Carried by the Crowd

by Sarah Andrews

I’m currently training for my first half marathon, and, truth be told, it’s been pretty challenging. Not what anyone would call a natural runner, I clomp along up and down the dirt path near my house on my daily jogs, some days feeling about as lithe as a hippo.

But while the training process is not one of constant enjoyment, I’ve never questioned my ability to finish the race. Will I win? Not a chance. Will I do well? Depends on your definition of well. Will I finish? Absolutely. And in my heart of hearts, I believe that I will perform better on race day than I ever could on one of my routine jogs.

That’s because on race day, I will have the crowd with me. And there is something about running alongside others, feeling the vibrations of their shoes hitting the pavement, and being part of a collective movement that infuses you with energy and confidence. To some degree, the crowd, and its energy, will carry me further than I could carry myself.

When I think about the work Edge of Seven is doing to create opportunities for girls in Nepal, I think the same principles of crowd momentum apply.

When one girl, who would not otherwise have been able to get an education, attains her dream of going to school then she spreads hope and positive energy to other girls around her. Part of the work of expanding opportunities for girls in the areas where Edge of Seven is working is creating a new mindset in the communities – one where it is accepted and expected that girls will and should receive an education.

The more girls we can send to school, the more likely this is to happen. The more entire villages see and feel the energy from girls’ sandals hitting the dirt path on their way to school and experience the positive effects that educating girls will have on their communities, the more empowered that community becomes to push all their daughters toward this goal.

Many successful movements have started with one person. Many once-discouraged individuals have found inspiration in the example of another. Many people have found themselves achieving something great because they were, in part, carried by a crowd of energetic and motivated people. And all of us, through our individual commitment to these goals, have the power to form a new crowd that carries more girls toward fulfilling their potential.

Do you have any stories or examples of how you’ve seen crowd momentum create positive results in your life or someone else’s?

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