Stop blaming your government and start working smarter.

When someone from my country says “Look at where we live!”, we instantaneously take it as a cry of despair. Somehow, ‘the state’ is stopping us from reaching our full potential because of corruption and nepotism and this and that. Nevertheless, my response usually is “Look at WHEN we live.” Let me explain.

This is the year 2017. Two-thousand-and-seventeen. People don’t need to use horses and birds to carry messages anymore. You don’t have to travel for 3 months to get to the other side of the world. And ultimately, you don’t have to rely on your government to fulfill your potential. Everything is easier, and faster. The second I press ‘Publish’ on this article, millions of people from every corner of the world will have instant access. I, a youngster who comes from a ‘do-not-progress’ state, am communicating to millions of people. Think about that for a second. I think the traditional idea of borders is gone. It was challenged the second internet came out, but now globalization is just doing it’s thing. And I think the sooner you jump in, the better.

To put it into a more practical sense, I’ll give you a real life example. I’ve already used the Finland trip example in my previous stories (be sure to check them out), so I’ll tell you how MIT OCW agreed to help us on our e-Learning project. Because e-Learning has had a great impact in my life, I’ve wanted to promote it to my peers for a while now. I’ve had the idea since 2015, but I only started seeing it come to life in September 2016, while I was on a retreat with the Youth Council of the U.S Embassy. Together with an amazing group of inspired youngsters we developed the idea over a couple of months and we’re currently in the final stage of planning. While brainstorming, I suggested we contact e-Learning platforms that had proven to be successful in their goal. One of them was MIT OpenCourseWare, one of the first MOOCs in the world, with content from the best technology university in the world. I sent an email to them, introducing myself, the project, and asking if they’d like to speak to the students about their journey and the impact of e-Learning through a video call. They said yes. That simple. A representative of one of the best MOOCs in the world agreed to speak to the students in our event in Kosovo, and all it took was an idea, and an email.

Now, to some extent, it is the state’s fault. You might not get those funds that were perfect for your project, or your visa application might get rejected. But do you really consider that to be the end? Are you really going to let technical difficulties stop you from achieving your goal? “Obstacles do not block the path. They are the path.”

I urge you to stop using the web only for social media, cat pictures, and fail videos. That’s like using a Ferrari for buying groceries. Start communicating with other people. Send emails, introduce yourself, explore and absorb new information, and most importantly, get practical. Now, I’m gonna get a little explicit here: I don’t exactly know how communication worked 100 years ago, but I think that if you told someone in 1917 that we have this thing where you can find every information ever and contact people within a matter of seconds, they’d laugh their asses off and call you crazy. But if they knew this existed, they’d use the shit out of it.

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