If Everyone Does a Little, Then No one Does A lot

handssI’m not sure where I heard it first, but it’s a quote that I have never forgotten.  The first time, though, someone probably said it in sarcasm while trying to make a point.

I can imagine a classroom full of toddlers with toys strewn about and the carpet completely covered with an assortment of plastic dolls, trains, cars, and blocks.  There will come a time when all of the toys need to be placed in their respective bins and crates, and it’s at this time that the teacher has two choices:  the teacher can pick all of it up without any help, or the teacher can recruit the little hands who were haphazardly playing with the toys.

Perhaps this visual, toys all about the room, helps you make sense of the quote– if everyone does a little, then no one does a lot.  I can picture each of the toddlers putting the toys away that he or she was playing with.  The alternative would be the teacher storing away all of the toys, one by one, until they are all happily at rest.

Believe it or not, life is similar.  There are moments when the task in front of us seems too big to handle – too much to accomplish on our own.  In these moments, we also have two options:  we can attempt to conquer these tasks on our own, or we can recruit the help of a supporting cast to help get us through the challenges.  This is our opportunity to ask for help and support.  We can do a little on our own, or we can do a lot with the help of others.

Knowing When to Ask for Support

When we are faced with the choice of deciding whether to tackle something on our own, or to enlist the help of others, I believe there are two questions we ask ourselves before determining which path we want to take.

  1. Do I have the skills needed to do this on my own?
  2. How long will it take me to do this on my own?

In answering these questions, we will come to the conclusion of how we will proceed.  In other words, we will weigh the risks and rewards of each – we will look to limit our risks (failing) while increasing the opportunity for the reward (success).

Using the following examples, take a minute or two to think about how you would choose to proceed.

  1. You are asked to complete a group project on the effects of market saturation for the technology industry in a specific region of the world.
  2. You are asked to assist with a fundraiser to support the local youth program.
  3. You are asked to contribute to cancer research in a fundraising initiative.

While it’s possible that you might feel comfortable, or even capable, of completing these tasks on your own, I would like you to ask yourself the following questions:  “Will it be easier for me to do this on my own or with the help of others?”

Asking for Help and Supporting a Bigger Cause

In my road to recovery from knee surgery, I have been adamant and determined to get back on my feet as quickly as possible.  Three months and a day later, and I am back on my feet biking, swimming, and slowly beginning to run.  Overcoming the hardship I’ve faced over the last three months wouldn’t have been possible to fight through without the love and support of the people around me.  I knew it wasn’t going to be possible on my own, and I can guarantee you that the people in my life made the road to recovery a helluva lot easier.

With that, I’ve realized that the challenges I have endured are small relative to the grand scheme of things.  There are people in this world who have been severely injured to the point that they will never walk again.  Others may need to learn to speak again.  And for many, they are in the midst of a fight against an illness or disease for which there is no cure.

And for these people – the ones fighting day in and day out – they need support as well.  For that reason, I have committed myself to the fight to end Prostate Cancer.  Did you know, every 19 minutes an American man dies of prostate cancer?  Approximately 28,000 men will lose their lives to prostate cancer this year, including about 430 fathers, brothers, and husbands from Colorado alone.  In my efforts, to support this cause I have registered to compete in the Boulder, CO, 2016 Half-Ironman with the ‘Zero Prostate Endurance’ team.  As a member of this team, I have committed to raising a minimum of $2,000.

And, I’m asking for your help and support.  It would be great if each of you could take a quick glance at my fundraising page and help me in this fight.

At the end of the day, I could try to do this on my own.  However, I will admit, I don’t have all the skills needed to cure this dreaded disease, and I probably don’t have the time.


With the help and support of many, I am convinced that, together, we can do a lot!


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