09 May, 2018

Goga Chanadiri - You are not alone, even when you are alone

One violet cannot beautify the whole field said Aunty Nora from Aspindza when I met her near Shoreti temple.

One swallow does not make a summer, says a famous proverb.

When I heard these phrases, I protested - why can't one man change his environment?

The answer is that yes, it is possible to change a lot of things.

At first I believed in my abilities. Then I realized what was needed and necessary for the environment I had to be in.

I will honestly say that I made a choice in favor of my country because its strength is my strength.

I chose to be a good citizen, not to litter, read a lot of books, respect the national language and not use barbarisms, fully respect traffic rules, buy local products, live a healthy lifestyle, hike and not use drugs.

I also gave up envy and profanity, completely gave up disposable utensils and polyethylene to form less garbage, etc.

All of this became a lifestyle for me.

It gave me confidence. However, I realized that it was not enough because I saw that many people were behaving differently.

I started to spread these ideas to my friends and put them into practice. Then I moved to schools and started talking to students about civic values and the concept of the state. I always asked them what home and family meant to them. And I always got the right answer. The students knew that a family is a group of people consisting of a mother, father, child, grandchild, grandmother, grandfather, and so on. And a house is the room in which this unity, the family, lives. Then I explained to them that a country is a house in which the unity of people lives and which the state represents in the form of institutions and society.

With this example, it was easy for them to understand the importance of the state.

They already knew that if you cannot litter in your house, cut a chair or leave a tap open in your house, you cannot do it in your country either.

After the meetings we organized various social actions.

For example, we spoke in defense of our native language and wrote at schools or on social networks in pure Georgian words, avoiding barbarisms. We also promoted the culture of following traffic rules, and drew creative zebra lines on the asphalt. We refused to throw trash on the ground and held cleanup events. We understood the importance of education and read and discussed books.

And so it went on for several years.

One day I got a call from a high school student, with whom we had talked for two hours about civic culture, saying that he was going to organize a cleanup action in Shuamta and asked me to help in this endeavor.

Then I realized that I was definitely not alone, that others were also concerned about the littering of the environment.

Naturally, I helped them in this endeavor. After that, a student from another school called me: "We want to hold a fair of Georgian things at the monument of Deda Ena, will you help us? I agreed and when I arrived there, I saw that the students had brought their parents to buy crafts. Everything was sold and the parents realized the importance of buying local crafts.

Students from one of the schools started collecting books and sending them to Shatili school.

I won't list now how many meetings and other things I organized with students. They are taking steps every day towards having a good home and being good family men.

And my confidence grows every day because I see that the guys understand the importance of the state and are willing to change the environment that I, like them, and like you, want to make better.

And yes, a single violet can beautify an entire field and a single swallow can make a summer.

The key is to believe that you are not alone, even when you are alone, and that you can always make a difference.

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