US: Portland - How the GCC National Training may have forever changed me
The GCC National Summit as a whole has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in my life. I’m from Pakistan and I know my country needs help on various levels. However, having grown up in a country constantly struck by turmoil made me immune to witnessing the violence, discrimination, devastation, poverty and illiteracy. Somewhere along the line I accepted it as a part of my society’s structure and told myself that things will never change. The GCC summit taught me one lesson which i will hopefully remember for the rest of my life- that one person, with the right amount of determination and preferably some common sense can really make a difference!
The 5 days that I spent with all the GCC Leaders have changed me forever in ways that I cannot even explain. I feel terribly lucky to have met every single one of them, to have interacted with them, to have experienced their passion for bringing about a positive change in the world and to have learned so much from them. To meet people so compassionate and so focused towards generating a positive impact at such a young age has been most inspiring for me and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world!
It’s one thing to talk about change and to point accusing fingers at the system or the people in the system but to be surrounded by a bunch of individuals (much younger than myself) so enthusiastic about actually doing whatever they could to spread positivity was incredibly refreshing. During the 5 days that I spent with them, I felt all of us coming together as a team with the common purpose of alleviating as many people as we could from their suffering. Everyone was respectful and supportive towards one another. Everyone just got along so effortlessly and helped each other learn and grow to such a great extent that it was amazing just to witness all of that let alone be a part of it.
I know that the most important element required to accomplish a goal is inspiration and this experience gave me a good dose of that. I now feel that I have a higher purpose in life and that it’s my duty to make the most of whatever resources I have at my disposal to help those around me. I know for a fact that as long as the world has people as genuine and compassionate as the GCC leaders I met or the GCC team as a whole, hope is not dead.
Now, I will return to Pakistan and see things from an entirely fresh perspective. I am definitely more driven and inspired to bring about some positive changes of my own and to tell the world that it now has one more person who now understands what it means to be a global citizen: me!