Two Destination Imagination teams will be sharing our house this afternoon. Think lots of very busy kids.
A Nucleation point is necessary before liquids can boil. For example, take a mug full of water, put it in the microwave and turn on the power. After a while, the water heats up to a temperature above 212 degrees F. If your mug is perfectly smooth, you may notice that the water is not boiling. Take the mug out of the microwave and put a spoon in it. Instant chaos and boiling! The spoon gives the super-heated water a nucleation point necessary for boiling.
The recent events in the Middle East exemplify this. In many countries, there’s a citizenry full of anger and rage, but protests are tepid. Then one person performs an act of self immolation in Tunisia, and suddenly everything is boiling. The government in Tunisia falls. Then Egypt. Bahrain erupts. Libya descends into civil war.
The same can apply to volunteer situations as well. Try getting someone else to start a new project for your local Parent Teacher organization. Its like pulling teeth. But, try starting that same project yourself, and if the idea is simple, clear and has value, watch the people start bubbling.
I witnessed that first-hand last year as President of my daughter’s school’s PTC. We held three brand new events of which I was part of the nucleation point – a holiday fiesta, the school’s 80th birthday celebration and a cookie dough drive. All three new. All three huge successes by any measure for a small, Title 1 school. It just took someone to rally around.
Giving is like that. Get someone to organize a canned food drive or a support the troops fundraiser and the people will bubble in. When you give thoughtfully, you can be that nucleation point. Then things will happen.
Without a nucleation point it’s just hot water.