The weather in the Lake District was wet, windy, and bitingly cold. The mountain tops were dusted with snow, which occasionally flurried down into the valleys. Otherwise, rain and hail battered Derwentwater centre.
This was a programme of highs, and lows. The Journey of Understanding is never easy, as participants challenge themselves and each other to leave their comfort zone; exploring their own identity, blowing their stereotypes and assumptions out of the water and sometimes throwing their whole world view into question, before building it back up into something new and beautiful.
When one of the participants received news of bereavement in their family, it was amazing to witness the support within the group. Over just one week, these 24 young people from wildly different backgrounds and cultures had built strong bonds of friendship, which only deepened in the face of adversity and tragedy.
I could go on and on about the highs, which were many, but will instead leave you with this beautiful letter, written by one of the participants to his fellow travellers on the Journey of Understanding February 2014:
I hope that you are well and got home safe and sound. I'm sure that you enjoyed this whole experience of living together and doing activities together for a week. I pray that you draw a lot of inspiration from this to add value to your life and your ability to impact others positively. I want to thank you for being so amazing and for demonstrating how loving and caring the human race can be, no matter where we are from.
THANK YOU! :)
I am still overwhelmed with the feeling of being loved for who I am. It feels like you know what I represent and you appreciate my presence, as I do yours. I have learnt a lot during this time together and you have impacted me greatly, influencing my outlook on life positively. Thanks for adding to my development.
It was amazing to meet you, and I will always remember you. This event couldn't have been any better.
Let’s make a deal. Let’s take this motivation and excitement that’s running through our veins and channel the energy through a window of productivity, let’s impact more of our human family positively, take our little code of conduct that we created in the Lake District and bring it into the real world. Let’s educate others about love and unity by constantly setting an example of how to love and unify. OK, deal?
We all know that there are some people in this world who act negatively and at the moment, their job might be to bring down others (maybe they don't know any better) but the role we play in this world is the opposite to that: WE are the Freedom Fighters, the Love Facilitators, the Motivational Speakers. So let’s be that person who inspires others to love more and care more; let’s stand in the shoes we were meant to stand in before we were even born.
Let’s AMPLIFY our characteristics of caring, sharing, compassion, love… as we discovered on the programme, it’s the one thing we have in common, and it’s part of our identity.
Thank you for inspiring me to continue to be that person, I will now amplify the good that I've already been doing with a massive smile on my face :D