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Be Thankful, Not Entitled By Madeline Norfolk ( @Lady Madeline) Over my years in NationStates, I’ve come to realize that I have these phases in my time in regions that I put a lot of work in. I go from being gracious just to be given the opportunity to do what I like, and extremely humbled when recognized by folks that I’m doing a good job, to being frustrated that nobody appreciates my work and my time I’m putting in. Currently, I’m in a weird place where I’m not really gracious or frustrated—I guess that comes with more RL maturity. I’m in a place where I just want to do what I enjoy in NationStates and if that means cutting down how many regions I’m involved in, or taking a step away from a position or part of a region I really enjoy, then that’s what I’ll have to do. Through this journey of maturity and general peace in NationStates activity, there’s something we all should learn, we need to be thankful instead of entitled. What I mean is, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked in a position or a region, Be Thankful every time someone recognizes you for doing good! Don’t expect people to fall to your virtual feet and sing your name in praises every time you do whatever your job is. I certainly don’t play this game to stroke the ego of strangers on the internet, and you probably don’t either. If you’re getting frustrated because no one is praising you anymore or thanking you, then it may be time for you to take a step back or go in a different direction! It is amazing how much a term break or letting someone else take over with as little involvement from you as possible can be. Not only can it be rewarding to see your hard work continue in others, but it can also help you reassess why you’re doing this job. So why am I even talking about this? Too many of my friends and people I know in NationStates come to me or others frustrated that nobody cares what they’re doing or they’re feeling underappreciated because they got negative feedback. It isn’t fun and it really just stinks worse than leftovers from Thanksgiving that you left in the fridge for a month. As we enter this season of giving and receiving, remember that everyone here is human, and not only that, but most are not here to make you feel good about this game. You should find your feel good in things you accomplish, the surprises when you do get recognition, and most importantly in the friendships and communities you join. At the end, if this game were to shut down tomorrow, it isn’t like we’ll all just stop talking to one another, and frankly nobody cares if you’ve built 8 different proboards forums or written 4 Constitutions. So be thankful for your opportunities— Be thankful for the unexpected recognitions— Be thankful for the communities you have— And don’t feel entitled that you deserve things because you did a thing or anyone owes you things because you did a thing for them. Do things because you like doing them, not for whatever prizes you expect to get for doing them! I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, be thankful, be gracious, be humble, be loving, be caring, be intentional. ✌
The following article ran in the 21st issue of The West Pacifican and is reproduced here with the rest of the interview. By Correspondent @Reçueçn Back in April, I sat down with Westwind to get to know a little bit more about one of TWP’s greats—himself. He invited me into his study, poured me a glass of crimson rum, and arranged himself in his favorite armchair. I, recently returned to the region, decided I had better start at the beginning. “What originally got you into NS?” I asked. “And what was it that got you to stay? Do you remember the moment you went from thinking 'Ok, this is interesting,’ to ‘I can see I'll be into this for a while’?” Westwind half-smiled, nodded, and leaned back. “That's a good question, because it reminds me of what it was like to be a new player in NS. We can become jaded and forget that NS can seem like directionless and confusing place when your nation is first Founded in one of these ‘region’ things. I was completely baffled by what a region is. It made no sense to me. Where are the Continents? What am I supposed to do?” Westwind’s first encounter with Nationstates, the game we know and love, was short-lived, and came about when his ex-wife, aware of his interests, sent him a link. At the time, Westwind was too busy, but something must have intrigued him, because a couple months later he came back and began again. Having forgotten his original nation, he founded Westwind—now his oldest nation, dating back to January of 2004. But the nation of Westwind had been conceived even decades before that, on paper; “I did hardcopy NS on my own before Max was even alive,” boasts Westwind. Westwind had drawn maps, tracked economies and international relations, and even written books on his nations—books from which the stories would later influence roleplays in Equilism. But Westwind didn’t get to Equilism right away. Like many in the west, Westwind claims The West Pacific as his nation’s birthplace. But when he originally founded his first nation, that meant nothing to him. “Westwind was Founded in The West Pacific. I had no idea what that meant. I read the NS FAQ and I was just as confused as ever. I couldn't grasp the concept of what a 'region' is or what it means. I received the usual flood of recruitment telegrams, and they did not help me understand NS.” I smiled as Westwind talked. A lot of what he recounted—even if it had happened in 2004—sounded like the same situation with which new players are faced today. Having figured out the basic mechanics behind moving regions, Westwind decided on a move to Equilism, still less than two weeks old. He lurked there for a while, but many things were different in that era—no mass telegrams, and messages that disappeared off the RMB as soon as they left the front page. Communication was more difficult, but off-site forums helped to fill that gap. Westwind had arrived in the middle of a constitutional convention, and as it finished, Equilism moved to new forums where he joined and became a senator. It as the beginning of a meteoric rise—within six weeks of being on Nationstates, Westwind had become Prime Minister and Delegate. “NS moved very quickly those days,” he said with a chuckle. “What led you back to TWP after you’d left for Equilism?” I asked. “That Westwind was Founded in TWP is certainly important to me. I really can't say why. IRL, I was born in Ohio and my family left there six months later. I have no attachments to Ohio. (Except for Darkesia.)” Westwind’s return to his birthplace, however, took some time, and only happened once he had built other connections first. Most notably, Equilism was a defender region and its E-Army, of which Westwind was commander, was a member of the ADN—as was TWP. During thepuppetmaster liberation of TNP, he guesses that Equilism made the largest contribution, followed by TWP. His lead nation for that liberation might ring a bell: All Good People. These events lead to Westwind then becoming more involved in TNP. But as time passed and he tried to use the region as a platform to rekindle gameplay, the old guard refused to work with him, sometime around ‘07/08. He had been banned from TWP during the triumvirate, but now he quietly moved back in with All Good people. When The Faeyas was elected Delegate, Westwind began to reinvolve himself in TWP politics. Westwind felt that delegacy in TNP had prepared him for his eventual delegacy in TWP. But even before that, the schism in Equilism prepared him for delegacy in TNP. The Equilism schism was very similar to something Biyah had done with the West Pacific Directorate, although Westwind emphasizes that this was merely coincidence. This would have been in late 2006. The secret behind the Equilism Schism was that both sides of the schism were in fact in on it and working together—it was just a big scheme to promote activity. When he finally came back to TWP, Westwind ran for delegate but lost against Punk Daddy. It was only years later he actually gained the delegacy, by that point a well-known and respected figure in the region. After the schism in Equilism, that region and TWP, despite their very different communities, found similar ideologies concerning game mechanics and the delegacy. Westwind fit right in in both.