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Superman’s Lesson: Great Power & Great Responsibility

Closing remarks by Desislava Taliokova
Executive Director, America for Bulgaria Foundation
Third Annual Meeting of the ABF Community, January 30, 2019

Having listened to your stories throughout the day, I also thought more about Superman. He was the most powerful man on Earth. He could have ruled the world, he could have amassed huge wealth. Instead, Superman used his power to defend the weak and protect our planet. When he was not doing that, he lived a life of a good-mannered everyman.

We all know the famous saying that “Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Superman, however, defied that logic and is an example that you can have all the power in the world and still live a life of humility and generosity. He shows us that the greatest power is incorruptibility and that, as another superhero says, “with great power comes great responsibility.”  

While we don’t have absolute power, we do have absolute passion and commitment to work for the betterment of Bulgaria. We choose the difficult path of standing our ground, holding fast to the truth and our shared values.

And that sometimes comes at a high price and can feel isolating. But here we are in a room of 500 like-minded people. Some friends, many strangers. 

I want to take on Ivan Dimov’s challenge. On your table is a pad of Post-It notes. I want you each to take a note and write the one word that defines you. Stick it on your nametag. During the cocktail reception that will begin in just a few minutes, introduce yourself to someone new. Extend your hand and explore the possibilities of collaborating.

Finally, we started the day with Superman, who had the power to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I’d like to finish the day with the words of Bulgarian writer and poet Blaga Dimitrova, who also had something to say about heights:

“You have to learn to protect yourself from the heights. You look and see a rock, blocking your path going upward. But you don’t know that the rock is also a path. The most direct and the most generous: it will reward you for the effort with the most beautiful view—a view as yet unseen by anyone.”  

Photo 2: The Post-It note on Iva Taralezhkova's nametag reads: COMMUNITY

 

Desislava Taliokova from America For Bulgaria Foundation on Vimeo.

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