Yesterday may have been a great day or a day that you would rather forget. Either way the joy or misery of what proceeded today will pass and it’s why we can’t let yesterday define our tomorrow.
One of the joys that I took from writing my latest book Leadership Matters which is now available for pre order, was the time I spent reflecting on the leaders, achievers and visionaries who have impacted my life. Seldom do I give warranted time to reflection unless there is a call to do so and writing the book was such a reason.
I enjoyed the time reflecting on the power of Mae Thiew and the challenges she has faced and indeed continues to face. This is a woman who has dedicated her life to one of service to children in need. For some 37 years she has run a home for children in the north east of Thailand for whom I don’t know what other option they would have. Many of the children that she has supported over the years had HIV and the vast majority were in her care as the last resort. To this day she receives requests from the Welfare Department of Government, from the Police and from the local Hospital to provide a home for a child who are in desperate need for a variety of circumstances. This is not new and has been her lot in life for four decades.
For a considerable period of time the challenge she faced was meeting the needs of the children in her care. Those needs were many and complex and due to limited resources she was unable to ensure the needs were met. The impact of not meeting the needs meant that children died from what otherwise could have been a preventable death. This was not something she battled for weeks or months during an unusually difficult time, this was her lot in life for years that stretched into decades.
Exploring her story in detail in the book I wondered how she continued to wake up and front the certainty that was before her each day? How did she manage to turn up day after day facing the prospect of the passing of another child due to lack of funding to provide the medicine they required?
I arrived at the decision that there were a number of factors that enabled her to continue. Two of those trains of thought that held her in place and gave her the strength to continue were that she didn’t let yesterday define her tomorrow and secondly that her hopes were greater than her fears.
I am trying to adopt the mindset and learning myself and I am finding that it gives me peace in what has passed without the burden weighting on my dreams and hopes for tomorrow.
The death of the children ended when the community of Hands Across the Water got behind Mae Thiew and the kids that she supports to ensure that she didn’t face the decision of who would receive the medicine and who would not. We ensured there was sufficient funding to meet the needs of all of the children.
The full story of Mae Thiew and her ability to face and overcome unfathomable challenges can be found in Leadership Matters and in my new keynote that I will be presenting for the first time at Future of Leadership in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. I'd love to see you there - use FOLBAINES to get yourself a discount.