I want to share the extraordinary experience I’ve had these past few days. I’ve had the privilege to attend the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates!! When I found out the summit would be held in my home city, Chicago, I nearly died of happiness. I knew I HAD to be part of it, somehow, anyhow! To my delight, my university hosted the summit so it would literally be down the street from the main campus! I had the opportunity to volunteer and even score tix to actually sit down and just listen to the panel discussions.
Let me tell you, I am the most inspired and encouraged I have ever been. Listening to the amazing Laureates’ stories, struggles, and ultimately their success was exactly what I needed in this point of my life. The summit started Monday and I was able to witness President Jimmy Carter, Lech Walesa (former Polish president responsible for ending communism in Poland), Mikhail Goirbachev (former president of USSR, ended communism in Russia), and Willem de Klerk (former South African president) among many many others openly discuss issues such as war, poverty, education, and pretty much most evils that plague our world.
All the other Laureates are fantastic individuals but they were clear in conveying the message that fundamental change is NOT magic, it takes tremendous work and determination. But the truly difficult part is to START somewhere. Jody Williams truly made an impression on me when she said that if every human being chose only ONE topic they felt strongly about (for example I truly care about the US immigration issue) and volunteered their time for a few hours a month towards that cause, the world would be a BETTER place.
The summit was also aimed towards the youth, meaning us! They were all in agreement that it is up to us to change the world for the better. They could not emphasize enough how important education is for fundamental change to be successful. Which is why I am talking about this, because they are right, it is up to us the youth to radically change the status quo! Their words were extremely empowering. One of the quotes that I love goes something like “one individual becomes the catalyst for change, but the critical point lies in SHARING that idea so others care”
Anyway, I have much more to say but this post would be book long! I leave with saying that tomorrow I will be in the same room as the Dalai Lama for the last day of the summit and I am ECSTATIC!!! OMG his wisdom is going to rock my world and I will make sure to share with you all!