A Single Match

Don’t ask the mountain
to move. Just take a pebble
each time you visit.

– John Paul Lederach


I dream of big changes, of sweeping reforms, of the overhaul of corrupted systems. I dream of the satisfaction of a slate wiped clean, no residue of past mistakes or missteps. I dream of a straight path from “A” to “B”; plans made, strategies implemented, goals achieved. I dream of linear, direct, complete; of steady, ascendant, uninterrupted growth.

I wake to the sobering remembrance that it is only through small, specific, purposeful acts that I will constructively bring about the change I seek; achieve the vision I hold.

And I think, further, that alone I can only do so much. My job is to start a small fire, to breathe life into the contribution I am able to make. And in doing so to trust that you will start and tend your own.

What I imagine and what I hope, is that our fires will soon connect, growing into an even bigger force for change.

Our combined fires, and the many more that we will meet along the way, will burn a path forward, refreshing the ground beneath us for something new to emerge.

It starts small: a single match and a well-tended flame.


DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.

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