New year’s message to the world edition 2010

Depending on the calendar you might choose to use, a new year had, once again, began. Hopefully, it will bring on positive changes in our lives and in this entire world…

This time I am writing after the holidays again, which is probably a right decision, because otherwise this message would have been written in a rush and would definitely have had a different tone and idea to it…

I would like to start with (well, right after the belated holiday greetings and all the best wishes and blah blah blah… :)) the changes… small to the big ones, shall we?

I’ve decided to change my e-mail address, which is the small change. I will not abandon my old account completely, but it has acquired too much spam over the years I’ve had it. I’d like to have an e-mail that will be only used for my real friends and no one else… You might think that ‘real friends’ is a sketchy category, especially in my case, when most people I know and who matter to me live thousands of kilometers away, and some I haven’t seen in years… But all of that is actually very relative, when you think of it… On the grand scale of things, we all are connected in this universe… Besides, every person we meet in our lives we meet for a reason and not just like that. We may never know why exactly, but all encounters are meaningful. Actually, if you are a recipient of this particular message, it means that you are one of those people who had made an impact on my life, and this is my way of thanking you for being – simply being on this earth, and having shared a no matter how short or long of a fraction of my time here on this planet with me. I value you, regardless of how many years have passed since we met, or how many months since I last heard from you. There is something YOU gave me in my life of which the value will never fade, and you will be remembered as long as I stay capable of a sane memory recollection (with 4 languages my chances of Alzheimer’s are thinner, according to researchers, so inshallah thy shall be remembered till the end of my life mmwwaaahahahahaha :):):) ).

You know, back to the ‘no matter how long ago’ part… In the end of life, it’s the people one had met, experiences one had had, memories one had acquired that compose the most valuable treasures and possessions of a human being… Nothing material is brought into this world when we come here, and as the song goes that I’ve heard playing at an internet café in Tenehir, Morocco, about a week ago – “you can’t take it with you when you’re gone”… In my humble opinion, we should remind ourselves of this very self evident but evermore so forgotten little truth… And assign value to things that really matter in life – those who make our life the way it is, who make us smile, who give us strength, as well as those who teach us our worth by creating obstacles on our way – those are the true treasures. Memories of unusual, fun, crazy, hard, stupid, but in any case character defining things we’ve done – these are the real gems. stories we can tell, impact we have made on the people and world around us – that’s our true immortality…

Let’s not lose the connection, for all we have in this world that make it a better place, a place worth caring for, a place worth exploring – it all comes from and thanks to the connections with other people around… We forget it too often – to stay in touch, to say a few kind words here and there, but it makes a world of a difference to hear from an old friend – it makes the world home, makes it smaller, makes it one big family…

In 2009 I received less than 10 greetings for my birthday and for x-mas/new year’s… and it made me think, with all the e-mails everyone has, all the cellphones, facebooks, im’s and such – how come? Maybe we live in such a fast-communication world that even last hour’s news are no longer news? So we don’t think they’re worth sharing with others? Or maybe the knowledge of the fact that anyone we wish to contact is “just” a click of a mouse or a button on the phone away from us diminished something very very important – the value of human contact? Because now it’s so easy and instantaneous, can be done any time, that if you don’t send that e-mail or make that phone call right now, you can always do it – an hour later… this evening… tomorrow… over the weekend… after that party… in a month… next holidays… and in the end what happens is you don’t – you don’t call. You don’t write… Because you can always do it any time, and ‘any time’ ends up never…

12 years ago I had no e-mail and no cell phone. my 2 close friends at the time wrote letters to me – the real paper ones, handwritten and all… We wrote each other regularly every 1,5 months or so, with a lot of news. Our letters had sections – latest news, thoughts, music, school, love… They were pages long and took hours to write – back when there really was little free time for it with all the school homework load and everything that needed to be squeezed in between… I still have them all – those letters… When I got the e-mail address, I was psyched – it’d be so great I will be able to keep in touch more regularly with everyone! Or so I thought… Those people who I got detailed news from and shared events and thoughts from my life with – they have my e-mail, my phone number, and the last time I heard from either of them was a quick meaningless exchange of something like “Hi how are you” “I’m ok and you” “me too. What’s new?” “Oh same old. You?” “Yeah same here… gotta run! Mwah!” over 6 months ago… something makes me think that something has gone terribly wrong in this world…

Today before sitting down to write this, I clicked around the net aimlessly for a while (wasting that same time I could have otherwise used for sending some love to someone…) and ended up on 10 travel resolutions… definitely from a US site, since the very first thing was “finally get that passport” :)…(it’s actually a fun short read) but the one thing in particular made me stop and think was number 4 on the list:

“Travel with a close friend or family member.

None of us is getting any younger. Time is our most precious asset, so hoard your vacation days and travel with the folks who matter most. Swapping messages and weekly phone calls can’t compare with sitting together on a plane for five hours and then zip-lining through the rain forest. Wait too long, and you’ll regret it.”

You have no idea how true this is… Or maybe you already do – so make no such mistakes in the future… I didn’t make new year’s resolutions this time, but I came up with one goal I hope I will maintain: to stay in touch with people that matter to me, to let them know they matter, to show the care – while I still have the chance of having them around, and much, MUCH more often than I usually do… There are all the means in the world available for communication, so the least straining and the most rewarding little thing is to call that friend of yours you’ve been meaning to call in months… Or all your friends, for that matter… To call your family, to tell them you love them, to listen to their ‘silly’ chatter and news – while you still can… To write those you cannot call, and to make it something more than “hi, how are ya? Long itme! What’s new?”… Put an effort into it… You can write all people who matter in one evening – all it takes is not playing lil farm life on facebook that day… And makes a world of a difference, really…

Which brings me to change number two – the world of a difference… We spent the new year’s eve in the pension lobby in essaouira, morocco, talking to an almost 50 years old global trotter of a lady, who travels to help the local people, till 4 am… She is one of a hell of a kind of a reminder to all of us, most much younger than her, that the only way to make a difference in this world is NOT by sitting on the butt and hoping to make a difference and wishing for a better world… It’s by doing our little part, little as it is, but if we DO it – then things change… It’s by thinking positively, by thinking constructively that we can all turn the course of history around and make earth a much better place to live on. there’s technologies and projects for fully sustainable cities (some already being built, due in 2011 and 2012 and 2015), there are small things that make huge differences in people’s lives to see that it doesn’t take millions of dollars and hours to really make an impact – read all stories on the left to get inspired, will only take you 20 minutes…)

There’s SO much we all can do to bring that change about that we all hope for somewhere deep inside – so DO it all! Because you can, and I can, and facebook farming can wait. Seriously – it can. And changing this world – that CANNOT wait. It has to be done now. Best yet – it CAN be done. Much easier than we all imagine to ourselves…

So I guess my message for this year is the following: think positive, ACT upon it. This is the only route to bring about all the yearned for changes… And stay in touch. Don’t let the illusion of instantaneous access to all people that matter to you get a hold of you. That TV program you “have to” watch tonight might be extremely entertaining. It might even be educational and expanding your knowledge and worldview – fair enough. And those crops in Farmville might be also excessively important to harvest… (well… ehm… not)… but all of it can be actually done later – a program can be downloaded, and the world won’t crumble down if the facebook game won’t see you for a few evenings… When your virtual crops wither – nothing at all in your world changes… When a relationship with an old friend of yours withers – the world changes rather significantly, because one more human tie, one more degree of warmth between human hearts – is forever lost… Reconnect with those people who matter to you, thank them for what they have been in your life… Because what you can NEVER turn back is the opportunity to share the love and care and a part of life with someone who may no longer be there… start with your family, close friends – call them. talk them. Write them a long email… stay in touch – these people may not be here tomorrow when you’d have no other TV show to watch. Sit down and write them tonight. Make this world a warmer place for everyone to live in, because regardless of climate – it’s the warmth of human heart that keeps it all turning and going around and gives any value to our otherwise relatively insignificant existence on this planet…

Happy 2010 to you, and let’s make the world a bit closer, warmer and better this year.

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About in shade

A cocktail of personality traits hard to digest for some but ultimately soothing for those who can. I observe, enjoy, travel, interact, photograph, dance, contemplate, write and love my way through this life's countless occurrences. This blog is a way to share with the world and its people some of the treasures they give me every day.
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4 Responses to New year’s message to the world edition 2010

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