Getting up early to attend a 7:30 a.m. breakfast meeting is no thrill on a good day, and doing it on the day our print publication goes to layout is certainly not a good day. But get up we did, along with a smattering of other Morinville business owners to hear motivational speaker Ian Hill talk about how to increase our business and our sense of community by giving more of ourselves. It was a pretty wild concept for many to take in, particularly at so early an hour.
Hill, who hails from Oshawa, and who is known around the world for his positive and informative message on building community, spent Thursday in Morinville just talking to people – talking and listening. And lots of listening there was, particularly to our youth who were met with Thursday afternoon and celebrated in a special ceremony Thursday evening.
Hill gave much to those who turned out Thursday morning, but like a new pair of shoes, it took a while for his message to get broken in. As we looked around the room during the two morning sessions with their relatively small turn outs, a few of us grumbled at the smattering and how perhaps many who most needed to hear Hill’s message were absent from the room.
But the more the man talked, the more we all listened, the more it became apparent that it didn’t matter if there were 100 people, 50 people, 10 or even five. What mattered was there was one.
For Hill there is a deep belief that change, be it personal, organizational, institutional or community-wide, begins with one person. The power of one – as he calls it – is that one individual who has a passion for something, a belief in positive change, in the betterment of their organization or their community. It is that one person who can communicate that idea or passion to others by getting buy in and support from people of influence in the community who can in turn cause that idea to grow.
Looking around the room Thursday morning (once that idea had truly sunk in) it became painfully and embarrassingly apparent that the turnout was not weak as was first thought. If there is power in one, as Hill believes, there is one hell of a lot of power in a room with 25 or 35 ones in it. And if even half of those ones move the community just one notch further on the path of a greatness yet to be realized, then Thursday morning’s presentation was a powerful catalyst for positive change and growth. The ripples of that change and growth could be felt for some time yet to come and carried on in new directions by our youth, those citizens of tomorrow we must all work toward building.