I have been reading The Power of 10%. How Small Changes can Make a BIG Difference, by Eric Harvey and Michelle Sedas, and through my reading it has stirred in me the power we all have to make a difference. One idea, which is acted upon, can change us and those around us in unimaginable ways.
|“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead|
“In 1942, Clarence Jordan founded Koinonia Farm, a small farming community outside of Americus, Georgia. On this Southern farm, which promoted fellowship among all, blacks and whites were paid equally and everyone was invited to sit at the dinner table, regardless of color. Because these beliefs were radical at the time, Koinonia’s members were forced to deal with death threats, firebombs, property damage, KKK rallies, and economic boycotts. Ye the farm and its members, committed to their cause, survived.
In 1965, Millard and Linda Fuller first visited the farm. Three years later, they permanently moved to the farm and together with Clarence Jordan developed the idea of “partnership housing” – suing volunteer labor to build affordable housing for those in need. The Fullers then went to spend three years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) where they established a successful house building program.
It was in 1976 that the Fullers founded Habitat for Humanity International. This organization, which former U.S. President Bill Clinton called “the most successful continuous community service project in the history of the United States,” has built more than 250,000 houses, sheltering more than 1,000,000 people in more than 3,000 communities worldwide.
By one group enduring difficulties, remaining focused on the mission, and being committed to their cause, one idea, which began on a small Southern farm, has truly impacted countless lives.
When commitment combines with the power of 10%, we can see a world transformed. People committed to a cause, form an idea, which produces the spark, which inspires individuals, which grows to impact others.” (Harvey & Sedas, 27-28).
This is just an example of the power of 10%, how giving a little more, not giving in when things are difficult and obstacles are surmounting, have a greater pay off in the end. I am challenging my staff and students to follow the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”