What can one person do? As it turns out, a lot. History is full of people who led major revolutions.
Not all of us will lead a revolution that will change the world entirely. Not all of us will gather masses of several thousand that are protesting in the streets. Not all of us will be written about in history books to come. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot change the world. Your contribution can make a difference. You can change the world around you.
“Say you want a revolution? Well, you know, we all want to change the world.”
Day by day. Drip by drip. You are changing the world.
Speak up. Lead by example. Start your own small revolution. Watch it spread. You don’t have to reach the entire world. A 1000 true fans are enough as Kevin Kelly wrote in his famous article. If you can reach 1000 true fans and them, in turn, have a 1000 true fans, you’re reaching 1 million people! Of course, that’s in a perfect scenario, but still, the numbers quickly become staggering. This is something that we humans have difficulty grasping.
As in the tale of the Indian king who liked to play chess. One day, a traveling wise man was challenged by the king. The king asked the man to name his price if he was to win the game. The traveling man wanted to get one seed of rice for the first square on the chess board. Two for the second, and then continue doubling the amount for every square on the chess board. The king willingly obliged, thinking that the wise man wasn’t that wise after all. What the king failed to comprehend was the immense power of exponential growth. The king only thought about the beginning of the chess board and was convinced that he was entering a great deal. The king lost the game. He got a bag of rice and started to put seeds on the chess board. The first line of squares was fine, but then the numbers quickly started to get bigger, and bigger. The king realized that he wasn’t going to be able to fulfill his promise.
Our inability to grasp the concept of exponential growth is what makes it so difficult to predict the future. We try to forecast what the future will hold, but we’re usually way off target. We try to imagine what technical innovations might lie ahead, but we’re usually dead wrong.
So you don’t need to change the world. Start by changing one person. Start with you. And then take it from there. The numbers quickly become staggering. Now you have a revolution.