"Do or do not – there is no try."
Why in the world would I start off with a quote from Yoda, instead of my usual "Howdy ladies and gents!"?
Years ago, I decided that I wanted to make a positive change in this Community. I started working hard on becoming a better player. Several years ago, I was very close to hating all clans all-together. Before I gave into my anger, I hopped onto a TS server that I happened to find the public address of, and talked to some people.
At first, I was initially disappointed. I wasn't "Gud" enough to join even the entry level CW clan of the family. Reality slapped me upside the face. I was hot. I was bitter. I was angry. Part of it was anger at myself for not doing enough. Then there were voices that reached out into the darkness of my mind and my heart. There was genuine caring, genuine feeling, and honest friendship offered.
I had locked myself into a shell, and had forgotten my decision to become a positive change to the Community. I had almost completely fallen into the trap of being a detriment to the Community, of being someone who would tear down instead of build up. I asked a simple question of those people who offered friendship – "When I screw up again, can you correct me?" Correction came. A couple of times, it was loud – though definitely earned. Other times, it was just a tone of disappointment from someone who was so kind to me, she might as well have been my own mother. I learned. I changed.
I was then given a chance to make something of myself in the clan, and was offered a chance to be an officer. I knew I didn't want to screw up, and betray that kind of trust. I worked hard and put in many long hours to learn and get better. I slowly earned trust (Trust is so precious – people have no idea how much it hurts to lose trust). I was then extended an offer to become XO of that clan. I was seeing the fruits of my labors pay off. I was seeing the effort I put into helping this Community pay off. Then came another opportunity – a chance to put what I had learned into action. During a vote by the NA Clan Leadership, I was chosen to become our first Community Coordinator for the NA clans. I was thrilled. I was also scared.
"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to Suffering."
Another Yoda quote? Why not Watto?
Yes, I was scared. I was entrusted with a position that was going to be the public face of our NA Community. Despite that fear, I reached out to the WG NA Offices. They happened to be in the middle of moving from California to Texas, so contact attempts were shall we say, a little tenuous. However, the WG NA Offices were positive! They were happy! This was a chance to start to rebuild trust and Community Relations in both directions. My request at first was simple "Other than goodies for Reddit Community Nights, can I do other collabs with you all like, a Q&A session?"
They jumped at the chance. The rest – as many of you know – is history. Thanks the efforts of the WG NA Offices (and only very little by me – though I'm sure they'll claim I did a lot), our Community had our first chance in years to talk directly to the Devs of WG. Afterwards, the Devs passed along thanks to me for helping them have a lot of fun while they were here in the US.
"Great, kid! Don't get co*ky."
Finally not a Yoda quote. Who is that 'Han Solo' character anyway? A background extra?
To tell you the truth, I was sky high, having received thanks from the Devs. Then the fear returned. "What if all my efforts were for nothing? What if all I am doing is actually hurting the Community?" I started attacking myself. I was at the point of quitting my position, and was working up a nice, teary, self-sacrificing post. Then someone in the Community that I trust told me that what I had done for this Community was far beyond what they would have been able to do. They wouldn't have been brave enough to reach out to the WGNA Offices. They wouldn't have had the emotional strength to try (and often fail) night after night to work with Community Members to not only secure prizes, but to help make sure things ran smoothly for Community Night. They told me that I needed to stop being so hard on myself and remember all the people that thanked me for the opportunities I was giving them through my efforts.
You know what? That person was right. I did a lot of reflecting. Yes, I've seen the worst in this Community. I've had someone tell me that they were going to rape my child and murder my mother – by the way, I've let Reddit Admins deal with that particular winner. I've had people constantly put me down and attack me.
So I went back and found all my posts (or things that happened thanks to my efforts). I re-read all of your comments. I kept finding the same 2 word phrase over and over.
It may be after a post where they found something I wrote funny. Maybe they learned something. Maybe a guide I wrote was helpful. Perhaps it was because they won a prize in a contest, or because they were able to interact directly with our NA Offices & Devs from Minsk. Thank you after thank you. I'm a grown man with a daughter. I turn 36 later this December. Yet I am not ashamed to say, that finally going back through my post history, and reading all the 'thank you' responses I had received nearly reduced me to tears.
"This is a new day, a new beginning."
Ahsoka Tano is definitely more popular than that weird San Holo guy
Years of hard work. Years of frustration. Yet, a simple THANK YOU from someone who meant it was enough to keep me from throwing it all away. Then reading more and more where people actually meant it. I appreciate it more than you all can ever know. A simple thank you made it all worth it.
So, what does this long, rambling post with some terrible attempts at humor via quoting Star Wars have to do with anything?
It all gets back to the title of this post.
REMEMBERING WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT.
What is most important to me in this Community isn't WoT. Yes, I still love to play WoT, flaws and all. Yet in the end, it still isn't the most important part of this sub to me. Despite the fact that I have their ears, it isn't that I am able to annoy the WG NA folks with more requests for M60 codes. It isn't the shiny tag next to my name on this sub. It isn't because I am the only person on the TS server with the Epic Beard tag.
YOU ARE WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME!
You all have made the past few months a wonderful, if sometimes frustrating, experience. There are some of you that I cannot stand. Some of you that cannot stand me. You know what? That is fine! Because I am still going to work just as hard as I can to bring you all something cool. I am going to keep planning and running Community events. I am going to continue making the WG NA Offices exasperated at me as I continue to bug them for more M60 codes. I will keep putting in WG NA's ears your complaints so that they can get them to the people who can do something about them. I am going to keep reaching out to companies and trying to get cool sponsorships to do cool things with.
So in the end, I guess it all comes down to 1 more sentence to end out this letter to you all, and it is the only appropriate thing I can think of, after multitude of Thank You's that have been said to me.
YOU ARE VERY WELCOME!!!!!
© Post "Remembering what is most important" for game World of Tanks.
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