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  • Writer's pictureOlivier S.E. Courtois

Last Card Game

I don't like to talk about my private life here, but for once I'll make an exception. My mother-in-law is living out her last days (weeks?). She's weak, but still very much in her right mind. Very soon, she'll be admitted to an ICU for a final trip. My eldest daughter has come back from London this weekend to say farewell to her grandmother. An awful trip. On the menu, as I write, lunch, then a game of cards like any other and then a 'see you soon granny' that will sound false, because it will probably mean farewell. As horrible as these circumstances are, I can't help thinking of those who don't get the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones. As if the natural causes of death and sadness weren't enough, humans can impose death, sow hatred, and cultivate vengeance. This is our dark side. Homo sapiens is capable of the worst thoughts and the worst deeds. We can even justify killing for a greater cause. Speaking of perversity! And let’s not think we're above that. All of us are driven by negative and destructive emotions in our worst moments. As leaders, we have a duty to nurture the bright side of the human beings. We can influence through our example, our level-headedness and by sowing the seeds of love, respect and reconciliation. We call these inclusive behaviors. Let's be careful not to take sides in conflicts as if they were just soccer matches. Let's remain examples in all circumstances and remember that we can quickly slip up through omission, cowardice, sectarianism, fear, or excessive ego. There's nothing more precious than respect, love and life. Even in business. Otherwise, what’s the point! Let's be vigilant. Until our last breath!

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