If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito. – Anonymous

From Taiwan, a sculpture inspired by Gary Larson's Far Side. It was the first thought I had on seeing the quote, so here it is.

From Taiwan, a sculpture inspired by Gary Larson’s Far Side. I normally try to find a picture which fits better, but was the first thought I had on seeing the quote, so here it is.

What does that mean?
If you have never been hectored by a small flying insect, this quote probably have no idea what this quote means. For everyone else, it is probably pretty obvious.

Mosquitoes are particularly annoying little bugs. And you know what they are there for; they want to drink your blood! They are bad enough when you can see them. They are something else when you can’t see them, just hear them buzzing somewhere nearby.

Even worse is when all is quiet, all is dark, and you’re trying to get to sleep. The presence of that one tiny mosquito is enough to keep you awake for most of the night.

And not just awake, but frustrated, mad, cranky, and even a little violent (or a LOT violent, from the viewpoint of the mosquito). How effective has that tiny insect been at disrupting your sleep? To me, that’s the point of the quote.

Why is making your voice heard important?  
Whether it is in the family, in your circle of friends, your social circles, at work, or within your community, you need to let others know what you want, or you won’t get much help, right? Whatever it is you want, letting people know can really help you get it.

And there is a fine line between being a bully and being persistent. In most cases, you will have to keep after something if you truly want it to happen. How often did (or do) you get a date the first time you ask? A raise the first time you ask? To be effective, you have to keep at it.

But one voice can be a rallying cry. One voice can be heard. One voice can make a difference. History records the names of those who were most effective at doing so, the ones who changed the course of peoples and the course of nations.

But we can all be effective in our family and our community, if we are willing to make ourselves heard. Having tact and some people skills are quite helpful, but even the blunt people can be effective, as sometimes that’s what it takes to be taken seriously.

Where can I apply this in my life?
As usual, let’s start small, and work our way up. Is there an issue with your lover which is in need of resolution? Perhaps there is an issue in your family or with one of your close friends? How do you intend to resolve it?

Do they even know the issue exists, or that it bothers you as much as it does? Have you worked on opening up communication lines, so that you can be candid and frank with them? What would be the best method, and when would be the best time to broach the topic?

Can you be effective, regardless of your size, if you cannot answer those questions? I would hope that if you are trying to be effective in dealing with something much larger than yourself (a long held family tradition, a workplace bureaucracy, or a government entity), it would be a topic on which you are passionate.

Passion has a way of exerting a great deal more influence than might otherwise be expected. It is also an excellent compliment to a logic and number heavy argument. Passion for change with peace is what separated MLK and Gandhi from all the others trying to be effective.

It’s not that others weren’t effective, but they were more effective. They were noisy, and were heard. And they resisted the swats directed at them, at least up to the ends of their lives. The quote doesn’t say it’s easy to be a mosquito, just that one can have an effect.

What are some of the issues in your life about which you have a little passion? How can you tread the fine line between being annoying and being effective? That’s a personal call. Pay close attention to the results you get, and adjust your path. Too many people fail at that, and quickly become shrill and ignored.

Grab some paper and write a couple of changes you wish to effect. Start small, World Peace is beyond most of us at this point in time. What is going on in your personal life, your family life, your work life, or your social life that you’d like to change?

Write down a couple of ideas on how you might approach the subject. Who do you know who might be sympathetic or at least persuadable? Who are the actual decision makers? What will influence them? Are they emotional types, number types, or balanced types?

Write down a couple of approaches, and a few of the details. What of the details do you know, and what research do you need to complete? When will you be ready? Pick one topic, and the approach you think will be most effective, and start to fill in the rest of the details. Get ready, then go!

The smaller you are, the more prepared you need to be, if you are to be effective. Just ask the mosquito.

From: Twitter, @GreatestQuotes
confirmed at : http://www.winston-churchill-leadership.com/leadership-quote-part1.html 11th quote (attributed to Anonymous)
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/betty_reese/ (attributed to Betty Reese, American officer and pilot.)
Photo by 邰秉宥 (Wm Jas)

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