John, we have a thousand memories of you. Tamarack is because of you. You influenced how we are working to end poverty by embedding ABCD into one of the 5 core practices in our approach.
I remember the honour I felt writing and then reading the citation at the University of Waterloo upon them awarding John with the title of doctor. He would become Dr. John McKnight. John rose to give his acceptance speech to the more than 2000 students in the audience. "What is the gift you most want to give" in your life John asks the audience. He then gave them time to ask the person they were sitting next to that question. The audience immediately erupted into conversation. It was such a magical moment and so typically John. These young people were enlivened by this question and inspired by Johns's delivery.
What fun we had as John and I sat together as these thousands of students passed us by to pick up their diplomas. I remember we marvelled at all the different kinds of shoes these young people were wearing as if none wore the same kind of shoe. Are there really 2000 different kinds of shoes?
John, we have a thousand memories of you. Tamarack is because of you. You influenced how we are working to end poverty by embedding ABCD into one of the 5 core practices into our approach. You framed Cities Deepening Community and have spoken at just about every event we have ever hosted. Your influence has framed the work that has helped many thousands of people.
And yet this pails for the confidence you had shown in us. Every time we meet you lift our spirits and make us believe we can do even more. Thank you for giving us the mandate to advance ABCD in Canada. It is an honour. With you at our side a joy.
John, you are a mentor and a friend. I could not be happier than to be included in your book of memories. Happy 90th. Forever young.
Sending much joy
Paul and the Tamarack team.
Learn with John:
- Watch John McKnight's interview at our 2016 Community: Programs and Policies event
- Read the Learnings of John McKnight
- Watch Democracy - A New Idea For Government to Do 'With' Not 'For'
- Watch An Other Kingdom
- Watch Creating Abundant Communities
- Read the Four-Legged Stool
- Read the History of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute: Unintentionally Creating a Movement
- Watch Evaluating your Asset-Based Community Development Process
- Watch Principles and Practices of Asset Based Community Development