Three years ago, we started a gratitude campaign called Thank You for Sharing (TYFS). This campaign features an image of someone using our product. We post this on our social channels. There were two goals for this campaign. The first was and is very simple, we wanted to say thank you to our wonderful customers for including us in their memories. We feel such honor and privilege when a customer shares how one of our products is so tightly woven in their family memories. To see this called out in our social channels is very special to us. The second goal was to show our product in use and to spark ideas to others on how our product is LOVED by those who use it. The campaign has been a ton of fun and continues today.
As we start 2021, we have been thinking how to evolve TYFS and to build up on the goal of sharing gratitude. Honestly, how do you build on the grace of saying Thank You. It can be an overwhelming goal; where do you start? As I thought about, I thought back to the beginning of Covid and how much I enjoyed watching Some Good News with John Krasinski. It made me laugh and it made me cry. But what I loved about it the most, was it made me look for the good in the people, events and places around me.
Our everyday has been consumed with Covid and its impact. The illness, the passing of so many loved ones, the economic curve ball that has been thrown to all of us. Our politics has been derisive leading to much nastiness and uncertainly in the air. And to top it all off at Bunnies By The Bay headquarters, on January 7th we had a significant flood in our building. The challenges have not stopped yet. As this all continues and during a weak moment you feel might never end, how do you evolve on Thank You? We believe you look for the good. You spread good news by doing something good for others. You do something for someone, and in the process you do something for yourself and then you share it! This sharing becomes inspiration to those around you. Recognize the good around you and you SHARE it.
Today I am sharing a story from someone who is a part of Bunnies By The Bay. I hope this is the first of many stories that we share that spreads good news from our Bunnies By The Bay family, from the news or from one of you!
Below is a story about how a Tiger’s Eye Marble has brought a connection to our CEO, Jeanne Ming Hayes and a little boy in her neighborhood. I hope you enjoy the story. I also hope that you find something that seems pretty common such as marble you can share bring joy to another person.
Miss Ma Bu
I confess I have been troubled by the life changing events of the last 10 months. I travel for a living. I am either HERE or THERE. So it has been hard for me to stay put, to stop, to be in one place. I am somewhat tortured not be on the move. I am restless being at home, not traveling since March 6th, 2020 just after Covid peaked. I only speak English to to my husband, unless on zoom (that doesn't count).So I walk. Every day. And now, twice a day to the farms behind my house. I head towards the off-track pathways leading to the mountains. I have to keep moving or I think I may go crazy.Behind my house is a row of small, yet charming Thai houses which belong to the same extended family. They are all neatly kept, part of a large acreage of farm which lies across the path. This farm seems to keep about ten adults and three Toyota trucks busy.The exception to this industry is one unkept house where a middle-aged sad man sits on a wooden platform listening to the radio all day. Surrounded by utter filth. His place looks and smells like a pig sty. On occasion, I see two small children around. I can’t say that he particularly “cares “ for them but they seem to live with him and play in piles of rotting produce nearby. They seem, OBLIVIOUS of anyone coming or going. His house really stinks.When I walk past this house ( I call it “Pig Pen’s) I wonder aloud to myself, “What is going on here?” It is so not THAI to have an untidy house.Three nights ago, I walked past pig pen’s house and a little girl about 4 pops out from behind corn stalks and shouts, as if to scare me, “FARANG!.....Hello.” ( farang means foreigner).I stop to greet her. I have been trying to make eye contact for weeks. I bow and let her know her advances to me are welcome. Then a young woman appears who I assume is her mother and I say in my terrible limited THAI, “Your daughter is so cute.”“No. No mine. My UNKA (uncle) baby.”“Oh! I’m sorry. Is THAT her mother?” ( pointing to another relative nearby.)“No. Mama……DIE…. motorbike accident.”Now I am really speechless. But both children, the girl’s older brother about 5 has appeared and both are watching me closely, not understanding the terrible Thai and Awful English conversation happening over them.“Mama and UNKA have motor bike accident. Mama die and UNKA have….how you say….injury.” ( banging her head) “ He cannot work. He cannot do anything. So family help with children. Today UNKA say to girl, see farang lady? She friendly…say hello.”Thus, “farang…hello.”I slowly walked home and soberly report this development to my husband. My judgement of the untidy smelly house now seems so wrong. Pig Pen’s sty suddenly made sense. I felt depressed.Last night I headed up to the road for a walk and found a glass marble on the side of the bern. A Tiger Eye. I cleaned it and rolled it around in my palm for half an hour as I walked up the mountain road.I passed, not “pig pen”, but “desperate unhealthy tragic man's” house and sure enough, his little boy was playing with a stick in the dirt. I walked up to him and for once, he did not seem afraid of me, but stood with his stick watching me closely. I offered the glass marble to him. "You can have it."The look of awe and wonder that crossed his face was incredible. It is as if I had gifted him a 200 piece deluxe Lego set. He bowed and thanked me but before he ran off his aunt appeared and sharply told him in Thai to thank me in English.“Sank U”Passat Anglais..? “How to say in English?” he asks as he holds out the glass marble in his dirty palm.“MAR- BLE”We repeat this word together back and forth several times. He beams with the mastery. "MAR BU."Tonight I went for a walk.As I near his house, tragic man's son sees me coming and runs to me. He throws his little arms around my legs tightly as if he will never let go.“Miss Ma Bu.” he sighs, hugging my leg.
Now I know why I am stuck in rural northern Thailand and it is how it should be for a grounded jet setter.