• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
18
Aug

NECKER ISLAND - “Forgiveness & Gratitude.”

Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • 80 Comments
NECKER ISLAND - “Forgiveness & Gratitude.”

“As I board a fancy white leather clad boat on tiny dock with one fluorescent light at the end, on the humid Island of Tortola in the BVI’s after a long 23hrs of flying, I look up into the star peppered sky as we pull off into the darkness and I think to myself.  Why me?  Of  the 7.5 billion people on the earth I am right here right now in this present moment in time, on a boat tearing across the Caribbean sea to Sir Richard Branson’s island for the second time in my life.”

 

 

The weekend was about “Forgiveness & Gratitude.”

 

 The trip was for a select few of Horatio Alger students.  We were there to hear their story and what their plans are for the future.  It was a truly amazing experience. The whole concept of the event was “Gratitude and Forgiveness.”  Everyone there was all there for a reason at that moment in time.  Everyone as a collective taught me an abundance.  It was even more food for the soul.  At the event everyone spoke so openly, which is rare in a room with a bunch of strangers. Everyone stood up to the mark and gave it 100%. Amanda Lindhout, Kim Phúc and Jackie & Warren Hance were some of the main speakers.

 

Amanda Lindhout is a Canadian humanitarian and journalist. On August 23, 2008, she and members of her entourage were kidnapped by Islamist insurgents in southern Somalia. She was released 15 months later on November 25, 2009, and has since embarked on a philanthropic career. In 2013, she released the New York Times bestseller A House in the Sky: A Memoir, in which she recounts her early life, travels as a young adult, and hostage experience.

 

Phan Thị Kim Phúc is a Vietnamese-Canadian best known as the child depicted in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972. The iconic photo taken in Trang Bang by AP photographer Nick Ut shows her at nine years of age running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a napalm bomb by a South Vietnamese attack.

 

Jackie & Warren went from living a quiet, private life with their family in a small town on the outskirts of New York City to making international headlines when tragedy struck. They lost all three of their children in a senseless car accident on July 26, 2009. Emma, Alyson, and Katie Hance died at the ages of 8, 7, and 5. In the aftermath of the accident, donations to Jackie and Warren began to flow in. Their response was selfless and immediate: “we should help other children.” Honed over time to a sharp focus, Jackie and Warren created and led the Hance Family Foundation with a vision of hope and love. 

To hear Amanda’s, Kim’s and Jackie & Warren’s horrific stories 1st hand was a lot for me to take. I have never had to think of such pain. I know this sort of pain exists in the world but when you put a face to a story it makes the pain a whole lot more real, you can feel it right in the bottom of your gut.  To see and hear them tell their stories and then to tell us that they have forgiven the people on the other end really was an eyeopener and a heart opener.  That they have forgiven the people who put such pain on them, their families and everyone else involved really made me think, Could I do it? Could you?  After hearing them, it made me think that I should forgive.  Not only is it better for the person who has done wrong but more for me.  There is no point in keeping that grudge on your shoulders, it’ll get heavy after a while.   I’m not saying it is or will be an overnight thing but its something i’ll work on from now on.  I have to.

 

 

In between talks we heard what the Horacio Alger Scholars had to say, I don't even know where to begin.  What struck me the most was how special these guys really are.  What blew me away was the strength they had. The strength to stand up and tell their story, be confident in their future plans and tell the world how they are going to consciously try make this place better for everyone.  I kept thinking back at how I was at that age.  I was far from shy but I didn't know exactly who I was or exactly what I wanted to do with my life. They did, and it was so inspiring and refreshing to hear good coming from the mouths and minds of the younger generation of our planet who are going to carve the future of our world.

 

 

Also speaking was Jane Seymour & Peter Asher.  The stories of rock n roll, movies, music from the “Golden Era” was special for me.  I eat, breathe and sleep that kind of history on a daily basis and try to style my life, which is my music, in that fashion.  To hear 1st hand inside stories about them people rocks my world.  They talked about the Beatles, Glen Campbell and the good old days.  Need I say any more.

 

Lastly I’d like to say thank you to my good friends Glenn & Mindy Stearns.  You are the most generous people I know.  Your ability to bring the right people together at any given time is so on point.  Thank you for having Kelsey and I.  And an extended thank you to every single new friend that I made on Necker.  

 

I am grateful for every moment in life.  The good and the bad.  It molds me into the person am.  I am grateful for that second of realization that I had on the boat on the way out to Necker.  Its those little moments in life that make me realize whats going on around me and prepare me for the big moments.

 

Thanks Necker. Kx

 

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_7336.jpg

Myself, Kelsey, Glenn, Mindy & Bear in Montana.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_6975.jpg

Myself & Kim Phúc

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_6971.JPG b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_6886.JPG

I gave Sir Richard a guitar as a thanks for having me stay last time.                        Me and the main man Glenn. Love you buddy.

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_11222920_10155929327015650_909698212648029671_o.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_6872.JPG

 

The Entire Necker Family.                                                                                       Myself & Amanda Lindhout.

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_11892354_10153605722141340_7104423144272304465_o.jpg

Jane, Myself and Kelsey. How does this all happen?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_6868.JPG

Kelsey and I happy out on Necker.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:

Comments

  • Guest
    Liss Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Keith- Not only does it warm my heart to hear of these experiences, but also that they have touched you so. I am the same age as you are and though i haven't seen as much as you, I've had to struggle a lot with forgiveness. To hear that these people who have experienced such horrors can accomplish what I wish to do gives me hope.

    I'm so beyond glad you enjoyed yourself! Thank you for the update and for sharing the photos of your lives with us!

  • Guest
    Benny hulsey Wednesday, 19 August 2015

    Keith thanks for sharing. Im a 12 year veteran of ems. As a paramedic ive seen much loss and devastation. At times it is difficult to remain professional and perform my job rather than let the himan side come out. Forgiveness is very hard sometimes and for me many times must be instantaneous. Thank you for for sharing your story as it has helped me renew what I know to be right and true. Serving others in times of crisis is a dream come true. I know i have to look past the person and into their heart and situation and take nothing personal. As always you bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eyes. You are truly an inspiration.

  • Guest
    Liss Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Keith- Not only does it warm my heart to hear of these experiences, but also that they have touched you so. I am the same age as you are and though i haven't seen as much as you, I've had to struggle a lot with forgiveness. To hear that these people who have experienced such horrors can accomplish what I wish to do gives me hope.

    I'm so beyond glad you enjoyed yourself! Thank you for the update and for sharing the photos of your lives with us!

  • Guest
    Pam Kelley Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Totally enjoyed this blog, to see Kim Phuc looking so well and happy these many years later. Eager to see where life leads you/ what you become. Keep singing and always, always maintain purity if Donegal.

  • Guest
    Lynn McClaine Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    I would like to comment, but I am in tears right now. This is just the sweetest thing I've ever read, Keith. Thank you for sharing your gift of music with us. I pray you continue to light up this world with your music and your spirit.

  • Guest
    Susan Hermiston Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Beautiful blog Keith, so warm and touching to the soul! Yes I love the way you look at life, and I have a few things in common with you!! As I am sure a few others do too!! When I was younger you were the type of guy I was looking for!! A whole lot of good and wee bit of bad all rolled together. Someone who could sing and play music and loved the same era of music such as you do. Free and fun loving living the life of your dreams. I am still looking for that guy. I won't give up for the love of that lifestyle for myself.
    I wish you and Kelsey all the best, and very happy to have u sharing with us your fans about your life.
    God Bless you.
    Sue

  • Guest
    Annie Johnson Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    **Really sounds like a wonderful place to visit**I am so happy that you have such loving,caring and giving friends*They are a great inspiration to you and Kelsey**Surround yourself with this kind of good people and you will stay on course*Live life and be blessed*XO

  • Guest
    Robyn Shaffer Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Gratitude and Forgiveness - - - a true lesson that we ALL need to study. Today's society leans more towards self-absorption and revenge. SAD world we live in today.

    By far the BEST blog you have written, Master Harkin. Thank you for sharing your travels and your thoughts with us.

  • Guest
    Chris Mahoney hagen Wednesday, 19 August 2015

    I so agree, Keith u r already such a fine humanitarian, and im so glad u r fortunate to be able to surround yourself with such positivity. God bless u and Kelsey, and yes forgiveness is so hard but a must for us!

  • Guest
    Kathleen Mulligan Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    What a wonderful experience you and Kelsey must have had .... I believe everyone should have one of those moments of realization that those who have experienced such pain and heartache, have such an incredible ability to forgive. Surely a different world it would be if people could just forgive ..... Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I'm confident you have touched people from your words.

  • Guest
    Kathleen Mulligan Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    What a wonderful experience you and Kelsey must have had .... I believe everyone should have one of those moments of realization that those who have experienced such pain and heartache, have such an incredible ability to forgive. Surely a different world it would be if people could just forgive ..... Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I'm confident you have touched people from your words.

  • Guest
    Evelyn Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Thank you Keith for sharing so much with your fans. In-lighting and well written. I pray you find what you are looking for. God Bless you and Kelsey :) Love all your songs solo, and with CT.:) Keep it lit! A fan Evelyn

  • Guest
    Charlene Gregory Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    I like you even more after reading this.

  • Guest
    Barbara A Nickel Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    That is truly inspiring. .thank you Keith for sharing all your thoughts and feelings, I wish you nothing but the very best. .always be true to yourself. .never lose your sense of wonder. .Stay Safe my friend #OnMercyStreet #keithharkinrocks #amanandhismusic

  • Guest
    Cindy Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    I'm Glad You Have These Experiences But Unfortunately I Can't Give Forgiveness Love To And Kesley!

  • Guest
    Allison Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    What beautiful experiences. I know forgiveness is one of the hardest things in the world to give. I wish you all the best in your ability to forgive others. I believe you can forgive, just remember sometimes you have to forgive someone over and over to help that forgiveness last.

  • Guest
    love you ,,BEST WISHES,,,TO YOU ,AND PRAYERS TO YOU ALWAYS , Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    love you ,best wishes ,prayers to you ,and always ,,take care,

  • Guest
    Sarah Carr Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Keith
    Life is really about moments like these. They wake you up, make you feel , change and mold you into being a better person. Imagine if everyone was able to just listen , love, accept , and change. The word would be a much better place.

  • Guest
    Alice Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Loved reading your blogg. Thanks for sharing your experience and your thoughts and feelings. It was very inspiring!

  • Guest
    Nancy DeSimone Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    I just don't know where to begin. I was so moved by this blog. And I am moved that you were so moved. I am again impressed by how humble you are. Yes, your talent is God-given, but you work hard with what you have been given and you deserve all the good things that happen to you. But please don't ever lose that "why me" attitude. That is a big part of your charm. I love that you are surprised every time your facebook likes go up. (58,000 soon!) Thank you for sharing so much with us. I love living in this age of social media and being able to communicate directly with celebrities like you and the other CT guys. My son was laughing the other day. He said, "Ma, you talk to his mother!" (But that is about soap.) I loved the Q&A last night. (Next time you have time to kill while traveling, maybe you can do a longer one.) Thank you for this blog. I have had a lot of things go wrong in my life, but I have also had a lot go right. Please stay humble and keep on rollin'! See you in Boston on 11/20!

Leave your comment

Guest
Guest Thursday, 21 September 2017