Yesterday, we as a family suffered great adversity. And it is in these times of great adversity when families pull together. And ours did, and rallied as one. It just happened to coincide with that legendary surfer Shaun Thomson speaking on radio. You may recall that some years ago the Thomson family also suffered great adversity and a tragic loss.

It made me realise that no matter what adversity we face, the effect on our families is the same. And I then also realised that we, as a family, can learn so much from a family such as the Thomsons on how to deal with adversity and loss.

I would like to repeat here the message presented by Shaun Thomson on the radio show. I think it is so relevant, not only to us as a family, but possibly also to you. You may be going through adversity at present and you may also need the wisdom and experience of others who have walked these “hard yards.”

Shaun called it his “12 I Will’s.” Here they are:

  1. I will never turn my back on the ocean: Passion
  2. I will paddle around the impact zone: No short cuts
  3. I will take the drop with commitment: Courage, focus and determination
  4. I will never fight a rip tide: The danger of pride and egotism
  5. I will always paddle back out: Perseverance in the face of challenges
  6. I will watch out for other surfers after a big set: Responsibility
  7. I will know that there will always be another wave: Optimism
  8. I will ride and not paddle into shore: Self-esteem
  9. I will pass on my stoke to a non-surfer: Sharing knowledge and giving back
  10. I will catch a wave every day, even in my mind: Imagination
  11. I will realise that all surfers are joined by one ocean: Empathy
  12. I will honour the sport of kings: Honour and integrity


What we as a family are doing is to use the surfing analogy and turning it into our own story, but, keeping the 12 I Will’s. There are already a few companies this morning doing their own I Will’s to overcome their challenges. Why don’t you also use this wisdom to face your challenges head on? As a family, we are. I wish all of you great success in overcoming your challenges and thank you Shaun for showing us how to overcome adversity.