On a sense of belonging and the Drupal community

All of us want to have a sense of belonging, to be part of something, to connect. This year DrupalCon Amsterdam gave a perfect opportunity. It was something special.

The pre-note was all about people's stories, how DrupalCon changed their lives. It was followed by a very atypical Dries's keynote. Instead of the usual "What's next for Drupal" he talked about community, about Drupal as a public good, about the ways to scale the community.

I don’t know why, but the combination of these two sessions made a profound impression on me. In addition to the usual happiness of the Con, happiness of seeing all the people, these sessions have added much more on top.

It clicked. It made me feel humble, and small, and part of something bigger. I am often skeptical of all the talks about “changing the world”… “one website at a time”. They often feel too pompous to me. But these ones didn't.

Back at DrupalCon Austin, going to Dries keynote, with hundreds of people walking next to me, all in one direction, I joked that this looks like a religious gathering. Well, maybe it is. A gathering for our own religion.

During the year we work from our homes and offices, all over the world, we communicate online, we get angry, we disagree, people annoy us sometimes, things move too slowly, people leave unhelpful comments, bike shed. But twice a year we come to our gathering. To be reminded why we do all of this. To feel part of something bigger. To feel humble. To feel that we are /together/ changing the world, even if just a little bit.

It is funny when you think of it, all of this could’ve not been happening. All of us could be doing something else, meeting some other people. Just because this little thing of code exists, and because various people over the years seemed to care about it, we now have thousands of people come together.

And it has given me so much. I met people I was sure I would never meet in person. I visited countries I never thought I would be able to visit. I had breakfasts and dinners which I never imagined would happen. And for a little while, I did feel like I belong.

#Drupal #DrupalCon #community #belonging