In mid September, I attended a public lecture by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Burma pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Just her presence was inspiring, and her (English language) talk, “From Revolution to Reconstruction,” was even more so. She used simple language and yet it was so powerful because of her history, perseverance, determination, and energy.
I can’t do her speech justice. Instead, I’ll share some of her quotes.
“If you don’t like the government, you must let the government know. That is your right, and that is your responsibility. You cannot take democracy or your democratic rights for granted.”
“Our people are used to being scared. I can’t say to them ‘Don’t be scared.’ Instead, do what you need to do even if you’re scared. You can still do your work while your knees are knocking. …You cannot learn to get over your fears unless you face them.”
“I haven’t known any hate that isn’t based in fear. Hate and fear are closely linked.”
She speaks from experience and walks her talk. I left that evening filled with energy and a sense of hope. Everyone—individuals and countries—can learn much from her.