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The way we live and ideas that change the world

Updated on August 17, 2015

The power of 1 degree

What 1% can do

I often like to indulge in a little armchair politics which, much like armchair surgery is considerably easier and more comfortable from an armchair than from the surgery or Oval Office. Part of the trouble with being president is you can never really please anybody all of the time and you have to take so many others into consideration. This is where I come in, unfettered by any of the annoying political debris, sitting comfortably in my chair, I am able to directly issue sweeping proclamations with minimal regard for logistics or political correctness.

The ultimate advantage of this is that I am, of course surrounded by an adoring audience who cheer my every move and nod sagely at my wisdom - and it's not a bad way to pass the time, solving the world's problems. I suspect that I am not alone in my reign and, truth be told, there are probably a good many personal kingdoms out there with wise and gracious rulers.

From good to great

 What turns a good idea into a great idea? Is it the idea itself, how it's marketed, whether it catches on? The face of the world has been changed by many ideas, some good, some not. What would the world be like without paperclips, or sticky notes? - and how could we live without our travel mugs and latte makers?

Some ideas change the way we think, like the theory of relativity, others change the way we see things, like Alan Ginsberg's "Howl" or Duchamp's urinal. Still other ideas function to keep us in the status quo, like political theories and religion. Ideas can serve both a freeing and a binding function - each just as essential for society. - and sometime really bad ideas can seem like good one's - somehow looking for wmd's seemed like a good idea to someone.

It seems that perhaps, it has less to do with the ideas than what we do with them - the invention of nuclear bombs was not quite what Einstein had in mind, ...but someone thought it was a good idea.

Fanning the flames of creativity or what 1% can do

I recently read a book which proposed that it takes only 1% of the American population to establish a trend - something that would make a significant impact to an industry, begin a new theory or significantly impact people's consciousness. That's just 1 out of every 100 people.

In the vein of the butterfly's wings leading to a tsunami - a small and perhaps inauspicious beginning can snowball and begin to create it's own momentum. If there are about 6 billion of us out there - even 1% is a substantial number of people, and if it takes only 1% of the American populations to create a trend which spawns jobs and industries. Could it not be within our power to make radical change?

So my thought and challenge to you is this - what ideas do you have - big or small, we need them both that could really make a difference if 1% of the American population agreed to do it. Think about it - who first thought of recycling? - and look what a difference it makes! If 1% of the American population would switch off their lights for an hour, or donate a dollar towards establishing gardening programs in communities to make sure people have fresh fruit and vegetables, or say 1 nice thing to someone every day, or think of something to be truly thankful for - what kind of change do you think we could make? I bet it would be substantial.

Making change

The power of peace

- and who could forget?

It only takes 5 minutes


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    • dr c profile imageAUTHOR

      dr c 

      9 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Thank you all for your comments!

      Truly it seems that the actions of a few can create great change. When butterfly wings can create tsunami's and man can go to the moon, isn't change for good within our reach if we choose to grasp it?

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Very thought provoking hub - it's just a matter of interesting that 1% :) gives me a whole different outlook on marketing

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Then it's only a matter of time before 1% becomes 2% - all it takes is consistency and the big one - dedication.

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Too many people just accept whatever ideas are already out there, rather than think things through (or up) for themselves.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      It's fascinating to think that change can be instigated by the consistent actions of a very few people. . ,


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