Never Underestimate the Power of One

It began with a phone call...


It was a Monday morning in August with the outdoor temperature already in the 90s and the heat index ten degrees higher and climbing. My phone rang and, when I answered, a recorded voice from the electric power company informed me there would be “reliability work” in my neighborhood on Thursday. I assumed this meant routine preventive maintenance: checking the lines, poles and plant hardware.

The message ended with this clincher: “There will be a power outage from approximately 9:30 am until 5:30 pm.”

An all-day power outage in August? In the Deep South, USA?

Now, I realize the power company uses the psychological ploy of providing a “worst-case scenario” when predicting how long an outage will last, on the premise that if it ends even a little sooner the customer will be satisfied. Even so…purposely scheduling an outage of any length during the hottest hours of the day and the hottest month of the summer here in my neck of the woods strikes me as a very poor operations strategy. It is decidedly not customer-friendly.

I checked the online weather forecast for my area. On Thursday, we could expect a potential high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit with the heat index rising to 100+ during the afternoon and the possibility of thunderstorms. The air is rarely cooler after these heat-caused brief storms end. Clouds disappear, and the sun beats down as hot or hotter than it was before the first drop of rain. Any time it FEELS like 100 degrees to me, it doesn’t matter what number registers on the thermometer. The humidity in my part of the planet is what drives the heat index, giving us sweltering summers.

Hot and humid...

Source


I live in a mid-20th-century house with several window a/c units and fans. My central air conditioning system bit the dust four summers ago—I still recall with depressing clarity the June day it died—and my retirement budget just wouldn’t (and won’t) stretch to cover a replacement. Only two years before that, a tornado took out my mature hardwood shade trees.

Since then, the sun beats down unmercifully on my roof. During these late summer afternoons, the interior of my house gets unpleasantly warm even with all the window units and fans plugging away. During the planned power outage on Thursday, my home was certain to turn into a sauna.

I wasn’t going to stand by and let that happen—not without making an effort to stop it. As soon as that thought entered my consciousness, I began mentally developing my plan of action.


Start with a plan...

Source

You probably wonder why I didn’t decide to simply leave home before the outage began Thursday morning, go someplace cool and stay there all day. That might seem the logical solution, but it would not be the right one for me.

A critical factor is the care my recently blind dog needs. She has not thoroughly adjusted to her loss of vision and needs more attention from me than formerly. In addition, I must apply ophthalmic ointment to her eyes every two hours to prevent the severe pain of corneal abrasions that untreated dry eye syndrome would cause. I would not leave her alone in a house overheated like an oven all day, and taking her someplace else wasn’t practical.

I grabbed the phone as I mentally assembled the elements of my plan to stop the Thursday outage. Not trying wasn’t an option.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Hot summer temps can be dangerous for the elderly, small children and people (as well as pets) with chronic health conditions because of their increased risk for dangerously high body temperature, or hyperthermia. There are frequent hot weather alerts via local news in this area targeting high-risk groups during the hottest months of the summer. Aren’t the people in charge at the power company paying attention?

Power outages due to severe weather can’t be helped, of course, and I credit our electric power company with repairing damaged power lines as quickly as possible in those situations. What I could not understand, however, is why their engineers would schedule a planned outage for the hottest month—August. It showed a lack of concern for the wellbeing of customers, particularly those most vulnerable to summer heat.

I decided to phone the power company and appeal to management for a delay in the “reliability work” and planned power outage until local temperatures dropped into the safety zone. After going several rounds with a maddening automatic telephone menu in lieu of a human, I knew it was time to try another tactic.


Overheating may cause a medical crisis in vulnerable individuals.

Hyperthermia (high body temperature) can be dangerous.
Hyperthermia (high body temperature) can be dangerous. | Source

If at first you don’t succeed…don’t give up! TRY AGAIN!

Next, I phoned the state agency that regulates and maintains oversight of all utilities and said I wanted to register a complaint. A spokesperson agreed that timing of the planned power outage for routine maintenance work seemed a mistake, but went on to explain, “We do not micromanage them.”

Although she promised to “…see what I can do and get back to you…”, I sensed that the issue wouldn't be given priority status.

That is when I used good old Google to find the staff directory of my city’s newspaper and punched in the direct number for the assistant managing editor of news, business and features. (My story seemed to fit all three categories.)

She listened to me and agreed that August is a bad time for a planned power outage. She asked if I would agree to be interviewed. Would I? That was just what I had in mind!

Fast forward an hour later to another phone call—this time, from a newspaper staff reporter. She interviewed me over the phone and promised to call back after she talked to contacts at the power company's local office. I felt certain the utility's management would not be pleased at the possibility of adverse publicity and would take action to prevent it. The action I wanted was cancellation of the planned outage, and I now felt confident it was a distinct probability.

You may wonder why I called a newspaper editor rather than a local TV station’s news department. In light of the fact that I worked for an international cable TV corporation for more than two decades, I’m certainly aware of the potential local TV news has to reach the masses.

However, before then—way back when I was young—I also worked as a part-time “copy runner” on this same newspaper. In addition to being a gofer, I wrote obits and college briefs—just enough mini-journalism to give me newspaper fever.

Over the years I wrote feature articles for a newspaper in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and, after moving back to my home state in the mid-90s, a couple of feature articles for the same editor who assigned a reporter to this story. People do read newspapers in my city and its suburbs. In fact, this newspaper is not only the city daily, but the state’s preeminent daily, with both paper and online issues. I believe this newspaper still garners respect from residents when it comes to local and state news.

If it had become necessary in order to get results, of course, my next move would have been to call the local TV stations (#4 of my multi-phased plan.) It wasn’t, and I didn’t, because the newspaper reporter who interviewed me then called an area manager of the electric power company. Within an hour that same manager called me to apologize about the planned outage and assure me the whole thing was a scheduling error. He said it was now postponed until the arrival of cooler weather in the autumn.

Hooray! No miserably hot day without electricity! Thursday will be a normal day because I wasn't willing to accept something harmful without trying to change it.

Source

One more phone call...

Shortly after that manager’s call, I received one from the reporter. She chuckled while telling me about her first contact at the power company, who revealed that routine maintenance schedules are computerized and admitted it was possible no human would have made the connection: August equals very high temperatures. DANGER!

Without a nudge from the reporter, the maintenance work would most likely have taken place as scheduled. Pity the poor technicians who would have climbed poles and routinely checked equipment during the heat of the day. Actually, we owe these techs our gratitude all the time because they work outdoors in extreme weather conditions of all types, year-round, to ensure we can flip a switch and have access to everything electric in our homes. The same goes for cable, broadband and phone outdoor techs. I think there should be a National Technicians' Day to honor them...don't you?

The reporter wrote and published the article. I read it online that evening and sent her a "thumbs-up" email thanking her. She included quotes from me as well as quotes from the power company spokesperson who put a positive ending on their side of the story, turning it into a win-win situation. My neighborhood won't have a day that's unbearable without electricity to cool homes, and the power company didn't end up looking like an uncaring corporation. That's balanced journalism.

Source

Never underestimate the Power of One!

If I weren’t an assertive (okay, make that “aggressive” if you insist) person who won’t just sit back and let something bad happen without trying to stop it, at least a hundred households in my neighborhood would have been without electric power all day Thursday. Everyone at home during the day—humans and pets—would have been without air conditioning or even a single fan to keep them from dangerously overheating. Mine is a neighborhood with many elderly retirees, so any one of my neighbors or I might have suffered a heat-related medical emergency if the power outage had gone ahead as planned.

Never believe that one person—YOU—can’t make a difference. You can. It all hinges on how you go about it. Make a plan with more than one possible action in case the first doesn’t get the result you want. Carry it through. Be assertive, but not belligerent. While that old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the oil still holds true, the one about catching more flies with honey than vinegar is also meaningful. You can be assertive and firm, yet courteous, simultaneously.

In this situation, I was the ONE person who started the ball rolling. It was picked up and passed on by the newspaper assistant managing editor and then by the staff reporter. The power company manager caught the ball, and the reporter completed the play with her article. The Power of One in action evolves into the power of many, and the result can be nothing short of terrific.

The Power of One principle is why I’ve become a food safety advocate in my senior years…why I sign hundreds of petitions, write hundreds of emails and make numerous phone calls to my Congressional representatives. This concept is why I contact food distribution companies and ask them to do their part toward creating a safe food supply. It's why I reach out to organizations that have the power to bring about positive change. The Power of One is at the heart of my political interests and why I vote in elections.

When I make the small donation to a worthy cause that is all I can afford, my ONE small contribution is added to those of many more people who can also afford only a small amount. They all add up...beginning with one person, one small gift.

The "Power of One" is a concept that's been used in many different contexts and with varying meanings. The phrase has been employed by writers, politicians, advertising copywriters, educators, religious leaders, motivational speakers and others.

Personally, I see it as the power of an individual to make a difference. One person who is proactive can be highly effective by influencing others--from a few people to billions, thereby harnessing a collective power to exceed any outcome that could be achieved alone.

The Power of One--it's available to YOU.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for reading and supporting this HubPages writer!

---------------

Please vote and leave comments. Your feedback is valuable to me.

NOTE: I am the author of this article, and it is owned by me in entirety.It is not available for use by reproducing in any form without my express written permission. If you see all or any part of this article (as written) on another site, please notify me where it can be found. Theft of a writer's work is plagiarism, and stealing another's words is no less wrong than any other theft.


© 2013 Jaye Denman

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87 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 19 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Akrita . . . I thought this would be a good experience to share so readers could realize much can be done starting with one person's actions. I appreciate your reading and commenting on this hub.

Regards,

Jaye


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 19 months ago from Shimla, India

This is such a genuine post and thought provoking post.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 22 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Kathryn, for your kind words. I took your advice and deleted the update. I hope to be around for a long time and have several ideas for new hubs "percolating" in my mind.

Regards, Jaye


ecogranny profile image

ecogranny 22 months ago from San Francisco

Wonderful story, terrific example of the Power of One, and very clearly written. No horn tooting detected whatsoever! In fact, IMO, the update is totally unnecessary and detracts from the power of the story.

I'm so glad you're here on HP, telling stories like this. May you continue to teach and inspire us for a very long time.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 23 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, MHiggins, for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub and invite you to read my other articles and essays. Regards and Happy New Year! Jaye


MHiggins profile image

MHiggins 23 months ago from Michigan

Very informative hub, Jaye. I never detected a "pompous" tone at all; you just gave an example of a "can do" attitude. The tone was very encouraging. Again, great hub. Voted up!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 23 months ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you so much, Dan, for your kind words and very insightful comment. We do, as individuals, each have power and should accept the responsibility to use it wisely for good.

Wishing you all the joys of the holiday season and a wonderful new year....Jaye


Dan Barfield profile image

Dan Barfield 23 months ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

Truly awesome! This is a great example of how one person making the decision to take positive action can have a great effect. Too often people belittle their own impact on the world and we have a habit of just accepting the dictats of corporations and governing bodies. It is good to remember that what power is had over us only exists because we have ceded it away and that if we each individually have the power to wreak great positive change through the simple act of getting up off our asses and doing something about what we believe to be right. Great hub, great message :)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, John. It gets very hot during Mississippi summers, and the humidity makes the air feel like damp cotton candy. Yes, this state is pathetic, and the 'governing' (a term I use loosely) powers would rather let people suffer in poverty than make even one intelligent decision that departs from their political party's agenda. I'm speaking of the governor as well as senators. The people who vote for them (I'm not responsible!) constantly shoot themselves in both feet economically. The ONLY reason I live here is to be near family. I can't convince them all to leave!

Enjoy your lovely Canadian weather....Jaye


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 2 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

I am impressed with your plan of action and the way you carried it through, Jaye. You saved lots of people an inordinate amount of trouble - and got your name in the paper. I can't imagine what the heat must be like down there in Mis.....er.... the poorest State in America. Up here in Ontario 30C is breathtaking.

A friend of ours from Ontario decided to retire to Panama and bought a house on the beach. He can't stand the non-stop heat and is desperately trying to get back to Canada.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Mothersofnations - Thanks for your feedback. If I could only get across one main thought with this hub it is that a person should never hesitate to get involved in a cause 'alone', because the sheer act of involvement nearly always leads to the involvement of others. This is how major grassroots efforts begin, and if we ever needed them--it's now!

Regards, Jaye


mothersofnations profile image

mothersofnations 2 years ago

I completely agree with you that the worst possible time for an outage would be during the hottest month, during the hottest hours of the day. This is my favorite part of your article:

"Never believe that one person—YOU—can’t make a difference. You can. It all hinges on how you go about it. Make a plan with more than one possible action in case the first doesn’t get the result you want. Carry it through. Be assertive, but not belligerent. While that old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the oil still holds true, the one about catching more flies with honey than vinegar is also meaningful. You can be assertive and firm, yet courteous, simultaneously."

Absolutely! This advice can be placed in so many situations in life - if I even attempted to name suggestions, my comment would be never ending lol. Thanks so much for this article, that yes, even just one can make a difference!

God bless you.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, SheGetCreative - I certainly hope the incident made a lasting impact on the electric power company's scheduling of maintenance outages.

Regards, Jaye


SheGetsCreative profile image

SheGetsCreative 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

Great example of how one voice can truly make a difference. (Hopefully the power co. is also auditing their scheduled auto messages for future!)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, jtrader, and I appreciate your suggestions. I've changed titles of hubs before, and the new title shows up on the site. Unfortunately, the original URL remains for search engines.

Regards,

Jaye


jtrader profile image

jtrader 2 years ago

I didn't interpret it as you being pompous at all. I think sometimes people feel frustrated but have no clue what steps to take- especially when it comes to large companies like the light, water, gas etc.

You should write how-tos for common consumer situations. I think rewording your title might make it more helpful to people searching for information too. These utility companies do those things all the time.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Ologsinquito - One very astute thing you mentioned--developing a fatalistic attitude--is one of the factors that I am afraid will bring down the USA if its citizens don't keep giving in to it. We all have to stand up and be counted...for many issues...if there is to be any positive change.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Regards, Jaye


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

This is an excellent message because sometimes problems seem so overwhelming that we get discouraged, and adopt a fatalistic attitude. August is a terrible time for a planned power outage. You did a good thing, and your article doesn't sound pompous at all.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Lady G. I have found that the best way to get results with any company is to make every effort to reach the person who can actually get something done quickly. In many instances, that is the CEO (who will usually pass the problem onto someone in a lower position to actually take steps). In others, it's the top person in the company's public relations department, as he or she has a vested interest in deflecting bad publicity. The use of company websites to learn the names of these managers and Google to find their contact phone numbers or email addresses helps in this effort, and it's easier than you might think.

I've done this lots of times.

However, in the situation that led to this hub, I took advantage of the press to reach the right person more quickly, as time was of the essence.

I'm glad you also start the ball rolling when it is needed. It is within the power of individuals to create change, but we have to first DO something toward that goal.

Regards, Jaye


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Good job. Sometimes, when the opportunity arises, I will also start the ball. Good thing that you didn't go to the TV because that runs on Electricity too and no one would have seen the act that you did and prevented. People always read. I often wonder what we did back in the days were there was no electricity. I do hope that your dog is better too. I also have a dog that now needs lots of tender loving care as he got a bout of Vertigo and I did write about that because not many know that they can get that...even we didn't know. Got to keep making people aware of things and glad you did with yours. Some CEO's of companies don't have a brain in their head...it's all in their pockets. I hate that too!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Stevie - When electronic devices begin making 'demands', they have a bit too much artificial intelligence for me! I don't even own a smart phone, just a very simple one with few features. Add to that the fact that I'm technologically challenged and a demanding device would make me nervous.

Jaye


Stevie Cenko 2 years ago

Jaye, I think that was kind of the point with the movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey", although I'm not sure. I might have to search for that science article. One thing that disturbs me lately, is I'm noticing apps on my Android phone are demanding control of my microphone and camera. I've embraced this electronic age vs. library catalog cards and more, but I'm beginning to have my doubts about it.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks Stevie. Your comment about the computer(s) may be closer to truth than you realize. I recently read an article in SCIENCE DAILY about autonomous technology, referring to study results published in a prestigious scientific journal. It suggested the need for caution by humans to prevent future computer systems from developing anti-social and potentially harmful behavior.

You read that correctly: 'anti-social and potentially harmful behavior'...against humans, of course, not other computers!

I'm immune to the predictions of an zombie apocalypse, but when scientists start inferring that computers will be able to react quickly without human input and make decisions for 'themselves', that gets my attention and not in a good way. (Doesn't the use of a pronoun for a piece of hardware give you the creeps?)

My suggestion is that when computers become so smart they don't need human intervention, perhaps we should unplug them all before we go to sleep at night! What do you think? (Is there a poem in there somewhere?)

Jaye


Stevie Cenko 2 years ago

Jaye, I agree, one person can make a difference and it is only the beginning of a movement to achieve success. Also, it was extremely brave of you to go up against that heartless computer who scheduled the maintenance. Luckily, the computer didn't take it personally, tell all its friends and make your life an electronic hell. Good job. Good for you!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Au fait - I appreciate not only your positive feedback (especially because it's specific), but your suggestions for a follow-up article. I'd like to write that, but it will have to wait until I complete a project to which I'm committed.

When I have time, I'll return to your suggestions and refresh my memory. Thanks! Happy Easter....Jaye


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

I didn't get the impression that you were blowing your own horn, but rather that you were presenting an example of how to go about making a complaint and following through -- not giving up when at first you don't succeed. I think a lot of people don't even try because:

1. They don't know where to start or how to go about making a formal complaint that will be taken seriously.

2. They believe they will fail anyway.

True power is in engaging the support of others. However one thing is certain -- nothing ventured nothing gained. If one never even tries, failure is a certainty. The biggest mistake most people make is in never even trying.

I think this is a great article and I would even recommend you write out a general plan that people (who are uncertain about how/where to begin) could use to get started and launch a reasonable effort to change something.

Include several options, or as many as possible at each juncture of the plan. That will give people the guide they need to get started and resolve the main reason they usually never do even try -- it will tell them when and how to get started, what order to do things, when to do what, etc.

I look forward to reading your "How To complain -- Inspire Beneficial Change -- and Be Taken Seriously" article in the near future! :)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Mannatita - Thank you for reading and for your insightful comment. One's writing style does sometimes "take over" a piece, whether it's an essay, article or fiction. If I had waited a day before publishing this hub and re-read it before doing so, I'm confident that I would have edited it to reflect what I wrote in the update.

Once I did re-read it (after publishing on HP) and realized it conveyed something I didn't intend, I considered re-writing the entire essay. In the end, I hoped that my addendum would set the record straight.

Regards,

Jaye


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Yes, Jaye.

It did read a little like you say and yes, I did get the correct message, too. Sometimes it's simply a matter of style rather than anything else, as long as you meant to serve.

It was a noble thing to re-read and update such as you did. Again, you will know that writers are always changing things with re-reads and perceptions differ from day to day. Higher blessings.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Sandy. Any ONE of us has that power within us to wield. That's the wonder and the simplicity of it.

Regards, Jaye


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 2 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Thumbs up to you for being the power of one.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Jo - Thanks for your very kind words, votes and sharing of this article. As you can probably tell, I'm not shy and retiring (though I was when young). I want to encourage everyone to believe that she or he can make a difference by taking action, even if no one else is doing so.

This example shows it can work to your advantage and get the result you want if you allow someone the chance to save face and put a positive spin on bad press. As long as the result is good, that's usually a win-win and worth trying to obtain.

Jaye


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

Ms. Jaye,

wow! Not only do you have wisdom but you have some serious *courage*!

I couldn't help but to cheer for you as I was reading about the way some bureaucrats just don't get it! Shutting off the means to stay cool during a hot summer day is inhumane! Good for you to step up and I didn't feel you were "tooting your own horn", at all.

You explained the reasons why you were motivated to doing something. I applaud you and it is so worth voting up +++ tweeted and shared!

This was such an Awesome reading, thank you! :-)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Nadine. I'm glad you liked this hub. I didn't intentionally plagiarize the title. I know the phrase is used in a lot of contexts. It just seemed to fit. Thanks for stopping by....Regards, Jaye


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Hi Jaye I liked reading how you took action. I'm rather new on hub pages but your title The Power Of One drew me. It is a title of a great book by Bryce Courtenay, one of my favorite authors who recently has passed away.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Jodah. The Power of One principle is worth remembering and using in our daily lives. The actions of one person can definitely be the catalyst for changes, large or small. I appreciate the vote....Regards, Jaye


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Well done Jaye. You are right, everyone of us can make things happen if we are determined enough. 'The Power Of One' is a perfect title for this hub. Thank you for this good advice. Voted up.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Rolly, and good for you, too! I'm glad you used your own "one" voice to ensure you got timely and appropriate service. Mention of the media is a good tool, if necessary--weapon, when dealing with both company and municipal officials who are sensitive to bad press.

Regards,

Jaye


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Jaye... excellent article and again it shows what one voice can do... especially if the voice is used properly. The media for many has become a great source to express concerns and yours certainly was a well worth while complaint.

Canada has adopted much the same attitude towards customers in many areas on dealing with complaints or concerns. They informed me it would be 9 days before they could get a tech out. The mention of calling the media over the lack of proper service changed the dynamics of the problem. A new router arrived the following morning via courier. We do have a voice and we all need to remember we do... good for you.

Rolly in Canada


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

CMHypno - Thanks for your comment. While I'm too cynical to believe everyone will choose to do the right thing--stand up for one's rights and those of others--be activists to change the world, wouldn't it be wonderful if all the good people would do so? I firmly believe there are still a lot of good people living in this world, but either they feel helpless to make change or don't think about it. That's why I (and many others like me) keep promoting the idea that individuals working together can effect positive change. I like the idea of good people overcoming the greedy/evil/cruel in a David vs. Goliath manner, don't you?

Regards, Jaye


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 3 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Interesting hub Jaye. I think too many of us feel helpless because we feel that one person can't do anything to change things. But ultimately the only person's behaviour we have any control over is our own - we can choose to be peaceful, loving, active in the community and stand up for ours and others right. And if we all chose that the world would change perhaps


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Deborah-Diane ---Sometimes people don't make a move because they believe that individuals can't cause change, but we can. One person can make a difference. Even better, many individuals working toward the same goal multiply the power of one.

Jaye


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

We used to live in Texas and I know how hot it can get in August. You proved that one person really can make a difference ... not only in your own life but in the lives of many other people who would have been affected. Well done. In addition, your article encourages others who want to stand up and make a change. Voted UP and shared.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Sueswan - I think it helps us to realize that we can make a difference even when we act individually. Otherwise, we might never try.

I appreciate the vote, feedback and sharing.

Have a good weekend...Jaye


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Jaye,

There is nothing pompous about you at all. I see a caring and passionate person. I am glad you shared your experience with us as it reminds us that we can all make a difference one person at a time.

Voted up +++ and shared.

Bless you! :)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Crafty. Southern summers are sweltering in my neck of the woods, and the heat is dangerous for the elderly or anyone with health problems, particularly COPD. My late father-in-law also used oxygen during the last year of his life, and being without A/C would have been devastating to him. I know there are many who cannot be without a cool dry environment during the summer, and feel strongly that planned electricity outages for maintenance should always be postponed until cool weather.

It's ironic, but I was shy as a youngster and sometimes think that anyone who knew me back then would find it difficult to reconcile the "assertive" me of my mid-to-later years with that child. The change occurred because I became very passionate about a lot of issues and decided it was time to start speaking out.

Thanks for the read and your comments.

Jaye


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Thank you for taking the initiative to do something for the good of all. My grandmother suffered from lung related issues and needed oxygen plus AC all the time when she was alive. It was have been devastating to her health had something like that happened. I applaud your efforts.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Suzette - Thanks and I appreciate the vote. I'm so glad this hub resonated with you. The media has power, and I was glad to make use of it. If it hadn't worked, I'd have tried another tactic. I'm persistent that way (or "stubborn", as members of my family might say).

Jaye

Audrey - Thanks for reading and for your encouragement. Doers don't just complain, but try to find solutions.

Jaye


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Suzette - Thanks and I appreciate the vote. I'm so glad this hub resonated with you. The media has power, and I was glad to make use of it. If it hadn't worked, I'd have tried another tactic. I'm persistent that way (or "stubborn", as members of my family might say).

Jaye

Audrey - Thanks for reading and for your encouragement. Doers don't just complain, but try to find solutions.

Jaye


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brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Jaye You are like me- a doer. I love this hub about the power of one. You performed a service for yourself and others. I am sure no one wanted that power off. It was a glitch for someone to fix, and the person was you. Thanks for sharing. Blessings. Audrey


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

Jaye - "You go girl!" It doesn't sound pompous at all! In fact this article was quite engaging to read and now I know what to do to make a complaint. I commend you for not giving up and just accepting the situation. You handled it very professionally and going to the press was a great idea. ONE person can make a difference in this world as you have shown us. Thanks so much for sharing your story! Voted up!


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Margaret - Far too many people prefer to whine about the state of the country (or world) rather than get off their duffs and work toward solutions. I appreciate the vote, feedback and sharing.

Regards,

Jaye


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mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

This is an inspiring and much needed article during a time when I see so much apathy in society. There are so many people complaining about our societal and governmental ills, but few seem ready to take action to change things. Voted up, interesting, useful and sharing.


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Flourish - I just don't believe in giving up without making an effort (or sometimes putting up a fight).

Jaye


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Awesome example of how one person can make a difference if they try. You knew the right things to do, made the connections, and made it happen. Great work!


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Cam. Many good outcomes begin with one person.

Jaye


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 3 years ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Jaye, the power of one is so true. Your actions were a perfect, firsthand example of how it can work. Good for you and thanks for passing this important lesson on to the rest of us. Voted up.


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Aunice - Thanks for the read and your comments. I'm sorry you experienced a two-day electric outage this summer and hope the equipment's been thoroughly repaired so it doesn't happen again. Being without a/c or even a fan in hot weather is miserable, isn't it?

Regards,

Jaye


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AuniceReed 3 years ago from Southern California

Love this article! It goes to show that with a bit of persistence and ingenuity, what seems impossible can be made possible. I live in the desert areas of Southern Cali and we just had an outage a couple months ago. But no, it was not planned. It was equipment failure. Went without air and lights for 2 days. Everything spoiled. What a mess.


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JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

You're right, Wayne--squeaky wheels get oiled. I prefer to start with the "honey rather than vinegar" approach. Some people respond better to it. However, if that doesn't work, I have no qualms about becoming a squeaky wheel.

Thanks for reading and for your comment.

Regards, JAYE


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wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

The squeaky wheel does get the oil. That's a fact.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Mary - Thanks for your supportive remarks, vote, feedback and sharing. I heard the phrase "can't fight City Hall" often in my youth. I learned as time went by that it can be done, and determination is the first step. JAYE

Theresa - Thank you for your kind words, blessings and sharing. Do you remember when the senior citizen advocacy group, the Gray Panthers, was organized in the '70s? It's still active today, trying to make change in many areas that affect not only older citizens, but people of all ages.

I'm not a member of the organization, but I do have gray hair and am a late-blooming activist, particularly in the food supply safety area. It's a great way to use one's retirement years, trying to make a difference.....JAYE


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phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Hooray - One person can, and often does, make a difference. Good for you and good for your neighborhood. I do what I can mow, but when I finally retire, I plane to emulate you and follow in your footsteps. Great hub and you are most definitely NOT pompous. Blessings and sharing. Theresa


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tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Certainly no need for your apology. Your point of the Power of One was certainly made by the ladylike and methodical way you proceeded to help not only yourself (and your dog) but everyone living in your area! We so often think it is predestined and we "can't fight city hall" but this is living proof we can! Great job and great hub.

Hopefully others will benefit from your determination and hub!

Voted up, useful, awesome, tweeted, and shared. (For some reason Pin It was not available.)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thank you, Reginald, for reading this hub and for your feedback and encouragement. Our humanity allows us to be civil while being assertive, a combination more likely to be effective than a "steamroller" technique. Diplomacy does not come natural to most of us, so we must remind ourselves to practice the Golden Rule. It still works.

Regards,

Jaye


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Reginald Boswell 3 years ago from Alabama

AWESOME! "Carry it through. Be assertive, but not belligerent. While that old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the oil still holds true, the one about catching more flies with honey than vinegar is also meaningful. You can be assertive and firm, yet courteous, simultaneously." Jaye Wisdom: keep up the good work!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Zubair Ahmed - Thank you for reading and for your comment. I agree that small changes made by individuals often grow into larger improvements to society through the efforts of more and more people. That is why one person can make a difference. Regards, Jaye

Starbright - I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for your kind words, the "thumbs-up" vote and sharing. Regards, Jaye


starbright profile image

starbright 3 years ago from Scandinavia

Commitment and determination - wonderful qualities to have and absolutely nothing pompous about it. Wonderful to read your hub, I got quite wrapped up in your experience and am very proud to have been able to read your hub and leave my comment. Viva Jaye! Thanks for sharing. Voted, thumbs up and shared.


Zubair Ahmed profile image

Zubair Ahmed 3 years ago

Hi,

A very interesting hub, agreed that we can all make a change, and change starts with the thought of one person which is put into action. However as we the mass population in most countries have been fast asleep our governments and the elites have been putting measures in place that prevent or make it hard to impact change.

Saying that one should not stop applying little changes in their lives and in their societies to improve themselves and the condition of the society they live in.

Thank you for sharing


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Nell Rose - Thanks for the thumbs-up, sharing and encouragement. I was shy when I was very young (believe it or not!) and became more assertive in my early 30s. Empowerment comes from within.

JAYE

Shyron - Thanks for your supportive comments about the incident this hub is based on and for inquiring about Puppy Girl. She's doing fine, though still adjusting to blindness. My son calls me her "Seeing-eye Mom."

Good luck with your efforts to get inline skating recognized by the Olympics. Perseverance is a quality that often leads to achievement.

JAYE


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Jaye, this is wondeful, I am so glad you brought this to the attention of the power company, and had them realize it was the wrong time of the year to be shutting the power off. I hope your dog is doing well. I am also one of those people who believes that a person who is determined to do something about a situation, can do a lot more than one thinks, like me trying to get the Olympics to recognize that Inline skating athlets are just as dedicated, and power as ice skaters.

Voted-up, useful, awesome, and interesting, and shared.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Aw you didn't have to come back and add the apology, I was saying, 'go girl'! lol! seriously, its great when we can make just that little bit of difference and then it turns into something big that you did right, and helped others, good for you! voted up and shared! nell


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, drbj, for your thoughtful comment. Hugs right back to you from Puppy Girl and me.

Have a great weekend!

Jaye


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Jaye - I did not find this hub one bit self-serving. I found it to be literate and meaningful and worthwhile. You are not aggressive a bit, m'dear, since that would involve putting someone else down. Instead, you behaved in a powerfully assertive manner and my hat is off to you (if I wore a hat that is).

Give your sweet doggie a hug for me, and hugs to you as well. :)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

thumbi7 - Thank you for your kind words, vote and sharing of this hub. No, I'm not a great person, just an ordinary one. I strive to do my best, but often fall short of that ideal. When that happens, I try again.

My dog is 8 years old and has been with me since she was a puppy. I never had a dog or any type of pet until she came to live with me when I was 61 years old. She's always loved me unconditionally, been protective and given me much joy. Now she's lost her sight and has a chronic health problem, so I take care of her much the same as one would a small child. She needs me to protect her now, and I am glad that I'm able to do it.

Thanks for reading this hub and for your comments.

Regards,

Jaye


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 3 years ago from India

This is a very motivating hub. I am impressed with your care and concern to your dog.

You must be a great person.

Voted up and shared


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Deb. Apparently no one else tried to stop the planned 8-hour summer outage, which surprised me, because at least 100 homes got the same recorded message I received. I'm grateful that the newspaper editor took me seriously and the reporter was able to contact the right manager at the utility company to cancel it. What a relief when Thursday came and went without the electricity being cut off all day!

Jaye


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

You certainly did a service to protect the rights of all in your area. Great job!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Joe - Here's a minor correction to what I said in response to your comment. Leaving out a couple of words in a sentence can make a huge difference in the meaning! This addendum should clarify what I intended to write.

I inadvertently made it seem as though every individual Hubber subscribes to the principle of the Power of One and strives to live by it. That's overstating reality by a whopping amount--especially since I know little to nothing about most of them.

What I meant is that there are many HP writers whom I follow and admire--not only for their writing, but for their ideals and commitment to them in daily life. I include you among that group.

Wouldn't it be wonderful IF every single HP member DID aspire to live this principle daily? There are more than 99,000 HP members today if I read the stats correctly. Can you imagine what so many people could accomplish? It's breathtaking to even contemplate. Well...we can dream, can't we? And if one new person every day reads something on HP that serves as a catalyst for improvement, that's another small start that may provide big dividends.

Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Hi, Joe - HubPages is full of people who live by this principle and, in so doing and writing about it, serve as role models for late starters such as I.

I think HP is like a village, though its inhabitants are spread around many countries. It's made up of individuals (including you), each striving to do his or her part toward making this a better world. That sincere goal, the actions that accompany it and the essays and articles written about those actions inspire us all. This inspiration helps to keep the concept of "Power of One" and its energy alive in our minds and hearts. I'm honored to be in such company.

Aloha and thanks,

Jaye


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Git 'er done, Jaye!

Right on, right on, right on! The Power of One is alive and well in western New York!

So proud of you, my friend! You handled that with assertiveness and dignity. In so doing, as well as in writing a hub about it, you set an example for the rest of us. Thank you very much for empowering Baby Boomers everywhere and especially for looking out for vulnerable individuals and pets.

Aloha and kudos!

~Joe


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Linda, for your encouragement. You're right that too many people simply tolerate bad situations instead of trying to improve them. Complacency is a bad habit, but it can be broken if one only makes the effort.

JAYE


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Way to go Jaye!! The Power of One is so very true. It just takes one person to get the ball rolling. To be the voice for so many. I like your determination. I wish more people would use their voice instead of just tolerating situations.

I tend to go for the Local News before the local paper. Most likely because I'm Facebook friends with the newscasters and I just have to send a Facebook message. They made it easy for me.

Keep up the great work!!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Thanks, Bill - Actually, you are the MAESTRO of "The Power of One", and I hereby credit you with having convinced me of the strength and might generated by one person's actions...plus another...plus another, etc. Your message took root in my heart as it's done in so many others, and I make use of it daily.

JAYE


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billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Bravo Jaye! I've been singing this song for as long as I've been on HP....we do have the power to make changes happen, but we actually have to be willing to try! Well done Jaye...well done!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA Author

Paula - Thanks so much for the thumbs up, feedback and sharing. I can be pretty determined when I set my mind to it (I won't say what my family calls that trait), and the thought of eight hours with no electricity in very hot weather was all the motivation I needed to spur me into action. I'm very pleased with the result and wanted to share what happened as an example of what one person can do. As far as I know, none of my neighbors reacted as I did to the power company's recorded message, but I have a feeling they would have been on the phone once the electricity went off!

Back when I was a little girl, my grandmother used to repeat that old saying, "A lady only gets her name in the paper three times--when she's born, when she marries and when she dies."

Well...it was too late for me to limit my exposure there, having been married more than once--haha--and having my byline in newspapers over the years. I felt this time was definitely for a good cause and don't think my grandmother would be disappointed in me. She was a fairly determined lady herself, as I remember her.

JAYE

Elizabeth - It must have been a dreadful day when you were without a/c last August. I can feel your pain of remembrance! And, of course, our dogs do need us in bad times as well as good. Thanks for the read and the vote.

JAYE


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Jaye- good for you! So glad that you decided to pursue this as having no power would have been awful! We lost our a/c one day in August of last year and it was terrible. With 3 dogs, we really had nowhere to go! Glad this was resolved and great writing in this hub. Voted up!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Jaye.....What a winner... and I mean, not only this great hub, but YOU too! I am duly impressed, dear lady friend! I love this story of forethought and determination. Obviously, you happen to be the ONLY one "thinking" around there, at that particular time. Luckily for your neighbors, you made the right moves, used common sense and persuasion, to yield results.

This is a classic example of the power of one, Jaye. Bravo! UP+++ shared & tweeted

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