I saw a mention on another Stumbler’s site of Tom Hanks’ commencement address at Vassar. Hanks has always seemed to me to be one of the brighter guys in Hollywood, and I thought it would be worth a read. Unfortunately and unusually, Google failed me: Vassar’s link is now a 404, and the only other links to the speech were just clips, reappropriated by a newspaper. Since the Vassar page was still cached in Google, however, I snagged it and have posted it on my own site in the hopes that more people will see it. It’s a great call to arms for Generation Apathy.

Call it the Power of Four. One commuter in your neighborhood could put the rush back into rush hour. So, if merely four people out of a hundred can make gridlock go away by choosing not to use their car, imagine the other changes that can be wrought just by four of us – four of you – out of a hundred.

Take a hundred musicians in a depressed port city in Northern England, choose John, Paul, George, and Ringo and you have “Hey Jude”. Take a hundred computer geeks in Redmond, Washington, send 96 of them home and the remainder is called Microsoft.

Take the Power of Four and apply it to any and every area of your concern. Politics: Four votes swung from one hundred into another hundred is the difference between gaining control and losing clout. Culture: 2 ticket buyers out of fifty can make a small, odd film profitable. Economics: by boycotting a product 1 consumer out of 25 can move that product to the back of the shelf, and eventually off it altogether.

Four out of 100 is miniscule and yet can be the great lever of the Tipping Point. The Power of Four is the difference between helplessness and help.

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