Relationships

Now, Not Later.

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Photo of Hans Rosling: Challenging people’s preconceived ideas (TED)

“If you could live forever, would you?” This is the opening question in an exchange between Neil deGrasse Tyson and Larry King.

An interview between Neil deGrasse Tyson and Larry King, shared by my friend Nat, and originally posted by an intriguing personality and photographer called Hicham Bennir.

“The urgency of accomplishment, the need to express love, now, not later.” This statement was the reason for doing given by Neil deGrasse Tyson. He goes onto say that “the knowledge that I am going to die that creates the focus to being alive.”

Here is the interview here:

I thought those comments were poignant in the wake of hearing news that I listened to Hans Rosling had died.

I never met Hans in person. Maybe you have never heard of him until today. Hans was and remains an inspirational person who shaped my thinking on the journey that became the 10 City Bridge Run. Back in 2010, he wrote to me with these comments:

I wish you good luck Matt.
The seemingly impossible is indeed often possible, but be aware that the impossible is impossible. It takes a lot of wisdom to see the differance between the impossible and the seemingly impossible. We follow you with interest!
Hans Rosling (17 September 2010)

Those words from him were a source of great motivation. It was in the early days of this epic quest in which I had undertook to run 10 sub-marathons each of 24 km in 10 cities in 10 countries. The purpose of the running was to create a stunt that might allow a conversation to be opened. That conversation was to focus on a question asking: “How might we use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival?”

In fact for the last few weeks, I have been meaning to get back into this blog, because this year I intend to finally convene these conversations which now have taken a broader view beyond just child survival to consider the larger issue of the Sustainable Development Goals. I had in the back of my mind the thought that I could report back to Hans with news of a completed journey after the conversation had been joined.

Now, it is not possible to share this news with Hans, but the conversation must still continue. Hans’ legacy will be seen in many different ways. The renewed motivation to pick up this challenge is but one small expression of that.

To recap, here are some thoughts from Hans:

Here is Hans speaking at a recent TED event with his son Ola.

We can’t afford to wait until “the right time” to do stuff. And more importantly, delaying is costly when it comes to a better world. We must act now.

Thanks for the inspiration, Hans.

I’m back with a fresh resolve, continuing this journey. It’s time to be the difference that makes a difference. Now, not later.

Let’s get to work.

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Bridging relationships to reduce child mortality.

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It begins with me and you

This is a picture of me with my mother when I was much younger- I guess around two years old. We are standing on the nature strip of our old house in inner-city Melbourne. Great photo isn’t it!

Today is my mother’s birthday. Happy birthday Mum! I have come a long way since this photo. A lot has happened in the years between.

The 10 City Bridge Run is about bridging relationships to reduce child mortality.

Life is fragile. Most child mortality tragically is influenced within the first 48 hours of birth. Similarly, maternal health is influenced by the health available during pregnancy and at birth.

The risks of pregnancy and child-birth remain despite our technology. We are just better prepared, educated and equipped to ensure a high proportion of births. In Papua New Guinea where I recently visited, they experience the second-highest rate of child mortality in Asia Pacific. It is something that doesn’t attract much publicity. It is just plain sad.

Building bridges to reduce child mortality is difficult enough to understand as an abstract concept, let alone to do in reality. There are almost too many challenges to consider, but I believe if we together on a global scale focus on relationships to reduce child mortality then change can occur.

Bridging relationships between two people is where this starts. Sure, the ultimate result is across a global stage, but the important start is here between you and me. It is about us. It takes work, more work than wearing a wrist band. It is not always going to be easy, but it will be worthwhile.

Tomorrow I will show you the first small collection of photographs of human bridges that I have taken to communicate how together we can bridge relationships to reduce child mortality. Join me by helping me build this collection and contributing your own photos.

Let me start leading by example with this photo of my mother. Bridging conversations that sometimes seem unbridgeable. Together, we can show that the seemingly impossible really is possible.

Listen to me please, some things need to change.

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UT Austin 2004 Synthetic Biology competition p...

Hello world, Me again- I’m back!

I hope you haven’t felt neglected since I last wrote. Yes, it has been a while, but rest assured I have been thinking of you a lot in that time.

I suppose you are wondering what is going on with the 10 City Bridge Run. In fact, maybe you are asking is anything going on with the 10 City Bridge Run?

The last couple of months have been a much needed source of reflection and reorientation, and the answer the question above is unequivocally ‘YES!’

Let me spell what that is in more detail in the blogs that follow. Importantly, we must both understand that some things need to change. You an I both know that.

Sure, the vision needs to be more clearly articulated. And the site is very busy with information.

But I am talking about something much bigger than that. You and I need to get to the heart of what this is about: bridging relationships to reduce child mortality.

There is some work ahead I am going to ask you to join me in doing. Taking photos of human bridges. But it’s ok, it is not a big ask, but I do need your help.

I can’t do it without you. I have only come this far already because of your support, even if you didn’t know that.

Please don’t give up on me now! Thanks for your follow. It means the world to me!

Matt

PS. Would you RT or repost? I can’t tell everyone this myself.