Yes, I usually write about collaboration. Yes, it is one of my favorite words. However, I also know the power of one. This past weekend, while PAAS Board Members and Staff were helping runners preregister for Run Jack Run, I heard a true life story that exemplified the power of “one”.
You’re 8 years old, just arrived from Italy, speak no English and you’re in the 3rd grade. A classmate says something perfectly fine if you speak English; however, in Italian there’s one word you hear that is not a good one and your response leads to a meeting with the school principal. Thanks to a wise principal and an amazing teacher, you suddenly have an American name, Nancy, and your 3rd grade teacher works with you every day after school and 6 months later, you’re Nancy, fluent in English and everyone assumes you’re American. Had she kept her “given first name”. it would have been a different story. Name: Annunziata.
Judgments are made, decisions turn into action and, all too often, it is based on one assumption - - your name, the color of your skin, your gender, your height, weight, etc etc.
However, the same is equally true for good things to happen. In animal rescue, someone stops, picks up an abandoned dog or cat, nurses it to good health and then either falls in love and adds a new four-legged member to the family or works to find it a new home.
If the dog ends up with one of our Oklahoma municipal shelter partners, the outcome will probably be great - - - a new home in Colorado. And for that one it makes all the difference in the world.
So the power of one is alive and well - - and it is a critical part of the power of collaboration.