My story with Volt - Liuliu Zhang
It's hard to believe it has already been a year. I can still smell the noodle from the Chinese restaurant when Andrea told me his idea of creating a pan-European party for the very first time. I can still hear the sound of Damian drawing an org chart on the board at the second floor of Avery library. I can still see the google doc about social equality policy been edited remotely by Colombe in such a meticulous, rigorous manner.
It's also hard to believe it's only been a year. From 0 to 11,000 Facebook likes, from 0 to thousands of members and followers, from "this is absolutely crazy" to "this is absolutely amazing!”. You guys showed me the possibility of being extremely down-to-earth and practical while being a complete idealist.
I am a Chinese student in New York who took on a crazy journey with Volt, this young European political movement which led me to Rome, Berlin, Milan, Paris and many more places to come. What am I doing here?
Coming from a country with very different ideology and political system, I have lots of excuses not to be involved in politics too much in my own country, and yet I still want to. To be honest, I am jealous of you, of every European in Volt, to be able to have these exciting conversations and debates, to be part of such an ambitious, almost heroic movement to change your continent for the better, and to have the amount of passion in life to believe, to follow, to do, and to be.
At the same time, I don’t understand why people would be indifferent to politics. As a human being that interacts with other human being, almost everything is political. People who “don’t want to be involved in politics” are actually giving politics a narrow definition. For me the reason to care about politics is simple: don’t let other people set up the rules and then complain about it, participate in the process yourself if you can.
Volters are participating, actively contributing in building a future that they believe in. They did not waste their rights as citizens (some of these basic rights already look like privileges to me, so please don’t waste them). If you ask why I, an outsider, am so involved in all these, it’s not because I care about another continent more than my own motherland. It’s because for me, Volt represent an idea: countries are stronger united than isolated. We are stronger if we cooperate.
If all these European countries that have fought each other as imaginary enemies for centuries are prospering while holding hands, then I look forward to the day the world stop picturing China as their imaginary rival. Even though our governments have different agendas, our political paths have different directions and problems, they might be competitors in many ways, the normal people all over the world enjoy similar happiness and suffer from similar miseries. We all share the problem like inequality, corruption, polarization, intolerance, etc. I care about the basic human emotions, I care about making a positive change to people’s lives, and I don’t care where.
Non-Europeans, join Volt for the beautiful idea like me, or be active in politics and do something similar in your own country/continent, so we can fulfill the dream of our beloved John Lennon:
“Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"