Kate McKenzie

Top 12 Lessons So Far

  1. All great ideas begin with one step and only succeed if you just keep moving forward, even if it is slowly.  Rather than talking and planning endlessly, just do something. Take one step.
  2. Loneliness only lasts as long as it takes for me to start a conversation with someone and take the risk of believing that we all want to connect and we all want to believe in a better world.
  3. Just hearing someone’s story is powerful and can bring healing, empowerment and confidence.  Sometimes we just need to listen and bear witness.
  4. Giving to others in some small way each day is what brings true happiness and contentment.
  5. Humans crave community and we need to create more opportunities to enjoy it whether it is over a meal, making music or sharing conversations.
  6. To have a spirit of reconciliation we must choose to forgive each day.  I have been inspired by those impacted directly by war who can forgive. I believe if they can choose to live in peace with their former enemies there is no person with whom I cannot find a way to interact with respectfully and peacefully.
  7.  Allowing others to share in our process, journey and our experience turns an individual pursuit into a team affair and allows others to come alongside us and help us to persevere through our united strength.
  8. When philanthropy merges with business it has the power to turn victims into empowered individuals who can help solve their own problems.
  9. Live not in fear but in love.  Do not focus on the fear but choose to focus in those moments on things that are beautiful, good, and lovely.
  10. If I can breathe and I have two arms and two legs I can be happy.  It is a choice and one that must be made in each moment to moment.  When I make that choice others will respond to it.  When I am energetic and enthusiastic others will usually respond to me in that way and when I project tiredness or frustration or negativity I will find it bounced right back to me. Even with typhoid I fought hard to remain positive and optimistic, believing that it would help heal my body.
  11. Smiles, laughter and a spirit of love can transcend cultural and language differences and communicate on a deeper level that we all share.
  12. Learning as many words as you can in another person’s language is so important in demonstrating respect and remaining humble in the knowledge that there is always more to learn and always another perspective that I may not have considered.


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