Dr. Alison Thompson, Solight Design Advisor and a full time global humanitarian volunteer, recently gave a speech at the Military Childs Education Coalition (MCEC) conference in Washington D.C., an event featuring over 1,000 military attendees including US servicemen and women along with 60 military kids from the US and around the world. During her trip, Thompson also had meetings
at the Pentagon, where she discussed our solar energy inventions with high ranking government officials. Below is an excerpt of her speech at the MCEC.
When the earthquake devastated Haiti it killed over 270,000 people and left millions homeless. I flew there with 10 doctors, 1000’s of Cliff bars, 8 bottles of whiskey and an outspoken actor named Sean Penn. We ended up running a 70,000 person IDP camp and we traded our whisky to the Brazilian troops for oxygen tanks, accepted life-saving morphine from the Cubans and ate rice and beans everyday. I’d lost 12 lbs in ten days, got a great suntan, met hundreds of new volunteer and Haitian friends, and best of all……………… I had fallen in love.
Mark Twain said “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
I found out MY why on Sept 11th 2001 and I believe it is the key to one of the greatest secrets of life.
On that early Sept morning,
I rollerbladed 8 miles downtown to the WTC speeding through red lights to get there as fast as I could. People floated towards me like zombies with cell phones to their ears but nobody was speaking.
I escaped the north towers collapse, and ended up living in the streets, helping collect the bodies and washing out firemen’s eyes. About ten feet away from my post was a great black pit—it was as though Satan had risen up out of the earth and scorched everything in his path and I stood at the gates of hell— wondering what I was going to do? On the way down to Ground Zero I had prayed that if it was my time to die then I was ready ––I’m not a morbid person and I had lived a compassed life, but in accepting my death —I felt no fear at all.
It’s easy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but its LEADERSHIP to be in the wrong place at the right time.
Grit – Determination- Perseverance.
In creating CTEC- the Sri Lankan tsunami-Early warning center I wasn’t a tactful oceanographer- or a skilled arborist in Haiti when I recognized the need for planting trees with less than 2 % of the forest left.
I have learned to use all my small skills to add up to make real change- identifying a problem -finding a solution -then surrounding myself with the experts to get it done.
In the months after Sept 11th over one million volunteers enlisted as a new ‘kind of soldier’ servicing on American soil.
You are not being asked to go shave your head and chant on a hillside but to IMAGINE a world where everyone does their part that soon the karma banks are overflowing with blue chip stocks of compassion ——and we are all ‘billionaires on the inside’ –
For the past 11 months I’ve been helping rescue the Syrian refugees who are fleeing the bombings of Isis and other brutal regimes and heading from Turkey to Lesvos Greece in flimsy boats that are capsizing. It’s the largest mass exodus since WW2. With ½ a million people dead, 11 million internally displaced and over 4 million refugees on the run.
After the past genocides we said NEVER again but NEVER again is here right now —–so I have chosen to DO SOMETHING!!
To read Dr. Thompson’s full speech please click here.