"My passion is to make this world better by making other people’s lives brighter; with a smile, with a helping hand, with a question, with a kind gesture and by always offering what is needed."
Welcome to A Good Community Katerina, our sources tell us live in Tallinn, Estonia. Did you grow up here?
Thank you! No actually, I was born and grew up in Larissa, Greece. My hometown is very close to Mount Olympus, where the ancient gods were living.
I ended up in Estonia two years ago when I had just finished my Bachelor studies in Social Policy in Athens and decided to start my voluntary journey. I started my EVS (European Voluntary Service) in the countryside of Estonia, specifically in Tapa, where I was working in a caring home for people with mental and physical disabilities.
I've realised I feel more at home in Estonia than Greece, so I began looking for an opportunity to stay. In the meantime I went to Malawi for two months as a homeschooling teacher and then returned back to Tallinn last summer, with the intention to stay here.
Since moving back to Tallinn, what do most of your days look like?
I am constantly working as I have a full-time job, my Master’s studies, a business that is about to kick off and multiple social activities and events that make me feel truly part of this world.
In my free time, I enjoy walking and hiking in the forest, reading as well as connecting with people from all over the world.
Can you tell us little bit about your passion in life?
My passion is to make this world better by making other people’s lives brighter; with a smile, with a helping hand, with a question, with a kind gesture and by always offering what is needed.
In turn, what do you hope that these passions will bring you in life?
Pure happiness, making choices in life that bring me happiness and inner fulfilment. Happiness is a state of mind and I am convinced that being happy is a choice even in the difficult moments.
A rewarding job that gives me the opportunity to practice my skills and the knowledge to help people in their personal development. I have worked with a wide range of people of all ages, cultures, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds and genders. All of these experiences equally fulfilled me.
I would however really like to specialise in a specific area and be very successful within it. I dream of helping people fulfil their best life and raising the voices of those that cannot be heard.
Find fulfilment in few things. We have a saying in Greece; The richest person is the one who is content with the least.
I don't dream of obtaining great wealth, but rather having what I need and being happy.
Right now, I am in the process of creating a minimalistic and zero waste lifestyle for myself. For about a year now, I’ve been changing habits, creating thrifting events to give away things that I don’t need anymore, donating things as well as simply implementing more sustainable ways of thinking.
What do you think society’s greatest strengths right now are, and what can we as a group do to utilise them?
Our greatest strength at the moment is what technology can offer. Technology has minimised geographical boundaries and people all over the world can now share information, organise themselves and move further. We have the knowledge and resources we need to solve our problems, we just need to use them wisely and for the sake of humanity.
This is something we ask of many interviewees; What in your mind signifies “A Good Community”?
For me, a good community illustrates the meaning of being together, making an effort collectively and sharing. Humans are social beings even though we tend to ignore this fact in today's societal approach.
A good community is a community that takes care of its members, listens to their needs and ideas, treats each and every member with respect, parity and equality, so that everyone can give their best for the sake of all.
Today’s technological means have changed the concept of community as we can belong to a community of people that don’t necessarily share the same geographical location. It allows us to engage in a global community of people who share the same thoughts and perspectives, go forward with similar agendas and fight every day for the same ideals.
For me, being part of A Good Community, means to be accepted into a space in which I do not need to be an expert, a place where I can come as I am with what I have to offer, while also learning from others.
Moving from a societal to a climate-perspective (are they ever separated...); Have you seen any climate-related impacts on nature in Tallin?
Yes, definitely. It strikes me with a great urge to take action if we want to continue to exist on this planet. We owe it to generations to come, because we have the knowledge and the means to prevent a total catastrophe.
It makes me feel responsible as an individual to be more conscious in my consumption habits and as part of the society; to partake in a movement that puts pressure on authorities and businesses to act consciously and responsibly for the sake of the environment.
We should all understand that what remains when we die, is what we've said and done along with a bunch of bones. We can leave something greater behind than that.
What is your personal take on today’s consumption?
The trend of buying online and returning items without considering the environmental consequences is an outcome of human hubris (ὕβρις in ancient Greek which could be translated to English as arrogance, or foolish pride). In other words, it's a result of the belief we nowadays have that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want!
Going forward, what do you think can and should be to collectively practice a more conscious consumption?
As individuals we need to change our mindset on overconsumption and we should realise that each purchase matters! It matters to the environment, to the producers, to us and our children. Everything has a consequence and all of our actions have an affect on the other parts of the chain. Companies need to counteract overconsumption and practice honest sustainability.
They have a responsibility be transparent and bring awareness to those who are acting carelessly towards our planet. Incentives should be created in order to motivate people to participate more actively against the overconsumption trend, for example by government and local authorities offering the legislation that promotes conscious consumption via lower taxation.
Katerina, thank you for being part of A Good Community, any last words you’d like to add for the people around the world reading this?
Do not hesitate to talk, to write and spread good messages! Even a thank you or kind advice can help someone to move further!