I was accustomed to not fitting in while growing up. I'm not saying that I liked it or even understood it, but I got used to it. I mean, I had a loving family, good friends, and a great childhood in general. I just felt like I didn't necessarily belong when it came to many of my peers at school or even in the community more broadly. In truth, I looked different, I was interested in different things, I was a step away from normal. I wasn't even particularly upset about it--it was just the way that things were.
So, at the age of 10, when I attended a summer camp in southern Ohio where I found a group of people with similar interests and ideas and they welcomed me with open arms, the feeling was quite overwhelming. Sure, my family and close friends were always supportive and accepting of me, but to be a part of a larger community gave me a confidence that I never had before. The sense of belonging that I obtained from that group is something that I carry with me to this day. It's also a feeling that I get in the Noname Nerd community.
The Noname Nerd is a small company. Maybe some day we will grow to be a larger company. Maybe we won't. Whichever direction things go, I want to make sure that the company remains grounded in that sense of belonging and community that are at the foundation of the community that has grown around the company. In fact, I think that it is important that I make this commitment to the community in the same way that so many individuals have committed their time and energy to building the community.
I state this as my personal commitment to the Noname Nerd community. I state this as my invitation to the members of the community to be active contributors to the Noname Nerd community. Whether it is taking an active role in one of our online communities, or just remembering to help out a fellow nerd in need; whether it is taking the leap to pursue something that you are passionate about or looking for ways to help a local charity; whether it is keeping an open mind to something unfamiliar or taking a respectful and rational stance during a disagreement, these are the types of behaviors that embody what the Noname Nerd represents. I make this promise to you and invite you to make a similar commitment to a world that needs your positive and meaningful contributions.
As a Noname Nerd, I promise:
- To contribute to a world that makes people feel welcome and accepted
- To be my authentic self and to follow my dreams and passions
- To use my mind and heart in a way that benefits others while taking care of myself
- To keep an open mind to people who are different
- To recognize that we are all a family that may not always agree, but still deserves respect and support