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A Happy Birthday Note to John McKnight

Posted on November 22, 2021
By Paul Born

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. 

John and Tim

John,

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.

john at lunch


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:

Topics:
ABCD, Homepage Blog


Paul Born

By Paul Born

Paul Born grew up as the son of Mennonite refugees. This is what has made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good. Paul is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute and the Founder and Director of Vibrant Communities. He is the author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers. Paul is a global faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

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