“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
~Stanislaw Lee

It’s a snow storm today. Schools closed. Roads closed. Life is shut down.

The snow is beautiful. It’s that thick, wet, heavy snow that’s a bear to shovel but that clings to the tree branches and makes the world look serene and inspiring.

It’s a lot of snow, and that’s a lot of snowflakes. A lot of snow flakes that don’t realize they each, individually, are part of what’s shut down my town and potentially strained my back. A lot of snow flakes that don’t feel responsible for the havoc the snow has caused – no schools, bad roads, broken snow blowers.

And an avalanche – the most likely worst thing that results from snow – is the result of many, many, many snowflakes. All of which most likely don’t feel responsible for their avalanche. But perhaps with one less snowflake, or a few less snowflakes, the avalanche wouldn’t have happened.

Similarly, how do we shirk responsibility when we’re part of a crowd? If we’re part of a team that doesn’t make a deadline, do we feel personally responsible? Or do we brush it off, knowing, “Hey, I did my part?” If we sit quiet while coworkers talk badly about the company, or our boss, or a colleague, do we feel responsible? Do we own that if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem? Or do we think, “Hey, I’m just one person. What difference can I make?”

The snow is beautiful today. And each snowflake contributed to that, even if just a little bit. Just like each snowflake can and should feel responsible (if snowflakes could feel) for the avalanche that they’re part of. Just like I can and should feel responsible for my part in a problem or a solution – even if I’m just one person. I can make a difference, good or bad.

What lessons do you learn from snow?
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