Hold On To The Goodness

Chloé Zhao

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Inspirational Leadership Quotes - Chloé Zhao "Hold on to the goodness."
Chloé Zhao: "Hold on to the goodness."
Photo credit: Taylor Jewell, the Guardian

Yesterday, Chloé Zhao became the first woman of colour, the first Chinese woman and only the second woman ever to win the Academy Award for best director with her film Nomadland.

The film, which Zhao wrote, edited and produced, in addition to directing, also won Best Picture. 

During her acceptance speech, Zhao said: "I've been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard. I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid.

"When I was growing up in China, my Dad and I used to play this game. We would memorise classic Chinese poems and texts, and we would recite them together and try to finish each other's sentences.

"There's one that I remember so dearly, it's called the Three Character Classics. The first phrase goes... 'People at birth are inherently good.' Those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid, and I still truly believe them today.

"Even though sometimes it might seem like the opposite is true, I have always found goodness in the people I met, everywhere I went in the world.

"So this is for anyone who had the faith, and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves, and to hold on to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult is to do that.

Nikol Chen (she/her)

Digital Content Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! I have been with the Laidlaw Foundation for over 2 years, helping us strengthen the global Laidlaw community and expand our programmes to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality, and develop a new generation of leaders.

I am originally from Kazakhstan and I studied Human Sciences at UCL. I am a fan of all things human- and design-related, as well as an avid swimmer, obsessive podcast listener, documentary enthusiast, and film photography fan.

Drop me a line if you'd like to chat! 💬👀

Comments

I love this. "Good" is one of our Laidlaw values for the very reasons that Chloé calls out. Self-evidently too many people in positions of power around the world have not had the courage to hold on to their own goodness or the faith to see and encourage the goodness in others. It's why we are investing in Laidlaw Scholars as the next generation of leaders to do better, holding on to the goodness in others and themselves.