In 2021 I defended my BSc thesis. My article about the fight to be able to study using libre tools landed on the GNU project website. So far so good.
It so happened that later on, when preparing to some evengelization event, I was supposed to prepare some testimony of mine. I ended up describing the same story. But this time from a spiritual viewpoint. I later decided it's probably worth sharing. So, here it is.
Testimony for Evangelization
Besides being a Catholic, I am also a libre software guy. One who doesn't tolerate Windows, Google, etc.
Whe remote teaching began, I had a problem. I was determined not to run Teams, etc. on my devices. I was bending the ears of all my university teachers so that they allow me to complete their courses with some libre tools that I accept. At the same time, taking — perhaps slightly incorrectly — inspiration from the "Jesus, You take care of it" prayer, I was determined not to e.g. complain to the dean about the teachers unwilling to cooperate. That approach was perhaps not completely absurd after all — God himself loves all people so much that He does not push them into a corner but rather gives them freedom, even freedom to choose evil.
All this was a terrible experience and the stress was up to here. In spite of this, I got to complete the last 2 semesters of the BSc studies. And there were also some incredible moments. For example when I thought I was going to fail the compilers class because I "did not come" to an exam on Teams. At that time I prayed a bit, perhaps also cried and eventually started revising the compilers material "just in case". And suddenly, I learned from a friend that Teams did not bear the load of over 100 students connecting simultaneously and that the exam would instead be conducted via email.
I still have some doubts with respect to particular choices. Perhaps I should have been less radical in some cases? Or perhaps I could have been more and e.g. also rejected using nonfree platforms from lab computers?
But even though I was certainly committing some mistakes over those 2 semesters (as we know, every man sins) I believed Him to care about me all the time.
After all this I met one libre software hacker from the US who had an identical situation. Except he didn't make it. He gave up on the studies rather quickly because he didn't see a chance. He happens to be a non-believer.
I was successful not thanks to being more clever or more persuasive — as I am likely not — but rather because I tried. And I only had motivation for trying because I believe in certain Jesus who died for us on a cross and through that can fix all the evil that harms us.
Looking behind on all that stress, fear and everything that constitutes the metaphorical "cross of life", I see it has a purpose. It brings me closer to God once again.
But for the purpose to be present in one's suffering, one first needs to make the decision to suffer it together with God.