Have you paid forward yet? There are lots of opportunities to do so and to make us feel better about the year 2020, here are a couple.
I am fortunate to be a Product Manager in my spare time, uh no, that’s an author in my spare time and a Product Manager by day! But anyway, I work for a video conferencing company where I create new services to sell with our products. At my company, we have an active diversity and inclusion movement. Part of that is a Women’s leadership group, and you find out all sort of interesting things.
Being part of this group inspired me to join the student mentoring group at Southampton University, where I graduated from many years ago with a Degree in Politics and International Relations.
It was a fun time, and I’m glad I had the experience, and I wanted to pay forward to our next generation, and so I joined the university mentoring program. Since then I have mentored four students, both on undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Of course, this year’s mentees suffered much disruption, having to relocate, return home and set up remotely. But the offer of mentoring is still there, and in the age of video conferencing makes it possible to pursue.
Another initiative I came across was Letters to our Legacy, which I thought was another excellent idea. Two women set up a website where you can submit a letter, a letter where you can write to your daughter, grand-daughter, godchild, whomever, but an opportunity to pass on advice from the year 2020 to future generations—a modern version of the time capsule.
Doesn’t everyone love finding old letters or journals from your ancestors? I have letters from a great-great-uncle sent to his sister whilst he was at the front during the second world war. It is amazing to hold such history in my hand; to get a feel for who he was, especially as the gift of writing letters seems to be passing with the new technology we have today. I suppose blogs are the new letters.
I wish my mum had written me a letter full of advice before she passed, it would have been one of my most precious treasures, but instead, I have wonderful memories and the gifts she passed on, and I think of her every day. My writing novels is a tribute to her memory. Without her love of books, I would never have been such a bookworm, and I would never have picked up that pen and jotted down those first ideas for a novel.
If you’re interested in paying forward, get involved. You can find the Letters to our Legacy website here. There’s no time like the present to get writing‒and it doesn’t have to be a novel!