“When we walk into a dark room, there are two choices.
We can keep it dark with anger, depression, and hostility.
Or, we can turn on the light with compassion, kindness, and a smile.”
— Mohammad Saeed Rahman
The stereotypical meeting is well-known. You walk into a room, then two hours later, endless droning has sapped every ounce of motivation your have.
Then, there is there rare meeting where you walk away feeling not just energized, but alive.
Such was my meeting with Mohammad this morning. Mohammad is the CEO of Rubicon Global Group, a socially responsible investment firm, but our talk had nothing to do with money. It was about people who are making the world a better place.
Mohammad told me of a man he knows who started a school in Pakistan by walking up to a group of illiterate children one day under a tree in an impoverished slum and offering to teach them to read. On Day 1, only one stayed. On Day 2, a few more stayed. On Day 3 a school was born under that tree. Today, that man runs many dozens of schools who teach the poorest of the poor.
Mohammad also spoke of The One Ummah Foundation, a charity he set up in his son’s memory whose mission it is to break the cycle of child labor in underdeveloped countries … He spoke of his friend Frank, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor who has kept his vow to never be angry for over 60 years … He spoke of empowering children through education … He spoke of empowering women through small business ventures with Korea … He spoke of the Center for Social Confidence … He spoke of schools in Bangladesh … He spoke of bridges out of poverty.
He spoke of personal values that make a difference … But most importantly, he spoke of people making a difference. People who, right now, are walking into dark rooms and choosing to turn on the light. I know Mohammad is one of the people who chooses to turn on the light, every day.
Perhaps you can be, too.
Today’s gift of time … After our meeting this morning, I donated blood. Perhaps that pint of blood will flow to someone who, like Mohammad, chooses to turn on the light.