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How many grains of rice will it take?

This is a grain of rice

Only one grain of rice.

One grain of rice. Pretty insignificant by itself. If I were to eat only one grain of rice for a meal, I wouldn’t even notice I had eaten anything. I would still be hungry. One grain of rice means absolutely nothing. Or does it?

An ounce of cooked long-grain brown rice has 31 calories, 1 mg of sodium, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram each of dietary fiber and protein.

An ounce contains about 1,000 grains of rice. Let’s run those numbers for a single grain of rice: 0.031 calories, 0.001 mg of sodium, 0.006 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.001 gram each of dietary fiber.

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, you only need to eat 64,515.129 grains more to complete your day. That one single grain seems even more insignificant doesn’t it?

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A bag of rice.

A one pound bag of rice contains many identical little grains of rice (approximately 16,000). A large enough bag could feed someone for months. A large bag filled with thousands of grains, suddenly contains the power to nourish. Nourish for a long time. By combining the miniscule nutritional power of rice with that of its neighbors in that bag, you have a powerhouse of nutrition the world over. A staple in many diets, rice is relied upon in many cultures for survival in the form of basic nourishment. Its power is immense when combined with its fellow grains.

One grain, one mission.

A few weeks ago I got involved in multiple issues floating around that involved the governance of our various associations. I’ll spare you those details, you’ve read them by now I hope. I was fascinated with how it made me feel to think that I might be letting my entire career be decided by people I don’t even know. So I made it my mission to become a part of the governance that affects us all. I’m just one guy and I don’t expect to march into a meeting and start shouting orders and making changes. It doesn’t work like that, I’m not that delusional. There are people that have inspired me to do all of this (and so much more) and I can only hope that I can pass that along to others in any way I can.

Rice in my inbox.

Last week, my email pinged its familiar sound to let me know it needed my attention. I clicked each email, making mental notes of “things to do” and then stopped when I saw this:

Your AgentGenius post about getting involved, along with my broker’s suggestion, finally got me to take a step in the right direction. I am now a member of my local association’s RPAC Committee. Thank you for your post, for giving me an example of what Realtors® should do, and the encouragement to finally get involved.

The email was sent by Mark Brain and it really made my day. It’s not everyday that you get someone to say thanks for something that you are excited about and believe in. The email also gave me hope. How many people read it, how many people thought about it, how many people may have reacted to it? I’m not the first one with these “ideas” or “goals.” I’m not the inventor of the internet or anything. I just spoke with a public platform and told you (I often think I’m just speaking to a small group of friends) what was on my mind. Yet, here was a guy I had never met, telling me thanks.

I know this post may seem a bit self-congratulatory, but that’s not its intent. In fact, if there’s any congratulations to pass around, I would hand them off to AgentGenius for being a platform where we can express our views and I wanted to share the news to show everyone out there (writers, readers, and curiosity seekers) that you can make a difference. Perhaps one day Mark and I will serve on a National Committee together or run the whole shebang. You never really know what the future holds, but without making a step into it, you’ll never find out.

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I asked Mark to keep me up to date with his experiences and of course, I’ll keep you up to date on mine. So far, no word from the Texas Association of Realtors® and the sign-ups for the San Antonio Board of Realtors® doesn’t start until later this year. As I said to Bill Lublin in his post earlier today, “I can’t complain from the bench, if I don’t know what game is being played or how the plays unfold.” If I’m a grain of rice, I still need about 15,999 other grains to join me.

photo courtesy of AMagill

Written By

Matt is a former PA-based rockstar turned real estate agent with RE/MAX Access in San Antonio, TX. He was asked to join AgentGenius to provide a look at the successes and trials of being a newer agent. His consumer-based outlook on the real estate business has helped him see things from both sides. He is married to a wonderful woman from England who makes him use the word "rubbish."



  1. Joe Loomer

    June 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Great articulation of this point, Matt.

    I wanted to also let you know that I took those now-familiar issues from weeks ago and gave a quick synopsis four our team meeting here (audience of about 130 after the email version goes out). Like you, I wanted to participate in a way that made me feel like I wasn’t just shouting from the sidelines. Now our agents are aware of the issues that directly affect their lives and they know how to take action – even if it’s just taking the time to email their local board reps.

    Thanks for this post – it would have been easy to just melt back in to the humdrum and stop paying attention to the larger issues that require all our input.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Missy Caulk

    June 18, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Matt, glad you shared that that happened, it is nice to hear something you wrote encouraged someone to get off the fence. Great analogy too.

    Reminds me of the song, “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”.

  3. Gwen Banta

    June 21, 2009 at 8:14 am

    This is both inspirational and motivational, Matt. I hope someday you do run the whole shebang. Congratulations on making a difference.

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