As I’m writing this, my fellowship is nearing its end. In the past months I’ve gained new knowledge, practiced skills I didn’t even know I had and had rare opportunities opened up for me.
It was an epic ride. Looking back on it however I feel that the biggest gift of it all was something else: a community where people look to the future with hope and unbridled enthusiasm.
We humans have a natural tendency to look at life somewhat pessimistically. This rings even truer in Eastern Europe and maybe even more so in my home country, Hungary. Here, folks often rush to explain you the “why nots” before doing anything else.
Pervasive pessimism is an understandable albeit hindering hallmark of our people and the very reason why Bridge Budapest is needed and awesome.
At Bridge, realistic optimism is the norm. Here, people convince themselves and everyone else that we can build a place to be proud of, all the time. There is no doubt about that “yes, we can” the only question is how.
And this way of existence is liberating.
I loved every minute of the learning opportunities and the work I’ve done but what I was most enthusiastic about is this hopeful climate. The lessons were precious but the network of these inspiring people was—and is—invaluable.
In the end, I take away the feeling that I’m not alone. That there are others out there—many of them—who dream a better future for this tiny, beautiful corner of the world.
It makes swimming against the tide much, much easier.
Bridge Budapest altered my life. It made me an unashamed optimist.
And I’m proud of that.