Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What if Nobody Did?

I was talking to a good friend one evening, when I raised the subject of the music course I am taking this school year. My sister and I don’t read notes as well as the other students in the class, so we stick with singing the melody rather than the tenor part that more ideally fits our voice range.

“I can hit all the soprano notes we’re supposed to sing, but it sounds fake and it’s hard to do. When we get to the really high notes, I just stop singing,” I told Melody.

When she started laughing, I was confused.

“Wouldn’t that be funny,” she finally explained, “If everybody did the same thing?” I stopped for a minute to take that in, then also began to laugh. She was perfectly right! What if everybody stopped singing when we came to those particular notes? That wouldn’t work at all, for obvious reasons!

This lack of initiative can carry into other aspects of our lives, as we’ve all, I’m sure, experienced first-hand.

While taking a short break for school on day, I happened to walk through our foyer and noticed some scraps of paper lying on the rug.

I ignored them.

When I came down to make lunch later on, the papers were still on the floor.

I proceeded into the kitchen.

At chore-time, the scraps hadn’t moved an inch, but this time I actually looked at them with my full attention. This time, I picked them up and deposited them in the trashcan.

If I didn’t pick them up, it could have very well turned into an acute case of, ‘what if nobody did?’ What if we all just did our own thing, made up our own rules, and expected everybody else to do the work for us?

Minor things like skipping notes while singing in class, or ignoring scraps of paper on the floor don’t have many consequences, not really. But this idea must be translated into a broader scope.
Take for example, things that a good many of us overlook: politics – what if nobody got involved? What if nobody campaigned because everybody felt lazy and comfortable at home, and succumbed to his or her desires? What if nobody stood up against abortion, nobody spoke out to defend marriage?

We have the tendency to expect others to always do the hard work – we don’t want to get involved – we don’t want to do anything except stay within our little comfort zones. We need to start taking initiative – be the leader, if that’s what it comes down to – we must break out of this cycle.

What if nobody did?

We’d be in a sorry mess.

We say, ‘what difference would one person make?’. A lot of difference, actually. What if everybody asked that same question, then quit?

The individuals are what make up the crowd.

We need to get to work.
What if nobody did?


Mariah said...

I liked this concept. Too often everybody expects everybody else to take responsibility. It's time some of us grew up!
Thanks for writing this...

Katie said...

Good article! Write more!

melody said...

jenn, i was reminded of coming up to a four-way stop and thinking, "i don't want to stop" and then realizing that if everybody had the same thought, no one would...and there would not only be lots of accidents, but there would be no point to the signs. sorry if the grammar of this is awful, i can't really preview this too well.