„Success in life won’t be given to you on a silver plate. But, by harnessing the grit that you can cultivate within you, through volunteering and helping others, you have already succeeded. You can apply this to anything in life, school, a career, a relationship or your dreams. How much grit do you have? How far will you go to attain it? Why not start now?”
Pe Clint, sau cum ne placea sa il alintam facandu-l roman de-al nostru: Clintescu, l-am cunoscut cand a venit in Romania ca profesor de engleza voluntar prin programul Peace Corps, un program de voluntariat al Guvernului SUA. Si timp de 3 ani a devenit „de-al nostru”. A dezvoltat o relatie fructuoasa si frumoasa cu tinerii voluntari, a sustinut comunitatea de mountain bikeri prin amenajarea atelierului de reparat biciclete care inca functioneaza la Mansarda, iar acum revine la solicitarea noastra cu un text despre voluntariat si „de ce-ul” din spatele lui. Here it goes:
„How do you define success? A rock hard body? Having a new iphone? Having a lot of money and a nice new car? While these are all things that many people use to define success in one way or another, I, however would disagree. To me, success is having cultivated and integrated in ones being a characteristic some people call grit. Grit, loosely defined, is having the courage, bravery, tenacity, perseverance, and resolve to face and accept the challenges in life that one will encounter. Some people may be born into this world with these traits already in their being, while others, like myself, continue to cultivate and nurture these concepts within us.
So why am I writing about grit right now? Simply put, without it, we tend to be stuck in the mud, spinning our wheels, making no progress in our lives and the lives we touch. You will not receive a text message one day saying, “Congratulations, you now have grit!” It takes time, patience, action, and most importantly, a group of peers who want to see you succeed, who want to work together on making things better, not just for ourselves, but for others as well.
Listen, it is easy to stay at home or go the coffee shop, club, or bar, spending time on Instagram or Facebook, hoping you will receive a lot of likes for the update you just posted. Grit is not measured in likes through your social media, but rather it is measured in real-world likes: the smile on a child’s face when you help them with a problem, the assurance you give an elderly man that he will be safe descending the stairs in your apartment building, or the support you and your peers provide for one another as you go out into the community and make it a better place for all. Grit is cannot be bought at Carrefour. Nor can it be downloaded from the Internet. It is a seed that, once planted, will take root within you and help not only you, but also those around you.
While I did not invent this concept, I do remember how many of these traits became important to me and fundamental in helping me define my own success. I had the great fortune of working as a volunteer with Centrul de Voluntariat, Centrul de tineret Mansarda and Bike Attack from 2005 to 2008. It was here, through so many wonderful and challenging projects, with friends and kind people I had never met, that I soon realized that the measure of one’s self is through the positive impacts you have on other people’s lives, without expecting anything in return. The first time I went there, I was scared. No joke! I didn’t know anybody, other than a fellow American volunteer. How my fear dissolved was simple: the space and social environment where we would meet at Mansarda, was safe and inviting. I felt like everyone there that I met welcomed me. I felt like my voice and ideas were heard just like every other person there. The projects we realized felt to me less like “work” and more like hanging out with good friends. Through working together, with good people in a great place, realizing the many different projects, a seed was planted within me that I continue to nourish and still grows to this day.
Success in life won’t be given to you on a silver plate. But, by harnessing the grit that you can cultivate within you, through volunteering and helping others, you have already succeeded. You can apply this to anything in life, school, a career, a relationship or your dreams. How much grit do you have? How far will you go to attain it? Why not start now?”
Clint Hensley, voluntar Peace Corps
*Textul face parte din campania „De ce voluntariat?”, o campanie prin care ne dorim sa incurajam tinerii sa aleaga voluntariatul ca metoda de educatie nonformala, de dezvoltare personala si de schimbare in comunitate.