From a pool of over one thousand applicants for the Canadian contingency of Al Gore’s The Climate Project, my father, Ian McCrindle was one of two hundred selected to present ‘The Slide Show’. I cannot think of a more suitable person to help communicate the global challenge we all face at the moment.
Born during an air raid in Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland during the Second World War, Ian has experienced in a very real way the astounding economic, cultural and technological changes that have shaped the human predicament in the twenty-first century.
His life has not been one of privilege. From a very young age he began his long and demanding career that has included the automotive, railroad, aerospace, fastener, textile, nuclear and metallurgical industries to name a few. His insistence on doing things properly has not won him many promotions and he has often found himself at odds with companies more focused on making a fast buck than on quality and safety.
As busy with his work as he has been however, he has always made time to be a father. He took myself and my two younger brothers on countless camping trips all over Canada. He was a Boy Scout leader for many years and was also a great sport, enduring countless assaults with the old couch cushions and the theft of his favourite slippers from his feet as he tried to watch TV.
There is one particular thing that he taught me as a boy however, that continues to shape my life. My Dad insisted, “Always leave things in better shape than you found them.” And so it makes sense to me that he would be compelled to join Al Gore’s team to help us recognize the mess we’ve made and the need to pull together in order to leave something for our children – before it’s too late.
My father’s love of public speaking, whether in a board room, a community function or a gathering of friends and family around the dinner table has always been evident. Over the past ten years, he has attained the top honour of Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest level of achievement for the public speaking organization Toastmasters International.
If you get the chance (and he is presenting in town or city near you), take the time to go see my Dad. You’ll be glad you did.