The Power of Many

The Power of Many

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I chanced upon this video yesterday and used it for my sharing at the GroundUp ConneXion. But soon I realized I took home a lesson about the “power of many” myself.

The event was to be an opportunity for people who care enough to start GroundUp Movements (GUMs) to gather to network, share and level up. I had been invited by Jingjie (JJ) Lim from NVPC and Rachel Lum from Singapore Kindness Movement to come share my volunteer management experience and perhaps “impart” some handles and tips for these GUMs to galvanize the community for their causes.

But rather than leaving the event feeling as if I have given, I have frankly also received much.

The Irony

Being an introvert, events such as these can sometimes be unnerving as I stand before a crowd of people I do not know to share. But ironically, ever since I have stepped out to start my own social enterprise, I have also come to realize how I miss being in a working community.

Just like the video, I have come to realize how the “power of many” is so crucial, especially for people who started out on their own, whether for businesses, GroundUp Movements, charities or social enterprises.

And interestingly, just before the event started, I was chatting with my Fuel Gooder volunteer Sharon and we both agree that the journey of startups could be lonely and how a community would help.

Indeed, the “power of many” helped me. After all, the Bible does also remind us:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9‭-‬12 (ESV)

It Inspires Me

For one, it inspires me. Sitting there listening to various stories shared about how the various GUMs started made me realize that I’m not alone in this business of doing good. As I sat there and hear Uantchern Loh, Founder of basecamp.cafe, share their journey and aspirations, their positive energy propels me forward.

It Reconnects Me

In going about our life and work we may meet many people. But it is only at opportune times as these where like-minded people are reconnected once again. I had the wonderful opportunity of being reconnected back with Darrel Lim and Puar Si Liang among the many others connections with other like-minded individuals. We talked about our past challenges, about our work, and about parenting. It reminds me how human we all are and how we all can have similar life experiences. and challenges; how we can also get by with tips from those who have “been there and done that”. And opportunities like these might even birth forth other impactful projects and initiatives. I was even blessed that a couple of individuals approached me to offer to be Fuel Gooder volunteers on my journey to fuel good.

It Resources Me

Being in the “power of many” has also helped to resource me as I found out what the other resources out there that I can tap as I chug along my business doing good.

For example, I would not have been able to step into basecamp.cafe if not for this event. And now I know of another event and co-working space which I can use.

It also resources me with perspectives as I hear from the 2 other speakers who shared. Even though all 3 speakers had different presentations styles, I learned so much from them. I had gained insights of the wonderful future of giving in Singapore from the sharing by Yee Mun Choy while also gaining good reminders of knowing your volunteers and helping them help others from the presentation by Li Woon Churdboonchart. And even as we sat together in the Q&A panel, our responses just feed off one another as we help the GUMs to think about how we can effectively partner more volunteers for good.

It Helps Me Crystalize My Experience

As I sat in the Q&A panel to take questions, one question got me. It was a question of how we can motivate volunteers who do not serve a “direct” beneficiary.

It is not as though I have not worked with “indirect” volunteers before. I have. But, I have come to realize that I have enmassed all these volunteer management experience but in my head. It is at times like this that I’m forced to dig deep into my memory bank and to process through what worked and what did not.

Even though it seemed like a split second thing as I sat there thinking how I would answer that question, I was able to gather my thoughts and share an answer which I hope helped the audience as it did help me. Times like these challenges me to process and crystalize my experiences so I can continue to grow as a practitioner and as a person.

So surprisingly, even though the answer came out from me, I was blessed by it as much as I hope it blesses the other participants.

Look at the good that each one of us can do. Now imagine how much more we can do, when we tap into the power of many.

Cover Picture Photo by Karen Maes on Unsplash


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The Power of Many

by James Lim
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