Hello. I’d like to tell you a story of how tens of thousands of people willfully gave kudos to our motherland. And I should start with something rather banal, perhaps: as pathetic and trite as it may sound, I must tell you that words are powerful – even more so when they’re fueled by kindness.
WORDS ARE POWERFUL
Last days of December always go like this: most of us, motivated with videos summing up the year others got to have, the curious ones, the believers in the magic of the New Year, or, perhaps, the overly scrupulous ones, holding our breath for a chance to compare our achievements to the list of resolutions we scribbled down last year (after all, isn’t every tick on that list the best possible present for the New Year?), get to sum up the year with so much excitement. This is precisely when Ilia’s existential question becomes even more powerful and relevant: “Have I done any good today?” Though hard to fulfill virtually any other time anyway, this testament looks even scarier as the New Year approaches. So, have I done any good today? Have we done any good for each other? And, in general, have we done any good for our country?
“SO, HAVE I DONE ANY GOOD TODAY?”
As intense and thought-provoking is the question, as much pleasure we derive from finding answers—particularly if these answers allow us to state confidently that something is truly good for our country… particularly when it’s so easy to forget what good we have done for others in the midst of the everyday that often overwhelms us with so much negativity, and, if we’ve done any good, then we certainly shy away from articulating it. Never have I ever been so sure that the movement that originated from the idea of saying something good about Georgia has been truly great for it, giving birth to something much larger than what we had ever imagined…
TRUE MAGIC LIES IN WORDS
The Spend Your Summer in Georgia (now called “Spend 4 Seasons in Georgia”) campaign convinced me once again that words are truly powerful—particularly the good ones—and that true magic lies in words and those who know their way with words are, in fact, magicians. It convinced me that you do not really need a magic wand from the Ollivander’s Store or Wingardium Leviosa, acquired at Hogwarts, in order to uplift each other. The right words can brighten up anybody’s day and paint it with magical colors—the kind that even magic from two Dumbledores wouldn’t suffice for.
The Spend 4 Seasons in Georgia campaign was precisely like that, bringing together tens of thousands of people and stories about Georgia by urging everyone to speak up about the good. The campaign responded to threats with hospitality, to danger—with praise, and to bureaucracy – with real stories in our own words. And all this took place when high local temperature was being supplemented with political heat, and a campaign to promote Georgia may have been considered impossible, inappropriate, or even awkward. That is when a single kudo to Georgia brought people together, convincing them that giving kudos under the most difficult circumstances is not only appropriate, but also necessary and indispensable. After all, a country is just like us, humans—in constant need of being motivated, encouraged to take steps in a new direction and motivated when we suffer from lack of confidence and stop seeing the good in ourselves.
WE RESPONDED TO DANGER WITH PRAISE
Perhaps, no other industry is in greater need of good words than tourism. The campaign helped us realize that sometimes tens of thousands of people from a variety of parts of the world may share a single thing: their love for a tiny country, where some of them got to spend the best summer ever, learned about birth of wine 8000 years back, discovered their new favorite cuisine, learned a unique foreign language, experienced what it means to genuinely love your guests, or even met their best friend or partner for life. And discovery of fascinating mountains and natural reserves or historic sights goes without saying.
In this era of reviews, when a single negative review may mean an end to everything, tens of thousands of people voluntarily came together to write positive reviews for Georgia. These evaluations, based on real facts, experiences or emotions, ended up sparking interest of thousands of people around the world and urging them to visit and discover Georgia.
KUDOS BROUGHT PEOPLE TOGETHER
And I think that this country truly deserves kudos for making millions of people fall in love with it so easily and magically, despite its constant mistakes.
Each day, both our newsfeeds and real lives are bombarded with negative news, and all this is so intense and frequent that we have become accustomed to it in a way. However, thousands of people continue to give kudos to Georgia, talking about it with love, urging friends and strangers to visit this place, and searching for reasons why that is actually so worth it. It is precisely this very aspect of reality that empowers us to keep moving and creating a better future, because… again, in Ilia’s words, movement and only movement is the source of the country’s (and human’s as well) strength and life.
So, perhaps, it must be our New Year’s resolution to establish that there can be no wrong time, place or moment to share positive emotions or say something good, and that we should feel free to give kudos. And if you’re still unwilling to believe that, we’d like to remind you that the success of our campaign lies in the very words we have shared with each other, rather than measurable numbers. This is precisely how we’ve managed to lighten up gloom-ridden days—with hope for the future and each other’s support. Expecto Patronum!
Author: Keta Goletiani