The Power of One
My alma mater has nicknamed their annual fundraising drive The Power of One. It's catchy, and has stuck with me, though not so much for the reason they intended.
A choral colleague shared with me over the weekend her great consternation that one of her students in her top choir was quitting on Friday. He told her he thought she was too tough, her expectations were too high, and she didn't encourage them enough. She tried to talk with him about it, acknowledged that she had no plans to lower her expectations, but that perhaps she could be a bit more positive in affirming the group. She attempted a genuine dialogue, and he cut her off saying that his mind was made up. This normally strong, assertive friend spent most of Friday evening crying about it - wondering what she could have said or done differently to change his mind. I reminded her that she has over 200 students in her program who are staying in the program, and to not neglect appreciating them because of one disgruntled young man who probably just doesn't "get it" - or want it. Then I commented, "Isn't it ironic that most of our students have no idea that we will spend hours investing our emotional energies worrying about the one kid who thinks we are too heartless and callous to care whether they are there or not? Often to the neglect of all our other students who value our efforts?"
Ah, yes. The Power of One.