Today’s dot number (1776) reminded me of the Broadway musical of the same name and one of my favorite soundtracks. The show is a musical depiction of the American Revolution, centered around the feisty John Adams and his push to persuade the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence. In this musical, Adams is often the lone voice pushing the colonies forward and he deflects considerable backlash from others who want to adjourn rather than listen to his oratory.
One of my favorite songs is a lament (Is Anybody There) sung by Adams when he wonders if all of his efforts are in vain. “Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?” sings Adams. He goes on to share: “I see fireworks! I hear the bells ringing out. I hear the cannons roar. I see Americans — all Americans free forever more,” before again becoming melancholy and wondering if anyone else shares his vision.
Anyone who has attempted to create change has felt like John Adams does in this musical. The change maker has seen in her/his mind’s eye a clear picture of what the new order looks like and uses it to sustain themselves when it seems they are alone in the effort. All change agents have wondered if anyone is there and whether anyone cares or if they are the only ones who believe the vision is worth the toll it takes to persist.
Use John Adams and his theme as your role model the next time you are in the painful phase of a change effort. “Through all the gloom, through all the gloom, I see the rays of ravishing light and glory!” sings Adams. It can be your mantra of persistence as well.