If you doubt your own power as a single individual to make a giant difference to the state of the world today, take a look at what a group of truck drivers have managed to achieve.
Organized by Canada Unity, a group that opposes COVID-19-related restrictions, the members of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ – all truckers who routinely cross the Canadian-U.S. border to bring back goods into Canada – object to the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border drivers imposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party government on January 15.
The protest started with three convoys, all heading east through British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
En route, thousands of supporters lined British Columbia’s Highway 1 and other roads and overpasses, holding signs of support aloft and even offering to feed the drivers in their homes or restaurants.
The three strands plan to converge in Ottawa in Ontario in time for a protest on Saturday, January 29, expected to be attended by many thousands in general protest to Canada’s restrictive new laws on vaccine mandates.
The Freedom Convoy is now believed to be the world’s longest truck convoy – an estimated 70 kilometers in length – about 10 times longer than the Guinness Book of Record’s world record (formerly held by a 2020 convoy in Egypt).
By Saturday it’s expected to be made up of some 50,000 trucks from all over Canada and the US.
Aside from making a fairly gigantic traffic jam, that many truckers protesting instead of working could severely disrupt supply chains of food and other goods in Canada and the States.
But it doesn’t end there.
Freedom Convoys are being organized all over Europe with plans to converge on Brussels, and they’re forming in America, Australia, Finland, Czechoslovakia – all places that have imposed harsh Covid mandates.
Will this relatively small band of revolutionaries do any good in loosening Covid restrictions?
Let me tell you my own experience about the power of a small group.
About a decade ago, with no warning, Orange, at the time one of the leading British telecoms companies, announced its intention to install eight cell towers in our community, with one planned right on our block, directly across from our younger daughter’s bedroom window.
The majority of members of our town – in particular our immediate neighborhood – were alarmed about the potential detrimental effects of a cell tower on our health, especially that of our children, plus other worries about property and aesthetics.
Ten of us met at our house one evening. Over tea and cookies, we put together a comprehensive plan to form what we teasingly dubbed our ‘housewives’ brigade to protest Orange’s plans.
One of the businessmen took it upon himself to study the law, to see which grounds we could use to protest. Several neighbors scouted around and eventually located sparsely populated sites in the area where phone towers could be placed as a reasonable alternative.
Another neighbor approached the headmistress of the public Catholic school on our street and the ministers of all the other local churches for their support.
Our next-door neighbor built and painted a giant luminous orange box, in the dimensions of the proposed tower, and parked it on the proposed location to give the neighborhood a visceral idea of the sheer dimension of this proposed tower and how much of an unsightly and cumbersome impediment it would present on our sidewalks.
As owners of a publishing company, my husband and I volunteered to produce posters, fact sheets, letters to our local council and petitions for Parliament.
We parceled up the area and took turns leafleting. Some of the women stood outside school gates and knocked on the doors of every unit in every apartment building; others contacted our MP.
One of the families with a distant link with Orange organized a meeting with a company representative, and invited our MP, during which we discussed our objections and proposed a reasonable alternative.
Orange’s slogan was: ‘The future’s bright – the future’s Orange.’
Our posters had printed a child’s drawing of a little girl standing next to a cell tower looking green and decidedly unwell.
Using the same typography as Orange, our poster read: ‘The future’s bright – the future’s irradiated.’
We showed the Orange rep our poster. We told her that if they refused to take our concerns on board, we planned to paper Orange centers around London and a good deal of this section of town with these posters.
Within a few weeks, Orange withdrew its petition.
Several years later, they were back – this time, most cynically, they’d made their bid over the summer months when most people were on vacation. We were only alerted to their renewed campaign after my husband noticed a small poster that had fallen off a tree across the street.
Nonetheless, within a few days, we’d resurrected our local email list, updated and reprinted the petitions and the fact sheets, and this time enlisted the teenagers on the block to pass around the material.
Within a month, after hundreds of letters of protest had been sent to our local council, they again turned Orange down.
Although Orange appealed, ultimately the company decided all the effort against this well-organized resistance wasn’t worth it.
What was largely a tiny rabble of neighbors chased away one of the giants of British industry permanently.
In an excellent essay in Harvard Business Review (November 30, 2016), author Greg Satell analyzed what successful movements have in common.
As he wrote: ‘While we usually notice successful movements after they have begun to attract large crowds and hold massive demonstrations, those are effects, not causes, of successful mobilization. It is when small groups connect — which has become exponentially easier in the digital age — that they gain their power.’
I see this every day with my Power of Eight® groups. Recently I heard from a group that took my Power of Eight® Masterclass in 2020 and have been meeting every week for two years.
“During our two years together, once a week, we have witnessed medical miracles, professional opportunities, financial windfalls, and a wide range of personal accomplishments,” wrote Kristen Stephen, on behalf of the entire group.
“Yet, when we met over Zoom to bring in this New Year, what we were moved to speak about went far beyond the outcomes of our intentions.
“We devoted two full meetings to share with one another what each participant has meant to us.
“Many were moved to tears, their voices welling with emotion as they spoke of the gifts each individual brings to the group and what the group itself means to us.
“With overwhelming agreement, each of us stressed how our group has made a profound impact in our lives.
“Tasked with writing a summary, I wondered how to convey the magnitude of appreciation we each expressed. Then, by chance, I came across this quote from your book, The Power of Eight:
‘Find your truest self and your greatest power in numbers."
“Only a short while ago these words were a promise and required our trust. Now, however, they resound as the most accurate description of our current experience.”
Every successful movement – every kind of important change, individually or collectively – can start with a small group.
The ‘Daytrippers’ now call themselves the ‘Lightworkers.’ When a small group come together in common purpose – whether for the group members or their community – they can light up the world.
If you’d like to call upon the miraculous power of a small group to heal your own life or the world around you, join my forthcoming Power of Eight® Intention Masterclass, which kicks off February 5. But act now! There are only eight days left!
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