Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nice to meet you, Mr. President

One of the perks of attending the Clinton School of Public Service is the chance to meet former President Bill Clinton. That happened this past week. It was definitely exciting to shake the hand of a former president, but even more exciting was the opportunity to hear him speak to our class. He sat in a room with roughly 50 of my classmates and I and answered questions for two-and-a-half hours, then spent another half an hour answering more questions in the foyer of the school.
What an incredibly gifted person he is. I sat there in awe as he spoke in depth about any topic we asked about. Everything from Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize to the war in Afghanistan to the genetic similarities of all humans. I marveled at the sheer amount of information he could recall instantly and then weave coherently into a response. And the stories he told. Almost every response included a story of a personal experience he'd had with someone somewhere in the world. Each story filled with hope, and never superficial. He never sounded like a typical politician. Always genuine.
I'd heard about his gifts with people, but I couldn't believe how true they are. I really wanted to ask him if there were any skills he practiced in order to magnify and develop his natural gifts. Hopefully, I'll get another chance to speak with him again someday. Maybe he'll come visit me if I get the chance to go to Israel this summer to work with HIPPY.