Thank you. (yes, you).
I’ll start by acknowledging that this year has been tough for many of us. I know I’m not the only one who has found solace and community through iNat this year, but I wanted to express my personal gratitude. To you, the people who are the iNat community.
iNat has helped ground me through some of the darkest times of my life in the last year and a half. Its community has bolstered me. I’ve made friends I would otherwise never have met. And without the people who provide IDs, leave comments on observations, who contribute to the Forum, add observations – all the hundreds of thousands of people who contribute to iNat – this place would not exist.
Through months of isolation and loneliness, not only during quarantines and lockdowns but also before that, as recently discharged civilian trying to relearn how to live a normal life.
Through months of desperately fighting for my life as I struggled through the worst of my depression and through crippling anxiety
You have all been there.
I know nobody did any of this specifically for me, of course. That doesn’t matter. You’ve chosen to be part of a community of people who give of their time and energy to freely contribute to science. And who use iNat as a resource for learning about the world around us, and who choose to open their eyes to observe the wonders of nature. I appreciate every one of you.
Be kind to one another. Be generous with your time and your patience. You never know what others are going through, and you may make all the difference in that person’s life.
Wishing for a calm, bright, and joyous holiday and new year for us all.
With sincerest gratitude,