Do you believe in the power of one?

One voice standing up?

One person doing what is right?

One person offering encouragement and support?

There are plenty of examples throughout history of individuals doing great things and influencing great change. However, we often feel that a single action that we perform now, would not amount to much. We fail to act because of our perception of the insignificance of a single act from a single person.  One thing that we can all benefit from is the knowledge that no kind, compassionate, generous or thoughtful act is ever without value.

Kathryn Otoshi believes in the power of one. As a Japanese girl growing up in a primarily Anglo-saxon neighborhood, the daughter of parents interned in Japanese camps during WWII, she knows what it is like to be different. She also knows what it is like to be afraid to stand up when watching a peer be ostracized  and isolated for being different. She explores these themes, and many more in her wonderful book “One”.

“One” tells the story of Blue, a quiet color that sometimes compared himself to the other colors who were brighter (Green), more regal (Purple), more sunny (yellow), or more outgoing (Orange). Blue was picked on by Red, which caused him to not like himself very much at times. All the colors were afraid of Red and did nothing when he picked on Blue.

“Blue was a quiet color.”

 Until 1 came along. One stood up for himself, and for Blue. One by one, the colors changed into numbers and stood tall with One, until they all counted.

“Sometimes it just takes 1.”

For our children, who may be different, the world can be scary or lonely. I wish we lived in a world where differences didn’t matter, where differences didn’t single out people.  But perhaps as we raise a more kind and compassionate generation, we will have brave kids who raise their voice for others. One person can make a world of difference to a child.

Do you believe in the power of 1?


Hear Kathryn Otoshi read her award winning book.


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