I find inspiration and energy in working for two communities. The first is an online community, an international youth network for democracy and human rights. And my offline community here in my country.
I try my best to contribute to the success of our global youth network because my active involvement and leadership as member of the board gives me a certain level of fulfillment and happiness. I feel my life expanding colorfully when I share my ideas in the bigger world.
After serving as judge in a global essay competition, I wrote a reflection (http://www.wymdonline.org/contest/2010contest/Reflections2010EssayContes...) about my experience as an essay participant and years later, as a judge. This is a more organized expression of how I truly feel as part of this global community.
There are a lot challenges in an online community. This is expected because communication barriers exist even when we can hold the hand of our fellows in an offline community. For one, it is good that social media has democratize access to information and many other opportunities but it is not enough. We need to ferry positive change in the real world and work harder for the impact to be felt on the ground. The process would require time and resources. Most importantly, it would require patience and diligence from the leaders.
For online endeavors to prosper, it is important that the leaders' personal touch will always be felt by the members of the community. Members are seen as partners because their ideas and insights are valued. Feedback is consistent and responsive. And in spite of the distance, members feel that they are empowered.
The work in the real world is tougher because there are various problems, limitations and weaknesses on the ground. Although we all have our limitations as to how we can effectively contribute solutions to all of these but we should never close our eyes to the realities. Leaders should always maintain a deep relationship with members. Building a strong human infrastructure is not only about time, resources, leadership, activities and projects but it is also about making each member feel that she matters. Servant-leadership is key.
I know that there is still so much to learn out there. I also know that there is still so much I can share.
I love being a part of World Pulse because I can feel the beautiful energy of all these amazing women from the different parts of the globe. I hope that I can also share my uniqueness and find acceptance in this colorful tapestry that is our movement.