The Power of One

December 1, 2001

What is the power of one? It’s the power of one person taking action and making a difference in other people’s lives and in their communities.

In the past several weeks, our nation has seen many people step forward to make a difference, such as the inspirational members of the New York Fire Department and the gallant passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who refused to let hijackers complete a mission of destruction.

They were in the front lines, and they each made a difference.

REALTORS®, too, make a difference in the front lines of our communities. We take the lead not only because it’s good business but also because we have a stake in our country and in tomorrow. As Thomas Paine said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

We’re about to begin a new year, and I’m proud to serve as your 2002 NAR president. As we move forward to meet the challenges in our industry and in our country now, it’s important to remember our broader purpose as REALTORS® and Americans.

I believe the following poem—written after Sept. 11 by Dr. Cheryl Sawyer at the University of Houston—sets the right tone and spirit of what the power of one really means.


As the soot and dirt and ash rained down, We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building, We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope, We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno, We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength, We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement, We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long, We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss, We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss, We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes, We become one people.

We are One color. One class. One generation. One gender. One faith.
One language. One body. One family. One soul. One people.
We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

Martin Edwards Jr., CCIM, CIPS, was 2002 president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

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