It’s so lovely to be back here, and
this is the one thing that gets cemented in the calendar. It means everything
to be here. Today’s been amazing and I just want to
reflect a little bit today, just on a few of the things that we’ve seen. We’ve
had some amazing speakers I’ve a very selfishly stand at the side of
the stage and take dodgy photographs and and then Photoshop them really heavily.
There’s some really beautiful people on this stage. Anyway, I want to talk really
specifically about a friend of ours who can’t be here this year.
Bear with me- this isn’t very easy. This is Jeremy Richman, he’s he’s the one on
that side. Jeremy here is probably teaching the Dalai Lama a thing about
peace, and I what I love about this photograph is it represents peace and it
represents love and what’s a perfect photographic metaphor of this room and
you guys and what’s happened here today. Now, Jeremy spoke in this very spot two
years ago. And, was anybody could put your hand up if you were here for his speech?
Okay so it’d be nice maybe at the reception if you could just share
maybe a little of his story if it’s appropriate with people who don’t know.
It’s not my story to tell. It’s definitely his, but he was magnetic.
He’s a lovely guy. He stood on this stage and talked about how the worst
thing that could possibly happen in your life could translate itself into really
serious thought and a movement towards change, and basically what befell Jeremy
was the unimaginable thing of losing something that you’ve brought into the
world. In circumstances that make no sense.
Where it seems as if socially and politically, even after the tragedy, the
world seems to be wracked against you. And I’d sense that when he was here,
Jeremy really felt he was in a proper family of people who fully empathized
and really loved and actually want to do something about it.
Now Jeremy’s Facebook page is brilliant. Every Friday he published a haiku
or a ‘Fri’Ku’ I see he’d call them. I was searching for one the other day that I do
remember reading which basically went, excuse me a children, *@$# *$!& &*%$ *&%$ #**% That’s the wrong number of syllables.
I’m sorry- I’m sorry Jeremy, forgive me. Forgive me, um, and in fact when he was
here he did this lovely one about being at PeaceLove. He took this photograph
and he posted it’s still Friday on the on the best coast my Friday haiku Fri’ku, there it’s nice work, um, and he wrote this: searching to know why
wandering the mines Badlands finding peace of mind.
That’s just lovely and he loved it here. And I, again, I was standing the
side of stage taking dodgy photographs and this is the one that came out, and
what I love about this- and it’s not any talent on my part it’s complete
coincidence that the lens of my camera was dirty, and it looks like he’s
throwing this ball of light up and there and it’s gone
that’s a fingerprint on the lens, that’s all that is. Sometimes cock-ups make good
art though. I’ve based my career on that. Anyway, when words run out music starts. I
think maybe that’s because I’m not very good at speaking but sometimes those
things can translate themselves. And with your permission, I just like to play a
piece of music that hopefully means something to all of us about Jeremy. So
this is a piece for him. We evolved through the sharing of our
stories, my story is changed by yours, and they grow just like an animal species is
fit, the more variety, the more diversity, is in its gene pool, the more imagination
the more ideas and creativity we have in our ideas our mean poo.l The fitter and
stronger we are. Those of us that can share our knowledge are the ones that
communicate, connect, to collaborate and create. We’re the evolved humans
ultimately humans are unique because of our imaginations, and it’s the ultimate
ability to be humane that makes us human. And that’s our responsibility. We evolved through the sharing of our
stories, and it’s the ultimate ability to be
humane that makes us human. And that’s our responsibility.