Global Voices community is celebrating its 5th year and I really cannot describe how much it means to me… I think I managed to describe quite well the feeling of community Global Voices is when I got back from Cairo – maybe because while sitting on the plane I had time to think it over, I was inspired by people I just met and I had plenty of time to put it down on paper.
It’s December, it’s almost Christmas time here, in the UK and I am spending my time off work meditating last year in preparations for new one, which will bring new commitments and a rather conscious shift in my career, as well as private life. I am spending my evenings with family, sipping hot tea, glancing at cold winter nights through the windows of my little flat all the time thinking: what has changed me so much!
No matter how hard I try to deny it, all my recent small, but crucial successes resulted from the shift in my perception of reality and my own self, and the majority of those positive changes come from working for and with Global Voices. You see we all have jobs, and if we are lucky our jobs not only provide us with means to live but also with satisfaction and development of our skills. Sometimes we tend to think that our free time should be committed to less serious actions, but I belong to those, who prefer to invest in their free time to learn more and to contribute to the communities. Hence why Global Voices has been a great learning curve for me – maybe not as such in writing or social media, but in values and in networking with people who share those values. By working together for no money at all, we build a community of dedicated, self-motivated individuals. None of us expects magic, however now and then something nice happens: one of us has a baby, gets married, travels to our part of the world and we get to meet! We share those moments and I am sure that others will agree: we cherish them as great memories! For me personally, all GV meet ups this year (Cairo, Amsterdam, London, Oxford, Skopje) reinforced in my pursuit of happiness. It’s exactly what I wrote: the inner need to achieve happier life, find my place in the world, with the type of people I respect and learn from – every single day!
Some of this year’s stories grabbed my attention and stayed at the back of my head: Gaza and Iranian election were great stories to see from a completely different angle – not only from the online coverage but also from discussions and great support of the team on the mailing list. Recent Climate Change conference in Copenhagen took up the majority of my attention in the fourth quarter of the year, as I strongly feel about this issue myself, and I am glad GVers were present there. Violence against women remains an issue I feel strongly about, not only due to my own experiences but simply because of the scale of the problem globally and in the UK. There is more work to come. There will be more intense, interesting, in depth reports on all current issues but also interesting articles about parts of the world I am not familiar with, and maybe do not hear about in the mainstream media. I am sure Global Voices will open my eyes to many more challenges, but for now, I am trying to think back and measure how it affected my own life so far. And I must admit that one thing, something entirely unexpected has happened: it changed the way I see myself today! I clarified many questions about my own life and pushed me to act and improve the way I live.
You see, I am a geek, but I do have few very traditional habits – like writing a journal. I have also two notebooks: one dedicated to writing down all my ideas – regardless of the fact, that some of those might be crazy and unrealistic, another one is my dream book where I put dates against things I want to do in my life – at least once;)) This year many of my ideas and one of the main dreams (my childhood dream actually!) became reality! I am not sure if I would be able to achieve it all without the inspiration of voices from Global Voices team. One of my dreams for next year is for this project to grow in number and strength of the voice! And me, with my little life in full bloom of its renaissance, I hope I can contribute to the fulfilment of this dream myself;)
Hugs to all GVers on our 5th Birthday!