In 2019 my friend Alvina (if you love your life don’t call her Alvina. I can use it because we’ve been friends and friends piss each other off) invited me to join her on some program. At the time, I heard ‘leadership program’ and just snoozed on her. For someone who was teetering in the valley of the shadows of some form of depression, loneliness, and tiring existential crises I thought I had better things to do. Like chill all day, all week, all month. I started needing chilling from chilling. You feel me?
Anyway, a few months later and Alvina (oh… she’ll kill me) was back in my WhatsApp with her leadership thing. I rolled with it this time and that is how I got to ENGAGE and sort of unlocked my life. So much so that my experiences and two pieces of advice make me feel like the wisest monk. See me writing to you and the whole world about it. Lol!
Walk in other shoes
Stretch, fetch, pledge
Give a helping hand
Shout, write, fight
Till the land
Stand up, stand for
Stand with, stand out
Aliveness begets activity
Activity makes us feel alive.
My greatest lesson and benefit from engaging was that anyone has the potential to do anything they set their mind to. Pretty basic. Yeah? We grow up going through a series of activities that all involve some form of evaluation or grading. For those that understood the processes life was easy and there was a boost of confidence heading into the world after high school. Existential curve balls here and there from the real world and gradually doubt rents a guest room in your life. In a nutshell that is how my story goes. The point is, engaging gave me back my self-esteem. Trying something raised my awareness of what unique capacity I have been blessed with. Engaging unlocked me.
See, the key word is to TRY. In the current world, trying things is perhaps the easiest thing to do. All you need is to find a cause. I advocate for a noble cause. Something that primarily benefits other people too apart from yourself. Often, you will find a team, family or community to try something with. The beauty of this is that one doesn’t have to do everything. Just as much as their capacity allows at that moment. All that remains is the will to see everything through. Having an honest intention (of trying) is all the juice you need to sustain you through any new or different experience.
The most interesting outcome with engaging is the motion of events it sets. When I wrote my life was unlocked I really meant it. Trying something opened me up to a world of more and more things to try. As a result I have been given more responsibility and capacity to try some more. How I see it is, engaging is like refining a tool. With each experience our usefulness is polished and expanded.
The most exciting and fulfilling part of engagement is IMPACT. Since my first engagement we have done tens of projects, starting a community library, planting thousands of trees, establishing a dialogue discourse community and so much more. I will let you find out yourself about just how good it feels.
If you have been at it, keep it up. Everyday is a new day to try something.
By Emmanuel Marumbu Misiati