Stepping stonesDuring my daughter’s prize giving on Friday, one of the phrases that jumped out at me was “ The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how you use themâ€?.
I was reading a magazine in a client’s reception not so long ago, about a man called Sam, who had bought a home in an area that was surrounded by industry and was becoming more seedy and with a rapidly climbing crime rate. Opposite his home was an open field with all the obvious problems – overgrown, litter, attracting bad crowds and their drinking problems. He decided this was his project – gathered neighbours, and with many hours of work raised funds from companies, Sam turned this field into a park. Companies started noticing and donated plants, benches and tables. Locals from the area built a small wall and named the park. This park has become a community gathering area for it’s diverse community, a safe place for kids to play, and you guessed it, because of the community spirit – a noticeable reduction of crime in the area.
While I was reading this article, it reminded me of “The broken Window Theory” in Galdwell’s The Tipping Point (get it at or If a window is left unrepaired, soon people will conclude that no one cares, and soon more windows will be broken… Using this theory, they cleaned up the NY subways of graffiti and the crime rate decreased.
Sam tipped his community, by using a field, which most would see as a stumbling block, he used it as a stepping stone to clean up and raise the standards and spirit of his community.

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