In his final remarks to participants of the Global Peace Convention, Dr. Su Thye Teh, CEO of Global Peace Festival Malaysia, described the honor and challenge of hosting the Global Peace Convention 2013 in Malaysia. He expressed this deep gratitude to all participants, and candidly reflected, “throughout the preparation of this convention, we were faced with various challenges of raising funds, of having to invite the right people to join, and many other challenges, but we have always been encouraged, always been pushed.”
Among the organizers of the Global Peace Convention 2013 is Linda Heng. Linda has been staffing Global Peace Conventions since the first one in 2009, but this is the first time the convention was in her back yard.
After the Convention, Linda opened up about what it was like preparing for the Convention and what carried her through making the impossible, possible.
A few months after the announcement was made at the Global Peace Convention 2012 that 2013 was going to be hosted in Malaysia, Linda was in the states for an Outdoor Leadership Adventure Training Program that took her four days up the Pacific Coast in the Olympic National Park.
It was four days out in the cold February wind, with no sun in sight, waves that rose and fell with the tide, sometimes lapping at the hem of their tents in the wee hours of the morning. Placed face to face with herself in front of the unyielding reality of nature, she learned something that would carry her through the next year while preparing for the Global Peace Convention, three words, “DEAL WITH IT.” No matter how tired you are, no matter how much you think you’re going to die, no matter how cold you are, sometimes you just have to keep moving towards your destination, you have to JUST DO IT.
During the next year, she said, it was her constant affirmation of the vision and this lesson learned during the Leadership Workshop that helped her scale the challenges set before the Global Peace Foundation Malaysian team. They had to find corporate sponsors, get the word out to the local audience, while preparing the program and venue. “Honestly, there were times when I ran out, ran out of ideas, ran out of energy, ran out of inspiration, but I remembered those three words, “Deal with it” And here we are. We did it.”
As the late Nelson Mandela is known to have said,
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
And perhaps that is part of learning to dream big. For Malaysia, with 1200 total participants from over 40 nations from around the world, a partnership with the Department of Unity and Integration, the University of Malaya and the quality of the deliberations and outcomes, a pretty big dream came true thanks to dreamers like Linda who just “Dealt with it.”
The convention has concluded, but it’s just the beginning of making good on the commitments made in the Kuala Lumpur Peace Resolution. Goals like building “a movement of multi-sector, faith-based, civil society groups based on the vision of “One Family under God”, and promoting “the establishment of a faith-based peace council as an integral structure of the United Nations”. These big dreams require more impossible feats to become possible with efforts and dedication like that of Linda’s.
A special thank you to the Global Peace Foundation Malaysia team for your hard work and hospitality, we loved Malaysia. Now to get to work towards Paraguay in 2014.