversary. And not only are they putting it back on, as per our suggestions, it’s gonna be a party. Costumes, food, pics with the Doctors, the TARDIS, some Daleks, maybe a very well put together weeping angel costume–geekery galore. What better way to celebrate?

All it took was someone asking.

And now I’ve got an opportunity to work with them in the future in other show promotions (which to me is a lot of fun. They’re even doing a mash up spoof of Downton Abbey meets the Walking Dead).

Power of one, my friends. Power of one. Or as some also put it: just ask. All you have to do is ask.

Now does that change the whole world? On it’s own, no. But it did teach me that if there’s something I want it can happen. Like Doc Brown says: If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Sometimes we’ll fail, sometimes we’ll succeed, but the point is if we don’t try, we always fail.

Make connections in your own life, try new things, ask, see if you can’t make a difference somewhere. It will enrich your life, and it will probably enrich the lives of those around you.

And you may even get your own version of a happy, geeky Doctor Who party out of it. πŸ˜‰

Do you believe in the power of one? Have you been able to affect positive change in your community or home? Or have you accomplished something you weren’t sure was possible just because you asked? Anything you would add?

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18 thoughts on “The Power of One

  1. Awesome post! Downton Abbey mashed with Walking Dead, oh I must see this. Let me know when they plan to do that one I might make the trip down to SLC to see it.

    I do believe in the power of one and I really liked your point of it doesn’t have to be a grand change, sometimes just something simple can do. Nope nothing more to add you said it pretty well. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I’ll definitely let you know. It’s sometime next year. I just met up with the owner yesterday and they’ve got a great 2014 lineup of parodies. Should be a fantastic time. It’s not listed on their website yet (I think it’s OBT.org – Off Broadway Theatre). As far as I’ve seen, they do a fantastic job spoofing. I’m sure this mash up will be fabulous. πŸ™‚

  2. I do believe in the power of one, but my experience in office work doesn’t really support it. Tended to be one person was right and got the chance to say ‘I told you so’ without getting fired. Guess it requires that one person to go ahead and do it whether they’re supported or not.

  3. So right Jae. We have become a spoon-fed world in which we all tend to sit back with a sense of entitlement. You can’t imagine Richard Branson (name out of the air) ever hanging around waiting for someone else to make a move.

    • So true! Seems like the difference is people talk about what needs to be done, the successful go out and do it. If we wait on others it’s likely we’ll wait a long time, if not forever. Great comment, thanks!

  4. I believe in the power of one, but I think it’s often kept in check by the power of fear…at least that’s been my personal experience. I’m working on that, though. Like you said, sometimes all you have to do is ask, and really, it’s usually no big deal even if the answer is no. Also I love the idea of a Doctor Who party/show – sounds awesome! I’m counting on pictures!! πŸ™‚

    • I think it’ll be fantastic! I’m hoping we can get a major turnout. Hard to say right now. It’s too far out for most people to commit, and so far only like 50 people are coming (they’re hoping for 200). I think the number will jump once it gets closer.

      They’re doing a Wolfman vs. Dracula for October. I definitely plan on going to see it. πŸ˜€

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