For many people all around the world, if they had but one word to pick to reflect upon the year 2008, that word would possibly be “Change”. It was, after all, the word that Barack Obama ran his historic campaign on, and his election was a celebrated event all across the globe. But did 2008 really represent Change for America, or for you for that matter? It certainly didn’t for me.
At the end of 2007, which was a fairly decent year for me—I moved from Europe to California in 2007, fulfilling a nearly-lifelong dream of mine—I had looked ahead with great enthusiasm to 2008 and was hoping for it to be a year of change for me. I’d planned to get my sites up and running, start some more pet projects (more websites), get started with more actual, concrete Django development and a whole lot more.
Almost none of it happened.
2008, it turned out, was a pretty mediocre year for me. It ended up being a year that, for me, would be captured much more accurately in the phrase “The Promise of Change” rather than just the word (and any actual) Change. Oh sure, there was plenty of change in my life throughout 2008: I moved to San Francisco, I dated and eventually broke up with a really fantastic girl, I changed departments at work, and made tons of great new friends. 2008 wasn’t exactly static for me, but it exhibited almost none of the things I’d hoped for at the end of 2007.
So here comes 2009: for Barack Obama, it’ll be the year wherein he gets his chance to truly bring about the change he’s promised. As for myself, I intend to follow his example in my personal life and bring about some change as well. What 2008 taught me, more than anything else, is that change typically doesn’t come to you — when it does, it’s likely a negative kind of change rather than a positive kind. Positive change is something you bring upon yourself, through aggressive action and undertaking. It’s the only way to grow in life at the fastest possible rate.
Over the course of the next twelve months, I plan to bring about change not just in my own life, but also in yours. We’re living in a world that is connected internationally through the World Wide Web, but our society and our culture still thinks far too domestically and inwardly in comparison. There is still a great deal of intolerance and misunderstanding about other cultures, other religions, other sexualities, other people—and it’s time we change that. Throughout 2009, I’ll urge you to join me in a series of independent efforts to spread more global awareness on a series of subjects. Obama may be President of the most powerful country on the planet, but it’ll take all of us to truly change the world.
Let’s make 2009 become the Year of Change.