当前位置: 比赛首页 > 名人演讲 > 正文
帮助他人要先学会倾听
来源:TED  时间:2013-07-01 16:1


  Everything I do, and everything I do professionally -- my life -- has been shaped by seven years of work as a young man in Africa. From 1971 to 1977 -- I look young, but I'm not — (Laughter) -- I worked in Zambia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Somalia, in projects of technical cooperation with African countries.

  I worked for an Italian NGO, and every single project that we set up in Africa failed. And I was distraught. I thought, age 21, that we Italians were good people and we were doing good work in Africa. Instead, everything we touched we killed.

  Our first project, the one that has inspired my first book, "Ripples from the Zambezi," was a project where we Italians decided to teach Zambian people how to grow food. So we arrived there with Italian seeds in southern Zambia in this absolutely magnificent valley going down to the Zambezi River, and we taught the local people how to grow Italian tomatoes and zucchini and ... And of course the local people had absolutely no interest in doing that, so we paid them to come and work, and sometimes they would show up. (Laughter) And we were amazed that the local people, in such a fertile valley, would not have any agriculture. But instead of asking them how come they were not growing anything, we simply said, "Thank God we're here." (Laughter) "Just in the nick of time to save the Zambian people from starvation."

  And of course, everything in Africa grew beautifully. We had these magnificent tomatoes. In Italy, a tomato would grow to this size. In Zambia, to this size. And we could not believe, and we were telling the Zambians, "Look how easy agriculture is." When the tomatoes were nice and ripe and red, overnight, some 200 hippos came out from the river and they ate everything. (Laughter)

  And we said to the Zambians, "My God, the hippos!"

  And the Zambians said, "Yes, that's why we have no agriculture here." (Laughter)

  "Why didn't you tell us?""You never asked."

1   2   3   4   5   6