What You Can Do: Drip Drip Drip

April 5, 2008

by Tammy Drennan

“Those who launch revolutions, dramatic change programs, and wrenching restructurings will amost certainly fail to make the leap from good to great.” – Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great”

Mr. Collins goes on to point out that the turning point from being pretty good at something to being great at it is not usually the result of some pivotal action or program or idea but rather the result of relentless, disciplined building — one thing upon another.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. Asking people to turn their backs on government schooling is, in many ways and in many eyes, revoltionary. Yet it does not happen in a revolutionary way.

For many reasons, parents decide enough is enough and make the step into independence. Sometimes it’s ideology that has finally ripened. Sometimes it’s a bad experience with a child’s school.

And sometimes it’s a slow awakening aided by a friend or relative who keeps a steady flow of reasons for choosing freedom dripping into their minds.

That’s where we can be most effective — not running around making pronouncements and expecting people to jump on the bandwagon, but acting more like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet. We may be annoying at times and sometimes we may be drowned out by other noise, but when things grow quiet, we’re still there offering another drip of life-giving water.

Oh, we need all types — revolutionaries as well as drippers, but I think the drippers are the ones who will create more than just another popular but fleeting movement. They’re the ones who will help people really understand and really commit. They’re the ones who will effect change and not just a fad.

So, how can we be good, even great, drippers? Here are a few ways that come to mind:

– Choose a few short articles or even quotations and a web site address to print up (quotations could go on business cards) and send them out with everything you mail. Mail some for their own sake.

– Choose one person you’d like to influence — a parent or leader or columnist or politician — and write to them once a month. Tell them you just want to keep your thoughts fresh in their minds. Inlcude an article with each letter.

– If you know someone who has already chosen independence but struggles with the decision, encourage them — write notes of admiration or appreciation, help out financially if you can, toss in some practical help (at a school event or babysitting).

– If you feel qualified, offer to speak to groups (churches, homeschool groups, civic groups) about the advantages of education free of state involvement. Or offer to host a discussion group at the local coffee shop — have everyone read the same article or book, or read an article aloud at the meeting and discuss it openly and honestly. You’ll probably end up with a couple of people who will want to talk with you at greater length in private.

Well, those are a few ways to drip. Dripping isn’t very dramatic but it really gets under the skin, and that’s where it can become a permanent part of a person.

So, here’s to dripping!