Monday, November 16, 2009
Bob Geldorf: i was refused entry into KL
THE audience would have stayed glued to their seats if Bob Geldorf, Sir Bob that is, had wanted to continue speaking. He had a bit more than an hour at the inaugural Youth Engagement Summit in Putrajaya. It was inspiring, to say the least. Others said it was awesome. I agree. Sir Bob is the benchmark where fund raising is concern, and the funds are not for the normal causes that we often hear. His commitment has changed mindsets the world over. Sir Bob has changed from charity fund-raising to something even more challenging - seeking political and economic justice. One of his famous quotes, which he repeated at the Summit yesterday, is: "We need finally to move from charity (Band Aid, Live Aid) to political and economic justice. Charity deals with the pain of poverty, the hunger, disease and conflict. But to finally end these things, one must focus not only on the symptoms of poverty but on its structures. Why does it exist? How does it exist? What can we do to stop it and its awful symptoms? That can only be addressed by political change."
Sir Bob related the story of how he was refused entry into Malaysia for some musical engagement many years ago. Today, his words inspire others to change for the better. Engage - that's the word he kept repeating. And give your undivided attention to the cause you serve once you've given your word. I walked away from his talk fulfilled. I know some young participants were disappointed for not being able to ask Sir Bob their burning questions, having lined up to make their point.