“Joep spoke his mind. I think he was very honest in a dishonest world,” says Seema Yasmin in this short interview recorded after the official presentation of her book The Impatient Dr. Lange in de Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam on 24 July 2018.
She continues: “To me that is very powerful because it meant that if he saw injustice, he wasn’t polite and demur about it. He would say “I saw this thing and what you are saying is wrong, this is racist, this is discriminatory, this is stupid, this doesn’t make sense” that is so refreshing to me. We currently have leaders that lie to us all the time. So Joep is inspiring to me as a truth-teller.”
Seema Yasmin, doctor, journalist and author, explains that Joep has been her inspiration and her motivation to train as a doctor. She wrote the book to continue his legacy and inspire a next generation.
“The message of the book is that you have to do something. Not just that you can, Joep showed us that you have to put your money where your mouth is. You have to follow up ideas with action.” Yasmin explains that Joep was not perfect and had many flaws like any other person, but what made him unique is that he was a thinker and a doer. And above all, an impatient one if things didn’t change quickly enough. Yasmin: “Read the book because it gives you an insight into the whole man. Read it to be inspired and to realize you don’t have to be perfect to make a difference.”
She now worries that we are currently not impatient enough; not angry enough and not asking the right questions anymore. “We are sitting on our laurels thinking well this HIV thing has been around 37 years and it is a chronic manageable disease, but it is not! Millions of people dying, we need to be impatient about finding a cure.”
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