Dear readers, dear friends,
I owe you an apology for letting our blog down in the 2nd part of 2019! This is due to a lot of (wonderful) work. Since mid-August I am on a 7/7 rhythm. As this will slow down in 2020, I will get back to my weekly habit of sharing reflections and convictions which, generously, come most of the time from yourselves and work done with the organizations you lead.
In the Afro-Brazilian rite of Candomblé, 2019 was a potentially devastating year, which got several erudites concerned: It was the year of Ogun (Divinity of war, who’ll happily take orders of any sorts for weaponry, cruelty and others from people sufficiently ignorant to have ordered them) and Oxum (Divinity of Beauty and Charm). When opposing them, the odds were high that violence and negativity would take over from beauty and love. But, what if they chose to work together and have Ogun manufacturing only weapons of Love and Oxum charming those of our brothers and sisters lost on the dead end of polarization, exclusion, arrogance, hatred and violence? I guess the Jury is still! I will let you judge from your own experience. As far as I am concerned, here are the women and men who have me believe that People of The Good are in a position to change the course of things on our planet. Time Magazine has its Woman/Man of the Year, the Enablers Network presents you, for each alphabetical letter, a reason to believe in Mankind (check the clip or article under the Person’s name!)
Abiy Ahmed: The Nobel Prize of Peace 2019, in spite of opponents and haters of all sorts is managing, through his policy of inclusion inside and outside Ethiopia, to make his country the rising star of African Economy.
Beknaz Almazbekov: Cornelian choices and the Call to Adventure (taking a courageous decision dictated by one’s values) may come early in life. In the case of the young Galatasaray M-14) Captain, he had a few seconds to decide what to do when, by the end of the game, his team was wrongly awarded a penalty short. See what he chose to do! I hope to see him back as the Turkish team’s captainship in 10 years!
China: In Heyuan (South East China), a man robbed robbed a young woman at an ATM machine, but when he saw her cry and realized he would leave her without any funds on her account, he… returned the money back to her. May he follow the path of “Les Misérables” Jean Valjean!
Braima Suncar Dabo: The Bissau Guinea athlete won the 2019 World Athletics Fair Play Prize, just see why…
Sister Eugenia Bonetti: The 8o year old Nun has been requested by Pope Francis, to compose the 2019 “Way of Cross” speech dedicated to Prostitutes and human trafficking.
Roger Federer & Serena Williams: When you have been on top of your sport for over ten years (and still are), behaving so spontaneously and having so much fun during the finals of the Hopman Cup is unbelievably Human!
Germany: Where green energies have become, in 2019, the highest share of the energy sources.
Humanship in Birmingham: “God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.” One of my favourite Humanistic and Humane Leaders is street artist and provocateur, Banksy. Here is his latest art work and what he had to say about people of Birmingham where the scene took place!
Imam Abubakar Abdullahi: This 83 year old Nigerian Imam who saved the lives of Christian civilians, about to be massacred by fellow Muslims militia.
J. Charles Oba’a: When I Googled “Papa Robert”s real name, I couldn’t find any articles relating to him. This old and wise Cameroonian from Sangmelima is therefore an uncelebrated Hero. When ethnical violence erupted in October in his town, between the Bulu majority and the Bamun migrants he chose to put himself at risk and interposed himself between the two groups going at the throat of each other. He finally was recognized and decorated, hailed as a local Hero by the government.
Alex Kack: found the best way to react to racism and xenophobia, it seems… Until such lost souls start to torture, deport and kill in the name of their hatred.
Leiliane Rafael da Silva: A woman of humble origins, with a heavy heart dysfunction pathology, was heading home with her husband on their motorbike. She witnessed a grave accident where a helicopter hit… a truck and immediately took fire. She realized the driver could perish as well, should the flames get to the truck. She jumped off their bike and desperately tried to wake the drive up and got him off his vehicle.
Ave Maria: Moving moment of resilience and faith when the crowd sings Ave Maria in front of the burning monument. I am a believer in many religions or philosophies and such moments where women and men testify their faith (without murdering others) make me believe in Mankind.
Nyekachi Douglas: What an admirable reaction of the Nigerian Beauty Queen when hearing another woman has been awarded the Miss World title!!!
Bigflo & Oli: The two brothers, rising stars of the French rap scene have created a moving and scary animation, which doesn’t require understanding their lyrics. WHat if a terrible war forced us to become, in turn, migrants?
Plaxedes Dilon: is a Zimbabwean humble grandmother. When deadly Cyclone Idai hit her country, although she had very few belongings, she put some of them in a large bag and walked six miles to deliver it.
Rutger Nijs: This story sounds like a Hollywood thriller! The Flemish champion of Thai boxing, Rutger Nijs, accepted to lose a final against a Yemeni competitor, in order to save the young man’s father, imprisoned at the risk of his life in their country. And indeed, soon after his son became a local hero by wining the combat, Mohamed Alhoumekani was freed and could find asylum in Europe. Sacrificing a long life of hard work and renouncement to someone else’s cause is an amazing gesture of Heroism!
Sheikh Amir Al-Dandal: In the last days of 2018 (which granted them entry into our 2019 Honour List), 38 years old Sheikh Amir Al-Dandal and other religious leaders of Syria secretly met in Berlin to discuss about the ways to counterbalance the divisiveness, polarization and exclusion seeded by the regime, its allies and opponents.
Tree on the Highway: What do you do when driving in a hurry to work and a storm threw trees across the highway?
Countering Domestic Violence: Put bluntly, Ifood is a fast growing Brazilian catering company, connecting consumers with restaurants through their website. You could say it competes against the Uber Food of its market. But there is a reason why Ifood grows faster, attracts more talents and knows record high retention levels: Its people are proud to work there as the company truly puts its money where its claimed values are. An example? Although not profitable, it incentivizes poor unemployed women to cook even a limited amount of meals per day, which they’ll sell on their platform, allowing them, should success come, to become the bread earner of the family and taking over from their violent husband. Business with a heart and strong convictions!
Wagner Coradin & Rogério Roque: When a 1.30m reporter interviews and a 1.96m goalkeeper have a interview. All about Inclusion (the word which, Thank God, increasingly replaces the useless and politically correct “Diversity”) and Respect.
X: this ordinary, busy Parisian citizen who, dashing off the tube, noticed how lost my colleague and I were in Paris La Defense underground and gave us five minutes of his time to find our way!
Faouzi Zabaat: Another migrant (from Algeria) being heroïc, this time in Turkey, saving the life of a 2 year old toddler, falling to her death. May he and his family be granted permanent asylum and Turkish citizenship!
Q, U, V, Y: And to those letters, who didn’t encounter, to my best knowledge, any Hero in 2019, I dedicate this compilation, take in 2019!
May we be such human leaders and improve the Human Condition wherever we live and act in 2020! All my wishes to you in 2020. I hope our ways meet in 2020!