When I Become President of the World…
Things Are Going to Change

This is a confession. I have an old friend who critiqued my mindset. She said, “Al, you want to control everything.” My retort was that, at least, I want to control the situation with my family in Myanmar. They live in a society trying to get COVID vaccine shots while trying to avoid getting shot in a civil war. I’m 78 years old now. If I can become the president of the world at my age, I need to get things lined up ASAP.

Several years ago, I made a promise to Ti Ti, my oldest granddaughter. She was going to college on my dime; why? She is brilliant, driven, caring, etc. When I visited my family two years ago, I attended an awards ceremony at the end of her high school years.

Ti Ti’s award was for the best in math in Shan State. Apparently, others saw her abilities also, and she was accepted at Gusto University in Yangon. However, the coronavirus entered the picture resulting in her first year online. Then the coup d'état occurred, which caused the school to close for several weeks. Ti Ti finished her first year successfully.

As I began my fall semester of teaching, I wondered when Ti Ti’s tuition was due. So, I emailed Moh Moh about when Gusto needed Ti Ti’s payment. Moh Moh replied that Gusto hadn’t let Ti Ti know yet. The following day, guess what Gusto sent to Ti Ti?

Off I went to my bank and had a wire transfer sent to Moh Moh. At the bottom of the transfer, it said that this money was for Gusto University. Usually, wire transfers take three days to arrive, but this one didn’t arrive. I checked with my bank. It got to the Western Union Bank, but there was some problem. I asked Ti Ti’s parents if they could send me an email address to Gusto to assure them that I had sent Moh Moh a wire transfer to cover Ti Ti’s tuition.

Ko Ko sent me two email addresses. However, he also sent a link to a major newspaper, The Irrawaddy. This was the headline.

Gunmen Steal More Than $60,000 From Bank in Myanmar’s Yangon

The Irrawaddy

I read the article about four guys who apparently set off several explosions before robbing the bank of $60,000. That might be the bank that my bank uses to transfer funds between the US and Myanmar. That would explain the delay. The four Myanmar bank robbers might have Ti Ti’s tuition.

I sent off an email to the two people at Gusto that Ko Ko gave me. This is a copy of my emails.

On Tue, 31 Aug 2021 at 07:16, < campbell@wolverton-mountain.com > wrote:

My name is Al Campbell.  I’m a college professor near Chicago, IL. During winter break from teaching in 2013, I traveled to Myanmar.  While near Inle Lake, I had a tour guide named Moh Moh San.  She had to pick up my itinerary at her home for the next place that I would visit.  I met Nang Hsu Yati, her oldest child, who was also home on winter break.  Ti Ti, which is her nickname, wanted to play Scrabble with me.  That game with Ti Ti changed my life.  Ti Ti became the bridge that united our families. 

I have returned to Myanmar two additional times to see them.  It was obvious that Ti Ti is a gifted young lady.  This is one of the hundreds of essays that I have written about Ti Ti.

I promised Ti Ti that I would cover her tuition costs at Gusto and have.  However, I tried to send my family Ti Ti’s $3200 for this year’s tuition.  However, that payment is being held up somewhere in Myanmar.  So, I went to my bank this morning to transfer funds directly to Gusto.  That attempt today also failed.  It seems that Western Union in Yangon was robbed.

This letter is to let you know that I promised my granddaughter that I would cover all of her tuition costs both this year and in the future.  However, my bank can’t send a wire transfer to Western Union in Yangon for at least a week or more.  Then they will forward it to Gusto.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Al Campbell

The following day, I got a lovely reply from Daw Khaing Khaing Soe, who is the Student Service & Support Manager of the Academic Affairs Department. She forwarded my email to the billing department at Gusto. However, she sang Ti Ti Ti’s praises and mentioned that Ti Ti is an excellent student at Gusto and is also her class president.

I emailed Moh Moh and copied Daw Khaing Khaing Soe’s reply. I’m not sure about the reason for the delay of my wire transfer, but Moh Moh received my wire transfer within a couple of days later. This was the opening sentence of her email. Today, lucky and happy, I was well received $3200. Beside, today,second covid shot is successfully done.

While my family were happy about getting the wire transfer, I was happier and more relieved than they were. So, this was a cute story about being unable to control even a small corner of my world.

However, what is your takeaway from my attempt to control the world or at least my desire to help Ti Ti get a college education? I don’t know, but several things should be a part of your takeaway.

  1. Don’t quit. Fight on; your success might be behind the next corner.
  2. Make a list of a dozen things you want to control when you become president of the world.
  3. Then jot down, next to each control issue, who benefits from your control. I want you to see who the principal benefactor of your control is.

Finally, this is my election campaign slogan for president of the world—It is in giving that we get. While my one-liner sounds like an oxymoron, it is a universal and eternal truth. Learn it now. It will change your life.