One of my favorite people and musicians in the world is David LaMotte. In 1998 he came out with a really cool CD with "songs for kids and their grownups" called the S.S. Bathtub. My family really loves it, especially "Drops Like Me," a song he wrote about how everyone matters and how one person can make a difference. Drops like me is the story of a raindrop turning into a wave. Rhetorically the song asks, "How much does one drop matter? How much does one drop mean?" He answers, "A little bit of water can do a whole lot of washing clean!"
The last few weeks, you may have heard, have been quite wet in Louisville. Flash floods last night meant that a small pond formed in my driveway and my youth soccer team had to cancel practice for the third time in five weeks. Those raindrops add up and we are almost at a tipping point in Louisville. Let's hope the banks of the Ohio River don't reach that point!
Malcolm Gladwell's 2000 book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, was a tipping point for me. I would not say that the book is as profound as it is practical. This former reporter for the Washington Post and staff writer for The New Yorker talks about how epidemic change takes place as new trends and ideas spread like epidemics. In it he talks about how three types of persons are needed to create a tipping point for change: Mavens, Salespersons/ Persuaders, and Connectors. The mavens know the details, the salespersons/ persuaders know how to tell the story, and the Connectors know so many people that they spread that story quickly.
I think Gladwell is right in his observations and loved reading the stories about when and where he has seen this happen. Most interesting to me are the Connectors. They seem to be the key to something spreading like wildfire. These are probably the people on social networking websites like Facebook.com, MySpace.com, Ning.com and others that have hundreds of "friends." They are also people who know your name and often introduce you to others because they know them as well and something the two of you have in common. I love Connectors! They really make the world a fun and exciting place!
I am not 100% sure what makes water molecules bond to other water molecules, but my eight year old son tells me it happens at a sub-atomic level. I believe him, and I am thankful for those connections! In spite of the damage water can do, it can do so, so much good when it is connected!
Next week I will be with the Seminary Support Network, a group of about 150 folk who are real Connectors in the PC (USA) on behalf of our Presbyterian seminaries and the Theological Education Fund. I plan to blog regularly during that meeting. For me, this Network is connectional church theology at work. The multiple networks (hunger, college women, worldwide networks by country and region, health, and more!)in the PC(USA)are great reasons why we are a great church. Thanks be to God!
"And the water gonna roll from the mountain to the stream
And the water gonna roll from the river to the sea
We will roll on together until everyone can see
That the mighty tidal wave is made of little bitty drops like me"
(Drops Like Me, Words and Music by David LaMotte, ©1998 Lower Dryad Music/ASCAP)
It reminds me of Amos 5:24 "...Let justice roll down like the waters, and righteousness like and ever flowing stream."
Lee in Louisville.
P.S. David LaMotte will be featured at the Monday, June 23 group breakfast at this year's PC(USA) General Assembly! Hope to see you there!