Sara is a One Young World Ambassador from the UK.
Why inspiration is so relative
‘I'm sorry’, ‘I promise’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I love you’. These are a handful of phrases we all use so much, often without appreciating the weight of them. Nowadays, it seems that the meanings of these phrases have become diluted from using them too freely rather than to demonstrate what we truly mean. I'm sure you can think of a few examples where you or someone else has said something that you're well aware wasn't genuine.
After attending One Young World this year with the awesome Telefonica delegation (see our happy faces below), I began to think about the same concept, but applied to the word ‘inspiration’. For those of you who haven't come across One Young World before, it's an annual summit that takes place in different cities across the world. Its 3-4 days packed full of talks from world renowned key note speakers, CEOs and leading politicians. Not to mention the 1300 youth leaders, all of whom are involved in projects for change from over 180 countries across the world, sharing their journeys and opinions too. You can find out more at www.oneyoungworld.com or check out some of the content from the summit here.
The dictionary defines inspiration as, "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative." Come to think of it, I'm not sure that I truly understood what inspiration was until I went to One Young World.
Before the summit my ‘inspiration’ was watching a delicious Carbonara be made in 15 minutes - Jamie Oliver has a habit of making it look so easy. I have a habit of making a bit of a mess in the kitchen…
Jokes aside, what I'm trying to say is that One Young World opened my eyes to what inspiration truly is, and that the power to create change is literally in the palm of my hands. And if it’s in the palm of my hands, then it is in yours too.
At the summit we heard amazing stories from delegates across the globe. We heard from a South African lady who had pioneered solar powered backpacks for children to take to school so that they could use the energy at night for a light bulb to study. We heard from delegates originating from Kurdistan explaining how the war with ISIS, who is committing unspeakable atrocities, has been impacting their lives, but how they are not letting that deter them from documenting it.
One session that captivated the whole audience was a speech by a young North Korean lady called Yeonmi Park who bravely shared with us her journey to leave North Korea. She is only 21 years old, yet has experienced three lifetimes worth of pain with what she has been through. I think I used a whole pack of tissues to wipe away the tears – so click here with caution!
We heard some heart-breaking sessions about sexual violence that had me in tears, again. Though it is heartening to know that as a result of the last Summit, people have taken action to offer support to survivors of sexual violence; setting up crisis centres in Africa for rape victims. Former delegates have even started projects to tackle the root of the problem, an example of which is ‘Consent’, a project to educate teenage boys about respecting women. We also heard about work being done to close gender gaps, changing the perception of disability through education and much, much more!
These are just a handful of examples of normal, everyday people doing amazing things to bring awareness to issues they are passionate about; enabling their communities, and our global community, to thrive.
So to go back to the title of this blog: why inspiration is so relative. To me, inspiration is relative to experience. I'm not saying you need to go to One Young World to be inspired (though it does help). There is a big wide world out there just full of inspiration and it's easy to forget that, especially when Jamie Oliver keeps bedazzling us with his tasty creations!
What struck me most about the summit were the people who I met, whether they were from Latin America, Asia, South Africa, Germany, Spain etc. We were all united in what we wanted to ultimately achieve, the only difference being our cultures influencing the way we approached it. We all wanted to do good for others and be successful…Don’t we all?
Needless to say I'm ready, committed and overwhelmingly inspired to create positive change. What about you? What's stopping you?