The Power of a Snowflake

Whenever your efforts to make the world a better place seem to be completely unproductive, futile, and hopeless, think of a snowflake. A snowflake is a tiny, delicate, fragile thing, easy to brush off your jacket and likely to melt in a few seconds. A snowflake certainly doesn’t have the power to change the world.

But snowflakes don’t exist in isolation. A cloud can produce lots of snowflakes, and when you get them all doing their thing together, you have a snowstorm.

Still, often nothing much happens, except maybe traffic is slowed down. Usually the snow is pushed aside and that’s the end of it.

But if the snowflakes keep coming, things change. Eventually, the snowstorm becomes a raging blizzard. More than an annoyance, it then becomes a major event.

Further—and you never can predict when or where this will happen—sometimes, when the snowflakes keep accumulating, and if the terrain and conditions are just right, voilà! You have a thundering avalanche! And an avalanche isn’t tiny or delicate at all. It can sweep away everything in its path.

All it takes is enough of those fragile little snowflakes and the right conditions.

In the ’70s, the U.S. government finally bowed to the storm of public protest and stopped the Vietnam War. In South Africa, the storm of world pressure toppled Apartheid, and a black convict became president.

That’s the power of a snowflake. The moral: keep patiently producing your snowflakes of action for a better world—and look for an avalanche.