14th July 2019
When you were young, you gird yourself, and walked where you would: but when you shall be old, you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall gird you, and carry you where you would not. John chapter 21 verse 18;
Today we would translate this as: “When you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Life is a beautiful adventure — all of life. Sometimes the adventure takes twists and turns you didn’t choose, but that is part of the joy of being alive and walking towards your destiny.
This passage could describe my life. I believe you can only live to the fullest and achieve your full potential if you have faith in your destiny.
I am evidence of what belief can achieve. I had faith, I packed my bags and came to the UK without knowing the language. I trusted in the future that lay through that open door, however much I would have to learn to succeed, and it helped me make my way to where I am today.
So — It is a huge honour to be invited here today to receive an Honorary Doctorate from this great university.
I am particularly proud as it has come from a University with such a well developed and long-standing reputation for its School of Engineering. I arrived in the UK with a doctorate in law from the University of Pisa. I should tell you that one of the reasons I chose law — it was quite a big influencing factor actually — was that there was no element of the English language to contend with. Little did I know I would shortly be working in the family business in the UK, reeling cable in the warehouse during the day and studying English at night.
Lawyers have to be analytical. They have to be prepared. Most importantly they have to listen and manage information for the best outcomes. In business, these are very useful skills to have. In particular, when the business you are in is a family business.