Friday, November 16, 2007

Keeping the future safe

I have been invited to do thousands of seminars in my career, and everytime I felt that my job as a speaker, was to set things right: whatever those things may be, whether it was attitude, perspective or belief, I am paid to deliver and ignite a change, a new found confidence, self belief and passion. And I have always felt honoured and humbled to be in this position.

For 34 years, I have looked around the world and I always felt that the world had suddenly taken a nightmare pill and was headed for disaster. What I didnt see was a movement that is slowly envelopping our planet into goodness, into all that is right and all that is worthy of life. It's a movement I had the honour of being a part of, the movement is AIESEC. The conference that I did in Belgium, the NTMS 2007 on 11th November was like one I had never done before. It was a group of "young delegates" "interns" and "alumni" of this revolutionary phenomenon AIESEC. Headed under the able guidance of Andries and Vishal, the Belgium chapter invited me to do a firewalk session to motivate and inspire their 250 participants. I dont know how much the participants learnt from my 4 hour session, but I sure learnt a lot from the three days that I spent with the AIESECKERS.

Passion: I saw passion on a level that I have never witnessed before. The entire conference was planned and executed to success by STUDENTS. The delivery was flawless. Perfection and Excellence was their trade mark in all the sessions that were conducted. Love: The delegates freely sang songs of gratitude, of appreciation, of honour for their team mates. Four days, 250 young and aggressive delegates, and not a single sour or immature moment. There was heartfelt sincerety and for the lack of a better word, love between the people.

Celebration: Every day seemed a celebration, and the occassion being LIFE. The special reason being LIFE. The achievement being LIFE. The people began and ended every session with a celebration. The energy and the spirit was unbelievable. Knowledge: The 250 young and aggressive bunch of students came seeking knowledge above and beyond their University curriculum. There were sessions on personal development and practical issues concerning careers and people management. I admired the spirit of hunger and thirst to learn and to grow.

Fun: Every day was filled with over 8 hours of knowledgable sessions and at the end of the day, there were fun filled parties. I was amazed to see an intelligent balance between serious work and even more serious fun.

Responsibility: Though the fun marked the perfect way to end a meaningful day, it was also defined by responsibility. I saw the sense of responsibility through the fatigue, responsibility despite the late nights in parties, responsibility for the early morning sessions, the perfect execution, the strong sense of purpose and direction. I have never come across a group of youngsters who displayed a greater sense of responsibility and still maintaining the innocence and mischief of their age.

Purpose: Every AIESECER that i saw was defined by a strong sense of purpose and saw themselves worthy of investing time in building their future at their own cost. This was not a free seminar and every young delegate had paid to learn and grow. I have never been more impressed.

Tolerance: 250 people from over a dozen different countries. There was a mixture of cultures, races, religions, nationalities, but what brought them all together was a sense of tolerance and warmth towards each other. AIESEC believes in NO DISCRIMINATION. They give unity a whole new meaning. They are holding the world together with their love and their spirit.

Respect: There is respect for everyone. No matter who you are, what your opinion is, what your likes or dislikes are, I saw respect. For youngsters to ACT respectful, is a prayer answered, and AIESECERS are truly an answer to every peace lovers prayer. I am so inspired that being a part of the AIESEC conference has ignited in me the belief that our world, our future is in safe hands. To have an able and stable generation, a strong willed and responsible youth is a sure shot bet to a better world.

Firewalk Video Link: