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Knowing is Half the Battle

July 16, 2012
Susan Collin Marks and John Marks speaking at the Common Ground Awards.

Susan Collin Marks and John Marks speaking at the Common Ground Awards.

By Chris de Wit, The Netherlands (Cross-posted from the IPSI Institute)

In a few years I reckon I’ll look back on today, thinking it was one of these days that has had a significant impact on my ‘road taken’. John and Susan Marks visited us today and they were both just magnificent. John talked extensively about Search for Common Ground and what it takes to be a good Social Entrepreneur, but I think Susan was the most impressive speaker. She has taught me so much and I would be surprised if she hasn’t had a similar impact on at least one of my co-students.

After her inspiring talk I was able for the first time in my life to actually write down on a piece of paper what I want to do with my studies, with my career, with my life even. It’s funny how one simple lecture and picking up random cards with quotes on them from the floor can have such a big influence on somebody. The quote that I picked up was one of Aesop (an ancient Greek): “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”. And I believe that, with all my heart. As a white middle-class educated Western man, I can more or less cope with my own problems and if not, they’ll be over before I turn eighty. Because of that, I want to devote my life to helping people who cannot, while at the same time being able to provide for my family. That is my goal in life.

Consequently, studying to become a peacemaker is one of the means for reaching that goal. I probably knew that all along, I had just forgotten it. All it took was being inspired and just taking the time to think about myself for a change.

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