Growing up, I started realizing some things. Everything that was unknown to me as a child, became a daily routine. Frankly, it was better when I was a child. To me, people were either good or bad. Today, with my understanding of the world’s cruelty, I cannot make that clear difference anymore. These differences by which we are divided are precisely what should unites us, and what connects me to people.
As a curious teenager I stepped into the unknown world of NGOs, where I have spent seven wonderful years. I had no idea about all the experiences, positive changes, friendships and even some important life decisions this could bring. Up until now, I met many wonderful people and this opened many doors for my future. Volunteering is what makes me really happy, as well as meeting new people and helping others.Being a volunteer, I forget about all negative divisions in the society and problems we face in the reality of today. This harsh reality often replaces wonderful experiences and connections related to volunteering and NGO sector. For all these reasons I went to many seminars, trainings and camps, where I gained a valuable knowledge. I met many young people who are ready to change their perspective and expand their horizons, using wonderful volunteering opportunities. All these young people are different, they speak in different languages, have different interests etc. But what fascinated me the most is that no one cared about my name, nor where I came from. They have accepted me as their colleague, as Aleksa, and most importantly, as one of equal capacities.Inspired by these people, I first started to change myself, so I can show other people how expressing hatred can be very harmful. They say that the foundation of one revolution isan individual. Personally, I have changed and progressed. I used all these differences to build a bridge connecting me with wonderful people.
Unfortunately, people are mostly afraid of change. Got used to the melancholy today, mass media is in most cases reserved, because of the fear of certain people. People are afraid of everything that is foreign and different. Organizing a discussion with high school students, I was able to realize certain things. I’m proud to say it. I am proud to be a part of it, to be a part of the change. In the beginning, I did what many have hoped, but my work, effort and dedication paid off. True, there were difficult moments, but the obtained result of this effort is amazing. The friendships I have made are the most valuable thing I got from this. I realized that the judgment based on a religion is apparently one of the biggest mistakes one can ever make. Here I am, as a Youth Reconciliation Ambassador, surrounded by a strong and optimistic people. I realized how many things a man needs to know in order to look at the world from the right perspective. I met many different cultures and people. Returning home, I decided to know more about my people and our culture and I realized how much love I have for it. Having learned to respect my own, I’ve learned to respect the cultures of other nations. All of them are beautiful and interesting in their own way, and while learning about them, I feel like I am a part of the world’s culture. As much as they appear different, in the end, people are the same and they all got through the same things and have the same fears. I hope that people will once realize how similar we all are and accept diversity as something that connects us all rather than separates. I hope that one day I will succeed to change something, something more.
I would like to set an example, to show other young people that with hard work and persistence you can achieve everything. From small muddy steps to reach the stars. Also, I would like to show that other people should not represent boundaries or something unknown, but that the people from whom we gain a valuable experience that we will need later. Participating and working in the NGO sector, not only have I expanded my knowledge, but I have also expanded my understanding of the world, as well as aspects relating to people in general. Thanks to various trainings and seminars that I attended, I no longer classify people by colors, because they are not crayons, or thin and fat, ugly or beautiful. To me, they are all people.One of the most important beliefs that I got from this is one of the greatest treasures that I have gained, and that treasure is that I consider myself a man, a man of broad aspects and a proud volunteer. And of course, all this would not have been possible if I had not entered this wonderful world of volunteering and I can say that volunteering makes me a better person!
Today, the world is made out of so many factors that if a man wants to be satisfied with himself and wake up happy, he must cross the thorny path and this is not simple. Volunteering in non-governmental sector in general, and all the wonderful memories I got from it were very educational I learned to respect others and, above allow them for who they are. When I talk about love, I think of the love for the world, towards life, towards all people. When I realized that we are all made out of the same flesh, blood, and we all share the same planet, the idea of equality came naturally. None is born with hatred, hatred is imposed from the outside. We all know that something that was imposed can be taken away. There is an old saying „If you don’t want to experience something on your own skin, don’t wish others to experience it either“, which also tells us, that besides all differences, we are all humans and we all should respect each other.
When I was very young, I once heard my father talk to his close friend, saying; „All I want for my son Aleksais for him to find the right path and live a happy life. His happiness is my happiness.“ Now when I think of his words, I am truly proud to say that his words partly came true. I learned many things through this program. It is an honor and a privilege that I had a chance to participate in many projects and upgrade my CV through more than twenty different seminars. This experience secured the right path for me, the path of success and happiness. I am even happier that all my successes and victories are celebrated not only by me, but also by my father. I walk into the room, and seeing that he returns the smile, because he knows that I am happy, I feel proud and special. This pride is not just because I completed something successfully, or because I had a nice time on the seminar. That smile is there because I know that I did not disappoint the man who gave everything in life. That smile is there because he respects me and appreciates the reason for which I chose my path and chose it right. The feeling is really outstanding. This, of course, wouldn’t be possible without volunteering and programs such as this one. For this reason, volunteers and NGOs will be always have a special place in my heart, and be one of the most important factors in my life. In addition to family and friends, I can certainly say that volunteering is the most important thing in my life, and that it makes me happy and satisfied.