A mentor told me once that sometimes we must be thankful for the things that we think are “bad” in our lives. This advice runs along the lines of when one door closes another opens…but it still hard to remember in the middle of adversity and crisis. As we approach Thanksgiving 2015 and reflect back on what we are most thankful for – let’s not ignore the “bad” things that came our way as well.
When I was a child and my homeland was in the throes of war it never occurred to my six year old self that it could be a good thing. I mean my family was in the heart of a conflict that pitted two sides of our country against each other. We lived with the possibility of death be it by a bomb, missile or wayward soldier from “the bad side”. In the end my family was “displaced”…moved to a country we knew very little about, ripped from the arms of a country that had held our family ties for generations. At 6 years old…this was all bad.
Today, looking back, what I had pinned the badge of “bad” on ended up being an opportunity that I hadn’t seen until now. While I am deeply sorry for all of the loss of life that took place during the Vietnam Conflict/War, the event left some positive gifts as well. Today my motherland is growing economically and culturally (albeit the struggles of human rights remains). I am on the verge of a chapter in my life where I am afforded the opportunity to help others in ways I never knew was possible…these things could not have happened had it not all began with that war so many years ago.
November this year has come in like a lion with the roar of crazy weather and violence throughout the nation and world. Chicago, for instance, has had more killings over the last two months than some entire states and the uptick in police shootings has all of us scratching our heads. Then last Friday (13th) the tragic events in Paris. During a month that is traditionally reserved for being thankful for what we have, we are finding ourselves seeking answers in a world gone mad. At first, I was like many of you seeing the “bad”…getting angry…but then I remembered my mentors’ words…” sometimes we must be thankful for the things that we think are “bad” in our lives”…
I believe that we are entering a growth period around the world and that we have had to undergo the current “bad” in order to move past the overwhelming complacency in order to effect change. We got comfortable…we had learned to accept the current condition of the human condition…we had stopped asking for answers and seeking change. The “bad” has awoken many of us to the immediate need for change and now, we are beginning to act on that wake up call.
I challenge you this month to be thankful but also to be introspective. What can you do to effect change within your small corner of the world? Change, good change, spreads like a virus…I challenge you to help spread that virus to the betterment of us all. Take the “bad” and look for the opportunity in it….be thankful for the “war”….because, in the end…you have the chance to be better, act better and make others better with eyes open to experience and wisdom.
Miki is a renowned motivational speaker and author. He appeared in the 2015 Oscar nominated film "The Last Days in Vietnam" directed and produced by Rory Kennedy, the youngest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. He often speaks to others on the ways in which they can better their lives. His history is well documented in the documentary that shares the amazing story of his father Ba Van Nguyen and his bravery during the last few days in the Fall of Saigon. His message is one of enlightenment and courage. Miki has overcome many obstacles as he and his family worked hard to create a life in the United States while their homeland was being torn apart. Through his father’s example of courage and commitment to a better life for his family Miki is inspired to be the best he can be and be of service to others by sharing his and his family’s experiences in an effort to give hope to all refugees who take the enormous risks of leaving everything behind in hopes of a better life.
Miki is available for speaking engagements on a number of topics and also has a new book to be published soon that will offer instruction and inspiration through the recanting of his life and his experiences in this extraordinary world we all call home. For more information visit http://www.mikinguyen.com