Irena Žabičková is a full-time volunteer with Per un mondo migliore in Croatia and Italy.
About six years ago we moved to a new neighborhood. Since arriving, we’ve tried to be friendly with our neighbors and show kindness. We greet them with a smile, ask how they are, and several times we prepared pizza and delivered it to them as a sign of friendship. We thought we were doing well in showing our neighbors we care. But then we met Nilda.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all had someone say a few words of encouragement that radically changed our day or the course of events, just because of the extra inspiration and change of perspective those words brought. Maybe we were at the end of our rope, and someone’s encouragement opened a whole new horizon of possibilities. Or maybe we’d simply had a long and tiring day, and a few cheerful words renewed our inspiration and energy.
What does one do when their hopes and dreams get shattered? What should one do to move forward from disappointment on to new hopes?
These were the questions I asked myself when I heard about a disappointing setback. A friend of mine and her family were going to team up with us on some of our volunteer projects. I was very much looking forward to it, but in the end, much to my dismay, it didn’t work out.
I’m a perfectionist. I like to do things well and thoroughly, no matter how much time it takes. In my decision-making, I’ve come to recognize that my main motivation is avoiding making mistakes. I try to make sure that my work and personal decisions are as right as they can possibly be.
A number of years ago, I lived and worked in a small volunteer center in the south of Russia. A week before Christmas, a snowstorm blew down the main power line for the whole region. Nobody knew how long the blackout would last, as the repair crew had to wait for the weather to clear before they would be able to reach the affected area up in the mountains and fix the cables.