“Miss, are you a minister?”

After my appointment at the ministry, I walk towards the Binnenhof.


She is about eight years old and we look at each other questioningly.


“Why do you think that?” I ask her.


“I can tell by your bag.”


She is on an educational field trip with her class and they have just visited the second room. Her classmate comes to her rescue: “Would you like to become a minister in the new cabinet?” (NOS pay attention, this young man is a talented journalist in the making). I look at him with a friendly smile and say with conviction, “No, I like my current job way too much for that.”


“What do you do then?” asks the young journalist unashamedly.


And so I tell the kids about my work, how I help people to see what they are very good at and what they would like to contribute to in the world. And then I help them to get that job.


The young journalist asks deftly, “even if they want to become ministers”. I think for a moment, if they have been a minister or state secretary, but then want to work for the UN, for example. “That’s in New York,” the girl says.


The entire class, including guide, is now standing around me.

Yes, and so I tell this class about the diplomats who represent the Netherlands all over the world and the people who work at all kinds of international organizations. What they do and how they contribute to making the world a little more beautiful.


After half an hour, the group supervisors thank me very much for taking so much time to talk about my work in The Hague and about all the great people from the Netherlands who work all over the world.


How proud I am of the Netherlands, that our children can walk freely in the political heart of our country. And without hesitation they could ask all the questions they had.


This is freedom!


My advice; Buy a nice minister’s bag and go to The Hague this spring.

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