So Many Good People

Years ago a friend of mine told me there are really only 600 important people in the world and if I lived long enough I would discover that I knew them all. It was hyperbole, of course, but I’m beginning to believe it’s true. I’ve lived long enough to discover that my network of friends overlaps with other networks to an amazing degree and these networks are full of amazing and world changing people.

This morning I met with Jerilyn Brusseau, the founder of PeaceTrees Vietnam. Jerilyn’s brother, Daniel Cheney, died when his helicopter was shot down in the Vietnam war. In 1995 Jerilyn founded PeaceTrees as a gesture of reconciliation between the people of America and the people of Vietnam. The organization has concentrated on the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordinance in Quang Tri province and the planting of trees on the cleared land.

Jerilyn and I are about the same age and our lives and friendships intersect in many ways. She’s one of the 600 important people I’m supposed to know, and even though we don’t know each other well we are clearly on the same path. In our relatively short meeting today we shared names and resources that will help us support each other’s work on behalf of the people of Vietnam. PeaceTrees‘ Executive Director, Blair Burroughs, pitched in as well and I think we’re well on our way to a new partnership and a collaborative sharing of human and other resources.

There are so many good people doing so many good things in the world. Sometimes it’s hard to remember this simple truth.

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