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Lesson From the Nobel Peace Laureate


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Interesting interview with Martti Ahtisaari. . .

About peace: every road to peace starts with a rupture of the past. Germany did it, Russia didn't (meaning that they hadn't faced Stalin and his crimes).

About peace between countries: “they are stronger when the result of a deal rather than after finishing a war. "

More interesting I found his philosophy of life. He was a teacher - which thought him to be patient. Being a teacher is a school for patience.

. . . What was most striking about Martti Ahtisaari early in his career - in addition to his charm and his sizeable physical presence - was his almost Zen-like patience. It was not a sense of calm; he was driven, determined, and direct in expressing his frustrations. But he had an extraordinary sense of the ebb and flow of geopolitical forces, the need to let those forces that couldn't be controlled play themselves out, and the importance of being ready and perfectly positioned when the opportunity for peace arose. (1)

At school when we were young, we all have learned to count to ten before acting or responding to what someone had done to us. A simple rule. As simple as to write an angry letter and then take the patience not to push the send-button. Wait for another day, reread it and lower the tone of your voice. It seems so simple. But it requires leadership to actually do it like that.

I'm not at all a diplomat, but what I can learn from them and especially from the recent Nobel Laureate is to show some patience.

H. J. B.

© 2008 Hans Bool


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