Have you ever met a truly humble person– someone who's entire life is a sacrificial commitment to a cause they deeply believe in? As I spoke with Sister Louise in Thailand about her 50-year commitment to helping women and children out of extreme poverty and danger, I was blown away by her selfless mission.
Although she's Catholic, her focus is not about a conversion of her 95% Buddhist community–it's about “saving (with a little “s”) lost sheep.”
She just wants to give as many women and children as possible a shot at an empowered life.
And she and her teams are transforming lives. She's Winning more Well than I could ever hope to.
I'm pretty sure that's why I'm so haunted by the story she shared when I asked her what was the most challenging part of her work.
She didn't miss a beat. And her answer surprised me.
There Was This One Time
There was a woman who had come to us for help many times. We worked with her on skills like hairdressing and sewing, but she struggled. She would give up, quit, and then come back.
Several times we just gave her money to get her out of a jam. We didn't give up.
And then one day after being gone for quite a while, she came back to us and she proudly showed me a stack of money she had earned.
Relieved, I said “Oh you must be so grateful for this blessing.”
And then she screamed at me, “THANKFUL? BLESSING? I DID THIS ALL BY MYSELF!!!!”
Sister Louise looked at me with tears in her eyes, “Can you imagine? How could she not see all the people who had worked so hard to help her? To be grateful to those who didn't give up?”
Sister Louise had no expectations that this sheep would believe in God, but held out hope for a little gratitude for the work of his “hands and feet” in the form of her volunteers.
And there she stood, arguably the most humble human I've ever met– dumbfounded by the lack of a simple expression of gratitude.
Everyone needs to hear that they are making a difference.
Who Do You Need to Thank?
When we're working really hard, it's so easy to delude ourselves into thinking we did it all by ourselves.
I hear it all the time “I EARNED this promotion.” “I WORKED MY BUTT off to get here.”
I'll admit. I've said those words.
But the truth is, none of us got here on our own– no matter how hard we worked.
There are managers and teachers and parents and peers who all helped in some way. There's even the boss you hated, that finally convinced you that you weren't as strong as you thought you were…and you worked harder to prove her wrong.
Who helped you today? Last week? Last quarter?
What if you stopped right now and said thank you?