When I was playing around with the Faces feature (face recognition) in iPhoto the other day I got the idea of a new series of posts for my blog. Throughout the last few years I've met some really amazing people, whom I'm very grateful for for the challenges, ideas, inspiration they've given me. I realized that a great way for me to express my gratitude to the people that I've met and will meet would be to write a short blog post about them. I don't really have role models as in famous invidiuals whom I look up to, but I try to surround myself with people who think in new ways, challenge the status quo and strives for more (with the logic going that you become like the ones you surround yourself with).
Now, who to start with? Well, somehow, Arie came up as a perfect candidate. No real reason why, but it simply was the person I'd like to begin with.
Who is Arie and where did I meet him? Well, Arie is a 24 year old dutch male, whom I met when we were both working as presidents of our respective AIESEC countries. Arie was a unique star in AIESEC, he was probably elected for his position after shorter time than anyone else in the organization – and he entered the role with more ability than most others. I strongly admire Arie's fast-paced, critical thinking, his way to reflect upon, analyze and understand almost any situation to a deep level. I believe Arie shares my passion for knowledge, and he is a clear divergent thinker – having done and study things from neuroscience, to marketing and philosophy.
Additionally, if you forget about his length (better talk to him while sitting down), he's not as intimidating as it might seem from the description, rather he's a down-to-earth guy who is genuinely interested in the people around him. He is one of those rare people who can master an emotional connection to people and issues while still being able to rationally look at situations and judge them from a balanced perspective. If he eventually goes into politics as he aspire to, I'm pretty sure he'd be one of the best leaders in this field. If he goes into other fields, well I'm pretty sure he'll be one of the best leaders there to.
I'm very grateful for Arie for the moments in which we've shared ideas, bounced new concepts or shared pieces of random knowledge. He is one of those people I'd like to have at minimum one conversation per year with, just to get a completely new and divergent perspective. Being around Arie is not only comfortable, but also helps you grow.