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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. Her latest book is Hiding in Plain Sight: Exploring Scotland's ill health. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 16/04/2007

A few weeks ago I met a very inspirational Scottish entrepeneur at an event in Inverness. His name is Mick Jackson and he set up a successful company selling outdoor and sports products on-line. This business in part reflects his own passion for the outdoor life as he is a mountaineer and sky-diver. In 2001 he went on an expedition to climb K2. On the ascent one of the sherpas suffered a collapsed lung and only had three days to live. The hospital would not send a helecopter because the man was too poor so Mick Jackson decided to take the sherpa to the hospital himself. This meant carrying the man on his back for over four days. Given the weather and the mountainous terrain this journey was likely to kill not just the Sherpa but Jackson as well. Despite the odds both of them lived.

Jackson has now written a book called Learning From History’s Heroes in which he records some details of this incident and then reflects on his own philosophy of life. Even before this incident, Jackson recounts that he felt humbled by his experience of living alongside people who had little food and who were routinely dying because of the lack of medicine. He writes in his diary: "Spoke to my dad on the satellite phone; wanted to tell him that I am so ashamed of the man I had been: of all the days that I squandered in apathy, complacency, the vanities, the egotism."

What is so inspiring about Jackson is that he has now set up an office supplies company called Wild Hearts in Action and all the money it makes goes to charity. Mick is keen to tell people how passionate he now feels about pens and hole punches because the money made on items like these can keep some children in the third world alive for weeks. "If we can land contracts for office supplies from big companies then the benefits for children worldwide could be enormous."

The company sells over 20,000 products at excellent prices and they do 24 hour delivery. If you are interested look at their website www.wildheartsinaction.org

As the company's slogan says: Even a bad day at the office saves lives.

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