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Never Underestimate the Power of One

    All movements in this country started from one good idea. One person had the thought and shared it with another. Word-of-mouth spread and soon advocates gathered to put an action plan together. Your ideas have power when you gather the support of influential people.

    There are many stories about the power of one person with a good idea, for example, the Amber Alert bill that was signed into law by President Bush in April 2003. This legislation will help alert neighborhoods across the country when a child is abducted. The local radio and TV broadcasters will spread the word about the kidnapping as soon as it is known, so the child can quickly be found. The Amber Alert was a program initiated in Arlington, Texas after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was kidnapped and murdered in 1996. Local residents asked the radio stations to broadcast kidnappings in the future. As a result of this tragedy, someone had a good idea, and gathered the support of others to prevent this from happening again. Many lives have been saved as a result of these media broadcasts.

    Another example is the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization. Founded in 1980, MADD was established by Candy Lightner and a small group of other mothers in California, outraged after the death of a teenage girl killed by a repeat-offender drunk driver. Their mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking. MADD has grown to one of the largest crime victims organizations in the world.

    Oftentimes, as a result of adversity, changes need to be made. As the change applies to you, it is your choice how to respond. Sometimes you recognize that rights need to be protected, wrongful deeds halted, dangerous situations avoided, laws created or enacted, or unfair decisions reversed.

    When you get an idea, realize that there are likely to be many other people who will be advocates of your idea. They will be grateful to you for spearheading actions. Share your idea with others to get support and further input. Let others help you to build upon what you start. Your single idea can lead to something significant. You can be a catalyst for change. Maximize your power of one, buy getting support from the community.

    Here are some actions you can take.

    • Start a support group
    • Write a letter to someone, who is in a position to made decisions to bring about change
    • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
    • Speak at a local club or service organization meeting
    • Call the local TV and radio stations to share your story
    • Write to your city and state legislature
    Taking the first step to empower yourself involves making a decision that you must do something. Realize that you have the power to influence others to resolve problems.

    � Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. would like to read your comments about her column and the impact it has made on your life. She also encourages your ideas for future columns. Contact her at: Rosemarie@RosemarieSpeaks.com, or 1008 Eastchester Dr., Columbus, OH 43230-6230.

    Byline: To book Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. to speak at a conference, contact her at: (614) 471-6100; Rosemarie Speaks. Rosemarie works with organizations and corporations that want to bring out the best in their people, and she demonstrates how to live life with conviction.