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When I decided to return to school and obtain some special skill on a beach in Belize, my life was reoriented. I decided that I would do something with my life, something to do with social and economic development, actualising the social vision of the Baha’is. At the time I took this decision I knew very little about both subjects.

One event at the same time has stuck with me. I had rented a room in a cheap hotel. The individual rooms were separated by a flimsy wall, and even the space above the wall was open. And so there was no sound privacy at all. And one of my neighbours brought a prostitute to his room. When they were finished, he did not pay her. So she was angry and the conversation was a public event.

She was crying and clearly she had recently turned to prostitution recently (which the man took advantage of when he didn’t pay). She was desperate for the money. It was a scene that reminded me of the advantages of my life, and the inequalities and injustices in the world.

So from the context of this inauspicious start, my life was directed to these two inter-related activities. Both were involved with social and economic development.

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