From my previous post and other awesome stuff all around the internet you might have already heard: this week, we are celebrating UWC’s 50th Anniversary and LPC’s 20th birthday! Yesterday we had a big day of celebrations, the LPC UWC Day, with dozens of activities, talks and workshops. It was an incredibly busy and colorful day. Let me tell you about it!
It all started at around 8.30 am, in the Courtyard. Arnett have us an introductory speech for the day and read some greetings from her Royal Highness Queen Noor of Jordan, the president of UWC. The first part of the afternoon then, students, staff and guests spent with guest speakers who gave talks about their lives, their work and their perception of change and the world. We had been allocated to different talks, and mine was with Bess Hepworth, a social scientist and opportunist from Australia, who has lived in Hongkong for the last couple of years. The motto of her talk: Fake it, till you make it. She told us about her complicated life full of curves and extra trails, having dropped out of high school and yet made her way through football and social media up to her own company. She explained to us, that eventually, it all comes down to those 20 seconds of courage to do something that might sound really stupid – but may change your life forever. Bess told us the story of Yaron Bob, an Israeli teacher and goldsmith who lives in a small town near Gaza. After having had so much bad experience with Palestine rockets falling into the area of his home, daily threatening his life and the life of his beloved ones, Yaron Bob decided one day, to transform this threat into “something beautiful”. Today he wields the rockets into roses and other flowers and tries to turn the terror into beauty and peace. Then he gives them away to diplomates who travel to the region, like the General-Secretary Ban Ki Moon, and sells them on the internet. I think this is a wonderful example to show and understand how it only needs a bit of creativity and courage, to bring some change into the world!
If you fall seven times, then stand up eight – that is, what a Japanese proverb says, and that is, what Bess Hepworth made us believe to be possible – always and for ever. “Life is too short to stick around people who suck the happiness out of you”, she said: “You fight your battles, but you have to pick them wisely, and sometimes to have to accept that you should give up on something. But never, ever think that something is too big for you. It isn’t. Have you ever thought why doesn’t somebody do something about this? Well, you are somebody. So do something.” This was a very inspirational talk. Bess did not tell us how to live our lives, she did not tell us what to do. But the way she told us about herself, with the passion and curiosity glowing from her eyes, she made us figure out ourselves that we wanted to be just like her one day – or at least very similar. Appreciating the small things. Organizing events just for the experience. Believing in random acts of kindness. Working towards effects. And staying young and eager in our slowly aging hearts.