by Nadiyka Gerbish
These are the days when a huge revolution is evolving in Ukraine – the country I love, I live in, and work as a writer and college teacher. My fellow Ukrainians are fighting for our freedom, for our rights, and our future. A vast majority of them wants to be part of the European Union, being much more than just an institution. Europe holds a lot of promises for us: to live in a brotherhood of equal nations that don’t fight against each other but cooperate instead, to enjoy the freedom to express ourselves, to travel freely and get education in other European countries, and so much more. Evidently, there is a rocky road ahead of us and the to-do list is indefinitely long. But we are willing to take this road and check the empty boxes next to the urgent tasks.
Maidan square with the famous Christmas tree covered with posters and flags, photo: Volodymyr Shemiakin
Revolution from within
I am convinced that the real revolution always begins somewhere deep in your heart. Its seed is so tiny at the beginning, but it keeps growing and changes everything: your mindset, your habits, your desires, your lifestyle, and then the world around you. No matter how unimportant and little the seed inside of you may seem, there is always something you can do with it – and for it. You always have something to contribute. Your talents, your money, your experience, your wisdom – or the lack of them.
I know what it’s like to be a part of the revolution. It was there nine years ago when we first fought against manipulated elections – a movement that would lead to the so-called “Orange Revolution”. We were fighting hard and with peaceful means, and we won!
Back then, I was a bold teenager, standing on the barricades among the orange flags and thousands of smiling people. And now, being an expectant mother in her third trimester, and living in a sweet pocked-sized town in the middle of nowhere (actually, in the provincial area of Western Ukraine), I still believe there are a lot of things I can do for my country. Fervent prayers, packages with warm scarves and socks sent to the revolution activists in our capital Kyiv, sharing information, writing letters, signing petitions, and everyday caring for my small family at home – just to name a few.
I have always wanted to be a better storyteller. I have always longed to communicate truly meaningful stories to my children, to my students at college, to people who read my books and see my photographs. I have always dreamed of telling the better story with my life. Of, actually, living out the best possible story God has designed for me.
And for that reason, I know, I must use even the slightest chance, even the smallest opportunity to do something. When you look at it in this perspective, you understand why even the little parcel with medicine and a warm scarf sent from your home counts.
Online learning for change
iversity’s online courses have become one of these small, but really important chances for me. They help me to use my time wisely (one more brick to the wall of telling the meaningful story: a tutorial video on a daily basis instead of sitcom, what do you think?), to get the knowledge I need (right now I am taking the Future of Storytelling course), and still be present for my small family – and my big country – any time they need me. Soon, a course about the European Union in Global Governance will start. I will be part of it and I know that many people from Ukraine and beyond share my passion!
Actually, online studies are one of these precious seeds that start a real change in the world – a REVOLUTION. And I, certainly, do not want to miss out. Because there is always a better story to live in.