Of Blind Spots and Changemakers
My World Pulse experience has been more than just a good writing exercise. It was four weeks of mental and emotional calisthenics and, ironically, much-needed quiet time, as well. It compelled me to do a lot of soul-searching and, for someone who has gotten so used to the hustle-and-bustle kind of life, this was no mean task.
At times, it became painful to go through the many layers that have been weathered and toughened by time, but it was worth the effort to peel them one by one to get to the tender core. I wrestled with my demons and, in such a short period of time, I was finally able to see through some of my blind spots—those flawed views of Self that have kept me from growing, reaching my full potential, and, most importantly, enjoying more out of life. These realizations are truly life-changing for me, both as a woman and as a global citizen.
The new Web has changed the individual as much as it has transformed the world.
Relishing my love affair with technology, having worked in this industry for the last decade, may have been the easiest part. Writing about in Week 1 only helped confirm certain things I already know about myself: that I appreciate how the Internet has bridged many informational, economic, and social gaps; that crossing this same bridge as a knowledge worker has brought about occasional feelings of disconnection (but also, that I had this in common with other changemakers in World Pulse); that Web 2.0 technologies can help me overcome this state of estrangement by allowing me to renew old ties but also to accept that virtual relationships can be just as real—all through a small switch in perspective.
While true and lasting happiness may be everyone’s Holy Grail, holding firm to a personal sense of gratitude is something we can do every day.
It was not easy to relive my Xangsane experience in Week 2. It brought back memories and fears I fought hard to bury deep in my mind, those vivid flashbacks I only revisit reluctantly in my nightmares. At the same time, I was able to give thanks again to the universe for sending the most unusual stranger to fish me out of the flood waters. Being able to share my story was sheer catharsis. I lived past that tragedy and I am most grateful.
Having a positive vision for the future is imperative but a full box of tools can be too heavy to carry alone.
Even as a child, I always knew that my life’s passion would be to help families in poor communities. It did not take very long for me to drop out of the rat race, where there are no real winners but those who get paid the most money. Meanwhile, the poor have become poorer and, in many ways, are being reduced to mere statistical footnotes. Worldwide, economic disparity has simply become unmanageable and many people are close to their breaking point.
Slowly but surely, I have taken my experiences to get to this point in my calling, where I am able to utilize technology to touch the lives of other people. However, I am still filled with a strong sense of urgency; alone, I will never be able to achieve the scale required to create significant change. And so, in Week 3, I presented this challenge: use Web 2.0 as leverage, in order to make sufficient social capital accessible to the women in your own communities. I am happy that some friends have started to express interest in this endeavor.
World Pulse has helped me answer some of my life’s hanging questions; best of all, it has taught me a most important lesson: I still have a lot to learn but I also have much to share. To become a Voices of Our Future Correspondent will be a journey of self-discovery that is as much about internal motivation as it is about seeing your blind spots through the eyes of others. I hope to get the opportunity to work with other women and spread this news like wildfire as only changemakers can do.