On a hot summer day on August 07, 1966, a young couple stood before their families and pledged their love for each other. She had just turned nineteen, and he was about to celebrate his twentieth birthday.
Being so young many felt it was too early for them to start a life together. There was a war going on in Vietnam, and the young man had enlisted in the army. He had just finished his basic training and was heading to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where he was to train in communications for his first assignment.
It was a time that all the cards were stacked against them, actually making it through their first year together would be a challenge. The young woman had no idea how even to cook or anything else for that matter. The young man was taking on the responsibility of serving his country and his unprepared bride being 1400 miles away from her beloved family, friends, and home.
The struggles that the first year was not as bad as they thought it might have been. There were adjustments to be made on a daily basis. They adjusted. Decisions had to be made on everything from where they would live, eat, seek entertainment, make friends, and find side jobs to help them live the life they wanted for each other, just to name a few. They made those necessary decisions together.
After the first year, more decisions had to be faced. The young man was informed through his orders that he was heading to Germany, which meant he would be out of the country for two years. Having been away from her family for almost a year had been less painful than she imagined. She was extremely close to her family, so the separation was difficult in many ways. She missed them so much at times it hurt. The love for her husband would, in the end, override all other emotions. Now leaving her beloved family for yet another two years didn’t change her feeling, but the feelings were raw.
The two years in Germany allowed this couple to grow up together. Being away from family allowed them to concentrate on each other and what they needed to build their own lives.
The first lesson was about how to enrich their lives. They wanted to make their lives meaningful and as happy as it could be. They did this by making new friends and exploring all of Europe every chance they got.
The second lesson was figuring a way to enrich their lives. They faced that hurdle by both worked extra jobs so they could have the funds needed to fulfill their desires of traveling. Being in a country so far away from home and having the history that they learned in school right in front of them was enchanting. All they had to do was to go out and see Europe instead of just reading about it.
The third lesson was taking everything they saw and learned in those first three years and use those lessons to enhance their future together. These lessons would add valuable assets that would carry them through the life they carved out together.
Guess by now you are wondering what this has to do with business. Well, everything in life is a business of some sort. The challenges that this young couple endured is pretty much what happens to a young company just beginning on its journey. The partnerships are the same between a husband and wife and a company boss and his team.
A young man from the Philippines fell in love with the idea of helping everyday people. He wanted to bring independence to the young and old. He planned to teach people how to engaged, enriched and enhanced their own lives as a community.
That young man from the Philippines is Henry James Banayat, and that young couple is Roy and me.
Congratulations, Henry, on a job well done by you and your fantastic team.
Happy Anniversary, Roy. What a beautiful life we have built together these last fifty-four years. I love you. Hugs