3 Purpose: Guilt takes a backseat to purpose

Purpose helps eliminate guilt and will help you gain clarity about what is most important in your life. This is a story about a woman named Carol Dey and a life-changing decision she made when I was very young. She also happens to be my mother.

In 1975 I was five years old and my little brother was two. That year my mother, a nurse, and a friend decided to travel to Saigon to help rescue orphan babies from the maelstrom at the end of the Vietnam War. They were part of a rescue program called Operation Babylift, which organised the evacuation of thousands of infants and young children from South Vietnam and helped with their adoption in Australia, the United States and several other countries.

It is an amazing story. Two nurses from middle America fly to Saigon shortly before the beleaguered city fell to the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong. They smuggled money into the country for supplies, endured the very real threat of bombing and helped load jet planes with cardboard boxes containing hundreds of babies. They co-wrote a book on their adventure, which also featured in books and documentaries on Operation Babylift.

It was a dangerous journey. As I got older and had children of my own, it occurred to me to wonder how she could have taken such risks knowing she had two little children who needed her at home. As a father myself, I have tried to imagine a scenario in which my wife Lucy comes to me and says, ‘Hey, would you mind ...

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