IJB Thinks #21 Truth or Dare

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IJB Thinks

#21


WELCOME to

IJB Thinks #21: Truth or Dare. In this issue JBers around the world share their bits of truths and dare the reader with some exciting challenges. To turn this reading into a more pleasant one, we suggest the following IJB Thinks playlist to listen while reading. Press play and enjoy.


. Find the playlist a thttp://bit.ly/17QdOjh

Here and Heaven Goat Rodeo Sessions Helping Hand Goat Rodeo Sessions Quarter Chicken Dark Goat Rodeo Sessions The Boatman Nitin Sawhney Da para vivir Manguala

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“Dare with the truth” “When is someone suicidal?” Editor’s note: IJRs Devin Johnson-Hogan

“Dare yourself to make mistakes, and to ask for help”

“Dare: Accept and practice the fission happiness principle”

Grace Emerson Vottero

Björn Kåberger

“Are you game or not?”

“My Truth” Hannes Podzun

Fanny Sarraf

“The purpose of living”

João Rocha e Melo

“Junior Branch Freelancers” Anjo & Marvin


Dare with the truth. Apologies for the delay of this issue. Truth is we didn’t manage to fit university/work, travel and CISV duties properly in our agendas. So let’s not waste any more time and get straight to the point of our introduction. Truth Nº1: Junior Branch has been treated as “an organisation inside an organisation”. Though this has been spotted by BlueSpark, the firm that did the consultation work for CISV, we all knew this to be true. Truth Nº2: We do not like when people refer as ‘juniors’ to Junior Branch members. I know it’s not their fault, or our fault, or anyone’s fault. It’s just the way we’ve been speaking since JB was created and it’s the commonsense-name anyone would give to a member of Junior Branch. Long story short, we’re all chapter members and that’s what matters in the end. So, based on this two truths, we would like to dare you. We dare you to leave judgment aside, to explore the thousand of possibilities that working towards the JB goals has and try achieving them in collaboration with the rest of your chapters members (yes! NA or Chapter Board, Leaders, programme participants, even parents!). Apparently the easy way is working on one’s own, but easy is a tricky word and, based on our experiences, when we did things in collaboration with others, it was way more better. This are our truths. And we dare you.

JAMES & CANDE are the current International Junior Representatives and, as such, editors of IJB Thinks.


Dare yourself to make mistakes, and to ask for help. Grace Emerson Vottero In CISV, we build almost all that we do around the framework of experiential learning. Junior Branch is a brilliant example of this. When we first become involved in JB, we are given plenty of opportunities to make our own choices, be wrong, be right, make mistakes and make guesses. At first, this happens mostly in the framework of a planned activity. As we grow a bit older, and begin to plan or facilitate JB activities, we continue to learn by doing, and often we learn what NOT to do - how NOT to run a debrief, how NOT to divide a group, and how NOT to forget pens and papers. We often talk about how JB is our playground: we can do anything here. It’s part of what makes Junior Branch an essential part of our organization. For many of us, JB is where we really learn about ourselves, where we grow into leaders and facilitators and planners. Sometimes, it inspires us to contribute to CISV in other ways.

Sometimes, JB inspires us to leave CISV for a while and try something entirely new. For some, JB inspires us to try leadership roles in JB, to develop and give back to the program that educated us and given us countless opportunities. The most significant thing that I have learned from Junior Branch is that making mistakes isn’t only important when we’re participants or facilitators. Making mistakes is an integral part of everything we do. It’s how we know what doesn’t work, how we know what we don’t know. To take on a new role, especially one of leadership, doesn’t mean you’re done with making mistakes. The truth is that being wrong is an integral part of developing JB. In my first year on the Americas Junior Branch Team, this was something that was really difficult for me to process: the fact that it’s actually really OK to have no idea what’s going on -- but you have to be brave enough to ask for help, and admit what you don’t know. Because Americas Junior Branch meeting is held immediately before the International Junior Branch Conference, by the time that IJBC began, I had already been elected to AJB Team and therefore was considered a member of the IJB Team.


This was in the IJBC in 2010, when the weight of IJB Team conversations and plannings was focused heavily on restructuring the IJB Team. This meant long, late-night conversations, with many critical questions to address: How many people should be on the new team? What role would Regional Team members have? Who would work on what? Who would work with the projects, who would work on JB training? My critical questions to address were a bit different: WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? What JB Training? What does RDT stand for? What is an RTF? What project between Summer Camp and JB? What the hell am I doing here? The extraordinary thing about Junior Branch is that the experiential learning never stops. It’s always okay to ask for help. Though my first year on the AJB Team was filled with more questions and doubt than I can describe, it is the experience in Junior Branch that has impacted me the most powerfully. As somewhat of a perfectionist, overcoming the fear of being wrong and not knowing, and learning to ask for help had always been a challenge. But my ability to help develop JB was indescribably enhanced when I learned to never stop asking for more information. I learned that the best leader/trainer/JBer isn’t the person who knows so much that they never need to ask for help: It’s the person who is always aware of what they don’t know, and never stops asking, learning, and questioning. It can be a daunting thought, the idea of running for a new position or joining a part of CISV you don’t know everything about. But your ability and capacity to positively contribute to the development of JB and CISV is not defined by how much you know, but how much you are willing to learn. so I dare YOU to not know, be wrong, ask for help, ask for more information, and always remember that experiential learning doesn’t stop when you become a leader in JB.

GRACE VOTTERO is a current member of the Americas Junior Branch Team. She is also famous for her obsession with cats.


Are you game or not? “Blow bubbles” “Cook something from another country” “Wear a fake mustache” but also “Buy a drink to a stranger” “Do the in-flight safety demonstration” “Meet stranger on a train”… The iPhone and Android App Onefeat proposes to take up some easy but also some crazy challenges and capture them for great memories. The aim of this game? Have fun with people around the world (that sounds familiar?) I have started the challenges and I am trying to do something new everyday. So if you wanna Spice Up Your Life dare yourself to do something new and fun everyday! Enjoy the simple things in life and make great memories.

FANNY SARRAF is a French JBer currently living in England but wishing to be danish. You can downloand Onefeat from www.onefeat.com


DEVIN JOHNSON-HOGAN joined CISV 5 years ago and is

an avid reader of IJB Thinks and science fiction. She will be a JC in Norway this summer and is very excited about it.

When is someone suicidal? After they commit suicide? After they make the decision to? After they begin to think about the advantages of disappearing? I've learned to always assume sooner rather than later. People don’t like to think about suicide, especially if it affects them. But we can’t solve a problem until we recognize that it exists. So recognize someone who may have a chance of killing themselves, or even someone who may just be sad, and say something nice. “You’re such a beautiful person,” and “thanks for being so caring,” are words that have an enormous effect, especially if someone hasn't heard them in a while. Compliments are used much too sparingly for how simple they are to pass along. It is human nature to attempt to meet expectations. So if you give a compliment to someone, not only are they a happier person, but they want to stick around to prove that, yes, they are beautiful and caring. Compliments save lives every day, because one friend can change everything. So I dare you to be a friend. Or be an acquaintance that has something nice to say. I dare you to step out of your comfort zone to recognize sadness, and make a difference.


Dare: Accept and practice the fission happiness principle Energy production through nuclear fission is simple in principle. One neutron crashes into a nuclei, and the crash fires off three new neutrons, which all crash into other nuclei. The effect is an exponential chain reaction of pure energy. Happiness works the same way. If you smile at a person, that person will give you a smile back. If you smile at two people, they will smile back at you, and at each other, making six received smiles in total. Do this in a room full of people, and the effect will be an exponential chain reaction of pure happiness. I dare you to imagine your daily commute as your room full of people. Share a smile, get a hundred smiles back.

BJÖRN KåBERGER has recently proved to be an excellent comedian. If there was one thing we could tell about him is definitely that he gives lovely hugs. If you ever meet him, don’t leave without one!


The purpose of living. The difference between several matches and a championship. For years, society has said that the purpose of a human action is what motivates us to do that action. Well, it is true; I have purpose for every single thing in my life, I've given myself reasons to be in things, to do stuff, not to do stuff, even to believe or not to believe in things. It's just like football. You have an action (a game), a combination of moments towards a goal. In the case of football, win the match. So every day, you go to classes to pass an exam, you work to have money, you watch TV and sleep so you can rest. But, just like in football, is the sum of the games that sets the purpose of your life, the person you are. If you live one goal at the time, you'll succeed in each action, you will win several football matches, but what will you accomplish? When the matches have a goal, when all together they become a championship, one will have the greatest pur pose one can achieve: a life purpose!

If one plays minutes, one has played 630 minutes. Although, you never say the World Championship has 10 and a half hours, do you? The World Championship last for a month. So should life. Things shouldn't be about that particular night, or that particular shoot, or that particular action... Pass one exam, work for one day or watch a movie won't get you out of bed, each match alone won't get you out of bed. Although trying hard to do what you like for a living, so that you can smile to your friends and hug your family will! That's the purpose. Gather your actions together with a common goal, win the matches all together for a reason, and you'll be the World Champion! Remember this, when you'll be about to die, you can have a sum of victories of all your matches or you can have a World Cup... And that’s the dare: Do you know what’s YOUR World Cup or are just living match after match?

JOAO ROCHA E MELO is the current NJR of Portugal. He has a long career in CISV and his fellow colleges all agree he is always seen with a smile on his face.


My Truth Hannes Podzun We all write and receive tons of emails, some more, some less important, but every single day we are exchanging a great amount of information with others. Then in between you will always find some weird ones. Question and exclamation marks everywhere, the shift-key has not found its way to every keyboard, sentences do not seem to finish with a simple dot but twenty of it, you find more smileys than words, bright neon colors are making your eyes freak out and the font size is so big that you cannot even read what you are invited to. Why is that? As I said in the beginning, we are exchanging information and information don’t have to be bright and blinking, they speak for themselves. So I chose to pick “Truth” and want to use it as an advice at the same time: When writing emails keep it simple, less is very often more.

I don’t need five question marks to understand it is a question and using ‘bold’ is normally enough to highlight important phrases, dates and so on. Also, how about using a subject? Gmail even asks you if you still want to send out an email without typing in a subject. How are we supposed to differ between important emails that need an immediate respond and those that can wait a day or two? Yes, I do acknowledge that people differ, that of course you write differently to your friends and Germans are (untruly) said to be so accurate and stiff, but I would also like to see some people applying my concer ns and forgetting about COMIC Sans and those blinking colors – that is so 90’s!

HANNES is part of JB Germany as is a big fan of salt. Apparently, nothing is too salty for him.


Junior Branch Freelancers Truth: CISV loves to invent and use fancy words and acronyms. This isn’t anything new, sooner or later it will come up in a discussion. Therefore a new statement about our usage of (let’s call it) CISV-speak and it’s (negative) effects would be boring, wouldn’t it? Let’s try to have a different approach to the topic, without having the complexity of CISVspeak at the center of the debate. The advantages of our language are generally accepted. In the process of adopting fancy CISV words into our daily vocabulary, sometimes we should reflect upon the words and their origin. Expressions are taken for granted because they are deep-rooted in our vocabulary. An example is our affinity to titles in Junior Branch. Why do we give so much attention to titles – IJR, NJR, LJR, to name a few – in CISV-speak? Where’s the problem? The main issue with our usage of titles is the transported meaning and the impression it makes on others. The focus on titles and structure, however subconscious, ensures that they are always present in our discussions and actions. Having titles at the heart of our work has a deterrent effect to JBers who are about to take the step to run their own projects. However, it is these very projects that keep JB the dynamic and innovative space that it should be. In many IJB projects you will find JB Freelancers – people working on projects without being a representative and having a title.* JB Freelancers can focus entirely on their project, and follow it through from beginning to end. This is where our structure comes into play – to support and promote freelancers’ work. Dare: Let’s celebrate * In IJB’s working groups, for example: http://bit.ly/Nzzqtr

ANJO and MARVIN are the current NJRs for JB Germany. Their favorite magazine is 'Mobil - the official magazine of the German Railway', which is distributed on all trains from Hamburg to Frankfurt. Great journalism.

JB Freelancers!


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