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Turning loss into inspiration with Richard Moore at IMD

Blinded at the age of 10 in Northern Ireland, Moore shared how he has turned from tragedy to triumph
October 2017

IMD was honored to welcome Richard Moore, Founder and CEO of Children in Crossfire. In 1972, Moore was blinded by a rubber bullet fired at close range into his face by a British soldier during the conflict in Northern Ireland, a short time after his uncle was killed in the Bloody Sunday massacre. From then on Richard accepted what happened and channeled his strength to achieve a fulfilled life of kindness and charity. His close friend, the Dalai Lama, once called him “my hero”.

The mission of the organization he runs today “Children in Crossfire” is to work with others to tackle the injustices of poverty affecting children in Tanzania, Gambia, Ethiopia and Derry (Ireland).

Moore’s message to the crowd of executives at IMD was that “forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself”.

Discussing the incident that caused his blindness, he told how one of the most significant events of his life was when in 2006 in presence of the Dalai Lama, he met and befriended Charles Innes, the soldier who shot him and caused his blindness.

“If Charles wants my forgiveness, he has it. But that’s not what’s important,” he said. “It is for my piece of mind that I forgive him. Forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about you.”

Moore said that forgiveness does not change the past but it does change the future.

Amazingly, from childhood to the present day, he has never allowed his blindness to hinder his development. “I have learned to see life in a different way”, is how he describes his journey.

According to Moore he would have never been able to accomplish all that he has done – including becoming a successful businessman, musician, founder of a charity – without the love and support of his large family of 12 siblings and his community.

Moore discussed how the first thing his father offered to do upon discovering that his son lost his sight was to donate his own eyes to Richard but such a gesture is not yet possible through modern medicine. Richard has dedicated the title of his book ‘Can I Give Him My Eyes?’ to the memory of this selfless act.

He also told how his friends would “lend them their eyes” to help him play and grow up during his childhood in the working class and conflict-torn Northern Ireland of his youth.

“Richard Moore is a friend and, the most inspirational person I have ever met. He is the essence of compassion in action,” said IMD Professor George Kohlrieser, who chaired the event and is currently co-teaching with Richard on an IMD-led program. “He is a living example that it is NOT our finite resources that define us, but, the possibilities we create with those finite resources.”