We will remember 2020 for being unprecedented – in fact, OED Word of the Year was also expanded for ‘unprecedented’ 2020. That’s why it felt right to make this last networking event of the year a little bit different from the others.
We all agreed that it has been a tough year, but we believe that behind every challenge we face often lies a hidden wisdom. That’s why we wanted to look at the bright side of 2020 that is about to come to an end and wrap it up in a positive spirit, in order to start off the new one on the right foot.
We asked participants to bring some nuggets of wisdom about the lessons they learnt in these past months: an inspiring quote from a song, a book, a podcast, a movie, an uplifting image, a piece of art, anything that they felt encapsulates what 2020 has been like for them.
After the warm welcome of our host Gabriella Ferenczi, each participant was asked to share something and the conversation took off.
We admit that when we thought about the topic we wanted to address, some doubts arose. Is it perhaps too bold to insert “2020” and “positive” in the same sentence? Is it too much to ask people to look for some bright spots in such a challenging time?
It was then such a pleasure to see how everyone opened up, spoke from their heart and brought something to the table. The intimate and authentic atmosphere that had come about inspired meaningful conversations and made each of us leave the event with a small glimmer of hope.
“The world around me stopped but I didn’t” is how we language professionals summarised this year, and it has been impressive to see how many of us felt in the same way.
As one of the attendees pointed out:
“As long as you keep doing, you keep going”.
Even physically distanced and often alone, we have made a lot of new connections. If on the one hand the virus has impeded us to meet in person, on the other hand, thanks to the internet, not only made it possible for us to continue scheduling our meetings but it has also multiplied the number of new acquaintances.
“Close some doors. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere.” by Paulo Coelho.
We then talked about 2020 as the year of honesty, of kindness, cooking, well-being, focus, balance, thinking, growing. We also agreed that 2020 was a year of opportunities.
“It has been a tough one but at the same time if you remain open and see opportunities you can still move forward”.
“A lot of challenges but also a lot of good things. Opportunities are all around us”.
And we were glad to hear that, it has been during the past few months that one of our attendees started a new collaboration with someone she met at one of these networking events.
“I’d like to call this year the year of opportunities rather than of crisis. Behind every crisis there is an opportunity”.
For many, 2020 has been the year of learning. We talked about useful e-learning platforms and online courses that some of us joined during the past few months and that have helped them achieve their goals.
At the end, we couldn’t help but notice that what has spontaneously emerged and what has brought each of us together: it was an “internal work”.
It has surely been a hard year. We didn’t see it coming and we probably haven’t accomplished the goals we were setting one year ago at this time. But it has been heartwarming to hear how each of us dealt with the hardship and managed to see the good in the bad, reaching numerous internal achievements.
The event ended with an exchange of books and movie recommendations. Judging by the wisdom that has emerged, we are ready to make the best out of it!
Thanks to all the language professionals who attended and actively participated in this insightful event, regardless of the time zones. The money we have raised goes to support Moorfields Eye Charity.
We will be back next year. Stay tuned for our next event. We’ll share the details soon. Until then, stay safe and best wishes for a Merry Christmas to all of you and your loved ones.