I didn’t have a chance to interact with Sid Mohn, the president of Heartland Alliance (HA) when I joined the HA family last February 2015. My focus was on how to survive the extreme deadly cold which I never experienced in my life before setting foot in the States. The thing that I really remember about Sid Mohn that really would strike me, was how when I used to see him often times in front of his office when I go for printing or copying some documents or early morning in my way to where I’m sitting with HAI team, I never saw him ignore anyone. I used to see him always greeting everybody with a very big smile. I said to myself that it is really something extra ordinary thing, as not everybody can do that with the same true spirit of respect which you can see in Sid’s face even from a far distance. If you are really looking to become someone people will look up to, use others like Sid as high example and try with your best to catch and observe how others made this journey before you. Following the example of somebody who spent over 35 years of his entire life to lead a small boat, and make a ship out of it, Sid is one of the good historical examples in the US that people can read about and learn how to do that form his bio. That was not an easy job, last Monday, June 8 2015, I walked into the Town Hall meeting organized by the Heartland Alliance team with the president to hear some last thoughts and advice from him, and saw people’s faces begging him to stay more time with HA. I remembered local wisdom from an Arab tradition that says (when people are intoxicated from loving you, it is the right time for you to leave them with that memory of you).
Since joining Heartland Alliance in 1980, Rev. Dr. Mohn has grown the organization to serve over one million people each year, and thus, created the Midwest’s leading anti-poverty organization, with a reputation for quality programming, innovation and thought leadership. He is now marching out of his office and leaving behind him the message that human rights should be for everybody and that all should be treated with dignity and that the organization should continue growing rapidly to keep reminding people of this and everything he does. I regret not having an opportunity to learn much from him but I decided to contribute to his farewell by this small article and about what I observed in him during this short period of time. This is not everything but I will leave the rest for another time.
I would like to end by this quote “I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I have had to pursue my vision of creating a world in which each of us realizes our human right to live free from poverty. Through the energy and the vision of a new president, Heartland Alliance will realize a new and exciting set of opportunities to do so as it moves into the next 125 years,” -Sid Mohn.