Sometimes things take you up and down but we must continue to move forward and learn along the way. You might fall down but you learn as you get back up. This is a list of lessons I have learnt and how I felt throughout COP.
They are in 2 categories. The categories are personal growth and skill building. Be kind, this was sort of my diary during COP21.
- Confidence boost – I have learnt to doubt my self less and if I feel it is right I should be more confident in my decision making skills, I fell I have not shown enough confidence in myself and this was evident throughout week 1 when I kept feeling lost and doubtful eg. making route decisions or decided on how to help out in actions for YOUNGO.
- Focus – after realizing this, that everyone is in the same movement and I should find my focus and further the cause to the best of my capabilities at the Alternatiba event , I feel so much more liberated, like I don’t have to do it all, I don’t need to have everything on my shoulders, I know there are others out there in this same fight. I know now that I must find focus
- Patience – I never knew what true patience was till handling with the UN Secretariat, dealing with them to work out permissions for YOUNGO actions has been taxing, it has been moments of frustration and irritation, annoyance and anger for them denying audience with us, for being treated like kids. but nevertheless we must carry our smiles and keep up the good vibes. never let personal feelings and annoyances affect your conduct,.
- Persistence – throughout helping out with the D12 march in the little way that I have, I feel that I have witnessed great persistence that I wish to emulate. The organizers never gave up when they were told they couldn’t do this, faced with police blocks and infiltrations, they never stopped trying to seek approval, they never stopped their conviction in the movement.
- Navigation skills – trains systems in Paris confusing, trying to adapt to their system is to foreign to me, so from day one I relied on my own instincts (although not always confident), I used things that were familiar to me like maps, locating land marks and asking people when I am unsure
- Woodwork – there are many ways to cut wood and make wood work for you in ways you couldn’t imagine, why cut when you can take another piece of wood and work around your problem, the creativity I’ve seen birthed at the art place is fantastic, just remember if a stick is just straight and you need it for another design, feel the creativity and you’ll have so many different ways to solve your problem
- Painting skills- sometimes its about simple things, I feel that you can make the best out of the little things, in the art space I learnt a crucial time saving and amazing tip to painting things especially wood, why use a brush when you can take a cloth , dip it in paint and just go with it. Its faster and way more efficient.
- Color! – anything with color is more catching than a plain black and white banner or sign. I have been shown the impact of color and I feel that making these small changes, from black to bold and red, makes the biggest difference in the world when you want to make something stand out
- Interpersonal relations- I have never been the best at communicating with others, everyday in COP I meet new people and I have to deal with so many different situations with them, in the bus, walking down a street, talking to people while waiting in line. All these different interactions have shown me many different situations that I have never been accustomed to, it honestly made me weird a bit, well most of the time but now at least I know how to better deal with these moments, lie what to say after the normal hey or hi such as how are you feeling today, doing good? Like I completely froze when I accidentally asked the president from a country ‘where is the toilet’ I was so blur and didn’t realize what had happened.
- Organizational charts and timetables are important – amazing work at the press conference I was at, message was clear cut, it was regarding some Serbian countries agreeing to curb their deforestation rate. They had clear cut timelines which they enforced, they had everything thought out for like how many questions to give out and even expected how long each respondent would answer a question. Everyone had a role and a task, I feel in all the things I have done so far, I have never reached this level of efficiency and I would love to reach that level of excellence on day.