I got to see one of my favorite bands perform last week. The band ‘Cake’ performed for a small group of one thousand people at a conference I was attending in San Francisco. To be at the front stage when a favorite band is play, is just amazing. There is nothing else in the world like it.
The lead singer knows how to work a crowd. Once everybody was having a good time he started to work the crowd through sarcasm and self deprecation. It’s not a technique I would choose myself, but the crowd and I were eating it up. We would yell back in response and sing along as he commanded.
In that situation, with the music blasting out of the speakers a few feet to my left, individuals without a amplification are background noise at best. I yelled myself hoarse and still could only barely be heard (but that didn’t stop me from trying). But when the lead singer organized us, when he set up the rhythm and instructed us to sing along. It was magical. A sea of tiny imperceptible voice joined into a chorus of singers and we became a tidal wave. Individually we could contribute nothing. Together we rivaled the band.
I love seeing this small demonstration of the power of the crowd. Together we can do so much more than we can as a lone small voice. Individually we can complain, together we can change the world.
This power can be used for good or evil. Once it has begun moving it is often unstoppable. It reminds me of a quote from a favorite Science Fiction show, Babylon 5: The avalanche has already started; It is too late for the pebbles to vote..
I encourage you this week to mindfully find a cause that you believe in, and add your voice to the chorus. It could be as simple as commenting on a blog to let others know you were there and you had a feeling to share. It could be as complex as writing a letter to your government representative about an issue on your mind. Or perhaps, you’re feeling called to be the metaphorical lead singer, find your amplifier and move the crowd to sing along.