I woke up from a terrible hangover. My legs were heavy, numb, but I was determined to walk this time. With clear ideas and a strong desire, I was ready. I didn’t know how I would do it. There were many ways, many opportunities, many challenges. However, inside me, a flame had been sleeping, almost extinguished by the ambient fatalism. It was clear: the environment is threatened, and I am the fruit of a generation that has been bombarded with paternalistic lessons on the immediate need to protect our future. Step by step, tingle by tingle, I realize that I had been numb. For too long, for as long as I can remember, I had believed that it was too late. The world was shaped this way, that the apocalypse was near, but not near enough to know the date. That maybe one day, a kind of miracle would take place. I say miracle because it was more surreal than real. The promised innovation would arrive and save us all. Thus, we will replace God with Man.
I have a headache. A hangover, it’s a beating. I don’t know anymore: was I dreaming awake, or was I sleeping in a nightmarish atmosphere? I find myself standing in this room, disheveled from the restless night I spent. I cross the room with difficulty, struggling to reach the only dusty mirror in a dimly lit corner. I look at myself, I discern myself. My shirt is wrinkled, my pants are torn off, my lips are puffy with stress, and my eyes are drooping with despair. I have to act; I can’t stay tied to my depression and this idea that I can’t help it.
I get ready to finally re-discover the world. I go out to meet people, I discuss, I confront ideas. Why can’t we do anything? The answer is always the same: “working for the environment is not profitable, politicians take their time, and you won’t change anything”.
What if we all did something at our level? “The proportion is too small; we do not represent enough. We are a drop in an ocean of actions to get us out of this mess. You are so naive to believe that one day you can wake up with new, futile, volatile ambitions and that you will revolutionize the course of things”. Another one of those self-righteous phrases.
I don’t want to resolve myself. What can I do to serve my future, the future of us all? I leaf through books in search of a glimmer of light, no matter what form it takes. I discover the stories of travelers such as Mike Horn, Nicolas Hulot, who have seen the world metamorphose drastically in recent years. Landscapes are declining, people are dying on the other side of the world. We see nothing. I still feel this damn fatalism clinging to my foot like a stone ready to be thrown into the ocean with me at the end.
So I decided to call professionals. One of them whispers in my ear that there is a solution. “It is easy to reach, but it will require a lot of willpower: enough to never give up. You have to connect to communities. Get your voice out there, and there’s nothing like many echoes of voices to be heard. The more you shout, the more you’ll be heard, and the more you’ll be able to bring your solutions to protect the environment. Let it be known that you are not alone, that this is a common desire, a desire that emanates from a necessity”.
His whispering echoes in my head. It is this kind of sentence that turns your life upside down, that wakes you up with electric shocks. The bitter taste of the end of the hangover is slowly going away, it’s time.
While looking for several ways to connect with other young people, I found the network “Young European Ambassadors”. They conduct dialogue with six countries in Eastern Europe: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine. Its functioning is simple: together we will be stronger, we will go further. Through this diversity of culture and ideas, we learn from our convictions, our values. We refine them, model them, realize them.
Thanks to them, today, I feel fulfilled by a purpose. At the beginning of October 2021, we went to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The European Youth Event took place to bring our ideas in front of the diplomats. The most relevant ones will be added to the resolutions’ agenda.
The last echo I would like to share is a whisper of hope: Everyone has the power to make a difference. That power is within each of us. It’s waiting for you to give it the conviction it needs to hold on to the world. You have all the cards in your hand, don’t throw them away: use them.
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