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The use of lower case letters

A friend of mine recently ask me to write an article about the role of ycw in the 21st century. At the beginning I didn't really know what he was expecting and I had no idea what to write. But then we had this discussion about the use of capitals and lower case letters in our office – and things suddenly were clear!

Well, you already know that I'm working for the international co-ordination of ycw and those of you who know me a bit better certainly know that this is not just my job but my passion.

Practically my work at the moment consists in organizing a global summit of young workers which will take place in Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu/India) in September 2008. The major aim of this event is to answer the question: what is the role of our movement in the 21st century? The same question as my friend asked me...

But how did the discussion about the use of lower case letters help me to answer this question? Well I was working on a document about co-ordination of actions which is one of the key ideas that we'll have to define in Thanjavur next year. The text I was working on is in English and the question was how should abbreviations – e. g. the name of our organisation - be written. In the wiki I found this: “In modern English there are several conventions for abbreviations and the choice may be confusing. The only rule universally accepted is that one should be consistent, ...”

I decided to write in lower case letters because this reflects better my relation and my feelings for our movement. Well, I'll better explain.

When I first was in contact with our movement in Spain they were all the time speaking about “la joci”, at the beginning I didn't get the point, I thought they were discussing about some girl named Hossy because this is the way they pronounce it in castellano. In English we call our movement I-Y-C-W, which for me sounds much more heavy, ... difficult, ... slow.....

I like the idea of comparing ycw with a small girl. Here's a definition which I like a lot: An extremely impressive creature that has an ability to empathize and love from a very young age. Something that many men takes years to learn and fully grasp, or never learn at all.

The movement: an extremely impressive creature

Yes, our movement is an impressive creature. It is so impressive to see how the action always finds it's way. Even if we loose actions (that we have been considering as references before) somewhere else new, interesting experiences are born. I simply don't understand how sometimes things just happen without any plan...

It is simply impressive to see the change in people and the difference their participation with ycw makes for them – just look at the leaders formed through the action serving society today.

It's not the organisation that counts but the young workers...

... with their ability to empathize and love. Yes,our movement is celebrating this year its' 50th anniversary, but it's still a movement of young workers. It is this curiosity, the ability to empathize and love of little children that makes the difference – we call these attitudes the “spirit of enquiry”. We build our action on our curiosity to learn and to understand, we source our motivation and our commitment from our capacity as ycw to relate, to identify and to sympathize with other young workers.

The future is female!

I like the idea of comparing our movement with agirl, a female. The curiosity I mentioned I felt above all when women were speaking. The group “young women workers” at the continental meeting in America mentioned the following challenges and I totally agree!
  • Forging the identity of the young women workers as leading actor for the development of society as a woman, mother, wife and worker.
  • Creating new processes for analysis and discussion about work starting from the domestic-women-workers thinking of all the young women and men. 

It's not the institution that counts but the action

It's these capacities and abilities of ycw thatmake the difference and that enables us to be the actor that we are. Ycw acting to generate true change can be found e. g. in India where ycw are fighting with the unemployed for their survival and their dignity. Whether at district level where they oppose the government policies or giants like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, or at national level where they demand 100 days of work for at least one person per family.

We are not doing the revolution – we are the revolution!

This is what our founders said in 1926 and this iswhat it is all about: change. The only aim of ycw is to change the world, to improve the living and working conditions of the young workers. This was, is and always will be the role of ycw in this world! The movement, its' method and coordination only serve this goal. At least this is what I believe...


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