Compassionate Competition // An interview with Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp

 In Journal, Social Change

“Competition should be seen as compassionate competition, (which is when) you learn, you are helped by the spirit of energy of the others… Only when we combine the vision and energy of the young with the lessons from the past of the elders we can see the path forward… Leadership means in my view to see the talents and potential in there, even before the person him or herself sees it. And then to allow the person to be part of your dream, and become part of his or her dream…. A human being can be without water and bread for a limited amount of time..but no one can be even for a second without hope… Never be bored. Your life is a creation. Fashion it. Make it beautiful and more beautiful…. You and I let us continue to celebrate life. Be brave, go beyond the boarders, make music, dance and for as long as I can I will dance with you.” 

When I was asked to be a Global Economic Symposium Fellow in September, I honestly thought that the discussion might be a bit dry. But I went with hope that I would be part of a meaningful conversation about our future. I was impressed by how much talk of compassion, love, sustainability and the economy of nature there was. I had an incredible moment meeting my new friend Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp who I had the opportunity to interview. He shares so much including how the kindness of strangers saved his life during The Holocaust and his meeting with Martin Luther King. Above are some of the words he shared, but do watch the whole video. It was very moving and we both cried and hugged after we stopped filming.

(Please excuse my questions… I was briefed that they were being edited out…I hope that it doesn’t take away too much from the power of the Rabbi’s words)

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