Tuesday, 31 January 2012

One person can make a difference.

Ok, so it's not perhaps the most important thing in the world.  It's not the discovery of a new cure or the overthrowing of a vicious dictator.  It's just a new name.  Out with Tiger, in with Giraffe.  Tiger bread is no longer to be known as tiger bread (well ... in Sainsbury's, anyway!).  From now on, we all have to call it giraffe bread. 
This is the result of one letter to Sainsbury's, written some time ago now, by a little girl called Lily.  (I went to uni with her Mum - does that make me famous now?)
 It got me thinking.  I thought, "there's proof that one person can make a difference".  Ok, so it's Sainsbury's responding to the 150,000+ people who've 'liked' it on Facebook as well as the one person.  But the fact is, it wasn't those 150,000 people who started it all off, it was Lily.  She decided that the name should be changed; her Mum supported her in writing the letter; Chris King at Sainsbury's customer services wrote a very positive and much-admired letter in response, and it then 'went viral' as they say.  The rest is history - you can no longer buy tiger bread in Sainsbury's.  (If you do find a loaf of Tiger Bread in Sainsbury's, I strongly suggest you check the best before date before buying it.)
So, before you give up on something with a 'what difference will I make?' sort of attitude, think about Lily and how she changed the name of Tiger Bread at a major supermarket.  150,000 people might agree with Lily, but they didn't write the letter, did they?  Sometimes, all it takes is for someone to get the ball rolling.  Even if they're only 3.
And before you squash someone else's idea, think of Lily's Mum, and of Chris King, who helped the idea along. 
And if you see someone else who has had a good idea, support it.  Grow it.  Make it big.