Let me start my very first blog entry by saying thank you. Thank you, Joe, for taking the initiative of asking me whether I want to join unum society or not. I felt super honored back in January when you first introduced me to your concept of unum and your intention to give people a platform to exchange experiences and connect with each other. I know this is going to be something great because it’s so unusual and unique to have an online platform for an intercultural exchange where one of the most important purposes is to share your own journey. What I can tell you now after being part of unum society for seven months is that I got to know seven amazing people, seven amazing bloggers. Even though I haven’t had the opportunity to meet them in person yet, I can feel the spirit and the interconnection between us. I do hope that we can take this as far as possible so that we can all meet in person someday.
Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Norina and I’m 22 years old. I was born and raised in Germany and I’m currently studying international business and will be finishing my degree in a few weeks. What’s coming next? Well, my heart tells me to leave everything behind for a few months and start traveling through Latin America, South East Asia, Australia. However, my mind tells me to continue with my studies and to pursue a master’s program. I am confident I will eventually end up in a business program and follow the regular path, the way that most people, especially my parents, expect me to take. But still, I know for sure that one day I will follow my dream and catch up with all my travel plans. It’s just a matter of time, and obviously a matter of money. But that’s daily struggle, I guess. A struggle I think many people are faced with.
So, a little bit more about me. Who am I? What do I do? What is my passion? Why am I happy? What kind of life do I live? These questions will best be answered by reading my blog entries since that’s the way I’ll be expressing myself in unum society. I’m planning to write about my past and current life experiences, new destinations and journeys, the challenges I face, or simply daily routines. Some topics I’ve been considering writing about might focus on ‘women empowerment’, ‘talking to strangers’, ‘my experience as an organizer of a TEDx event’ or ‘why people should contribute to voluntary service’. How did I come up with these topics? Well, this is what continually shapes my life, not only right now, but for a few years already. I want to share with everyone these things. What I do, how I live my life, and how I see the world. Basically, share my journey with you.
“Each day I am sharing a smile with people coming across my way in order to spread happiness.”
When Joe asked each of us to write down a sentence that best describes ourselves, I had to take a few moments to reflect how friends, family and people I know think about me. I know for myself that I’m a super open-minded, talkative person who likes to be a ‘social butterfly’. I like to meet and connect with people and this is what turned out to be one of my passions. But why do I actually do that and in what way could I put that passion in one sentence? Answering this question was quite difficult since you usually don’t think too much about why you do certain things. My inner self came up with a simple thought: connecting with strangers gives me a positive feeling, but especially makes other people happy since nobody expects you to connect with them. Nobody expects you to talk to others or share a simple smile. So, when I thought of a quote or a phrase that illustrates how I live my life, I came up with ‘Each day I am sharing a smile with people coming across my way in order to spread happiness.’
A simple smile. It’s so easy to spread happiness by just opening up your face and smiling. So, I felt this would best describe my attitude, me caring about others and the fact that I want others to be happy.
What is it now that I intend to tell you with my first blog entry? I would like you to think about yourself in public. How do you recognize other people and in which way do you show others that you realize them, realize their existence? I want to ask you to go outside and share a beautiful smile with people coming across your way. You will realize the positive reaction of other people pretty soon and I tell you with evidence that such a small reaction to your smile from others is going to shape your daily routine in a very lovely way – not only yours, but also the daily routine of these strangers.
So, please: keep smiling! :)