Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.


Sunday, 15 March 2009

Little Things

I received a message on Youtube today from a lovely girl, who congratulated me on reaching the top 50 and said that in the process of making her application for The Best Job In The World (henceforth referred to as TBJITW. Catchy eh?) she had discovered a passion for video-making that she didn't realise she had. She's not the only one: I had never made a video before, and now I'm desperate to try another one (not necessarily with me in it: I'm not at all sure about my presenting skills). 

Not only that, but the warm response from journalists, friends, family, strangers - the complete lack of bitterness - has been totally overwhelming: people who desperately wanted this job have been selfless enough to wish me the best of luck.

Which is, I think, what's amazing about this whole 'TBJITW' process. It's essentially a huge PR campaign, but it's changing lives: not just the lives of the top 50, but of a lot of people who applied. It's so many factors: the fact that people trained themselves to make videos especially, and perhaps discovered something they had never realised they loved before; the fact that people found friends, maybe through social networking sites; the fact that it stirred creative juices that may otherwise have lain dormant. But - mainly - it has changed lives because, when the world is knee deep in recession, it has been thousands of people standing up and saying NO. No, we will not stop dreaming. No, we will not stop going for what we want. No, we will not stop hoping or - when that hope gets taken away - being happy for the people who can still keep going. And, in the process of doing that, this campaign has changed lives in a small way, or in a large way.

Whatever happens for me from this moment on - whether I get through to the next stage or not - the process has made my life better. It has made me realise what I didn't realise before: that I lacked the confidence, not the ability, and that I was too scared of risking failure to actually get success. It has made the world seem less scary, which - after six months of hiding, hermit-like, in my bedroom - was exactly what I needed. It has opened doors that I thought were locked shut forever.

People may say that The Best Job In The World is a callous marketing ploy, but what is callous about giving people something to dream about? Something to create for, and be inspired by? And something that can show the generous spirits that are within so many of us?

As cheesy as it sounds, there isn't just one winner in this competition. One person will get the job, but I think that there will be many, many more people who gain in a number of other ways.