Mike Thompson, author of the upcoming book The Anywhere Leader, recently concluded a visit to Heifer projects in Nepal and China where he looked for examples of inspirational leaders among our project participants. While in China, Mike met one of Heifer’s greatest success stories — a man who’s come to be known as “The Rabbit King.” Mike does a great job of telling his story on the Anywhere Leader blog:
Just outside of Chengdu, China, lives the Rabbit King – and yes, he goes by that name. It was given to him by his community, which deeply admires him. The Rabbit King was extremely poor before Heifer International provided him with a few rabbits to raise. Those few rabbits turned into 12,000 rabbits in a little more than five years.
The Rabbit King enjoyed years of nurturing and growing his broad, but sadly, about three weeks ago, he lost all but 30 of his rabbits to a massive flood. I asked the him about the consequences of losing almost 12,000 rabbits and being forced to start over. “It’s back to poverty,” he said. I expected tears to follow that comment and his next statement to be something like, “What are my family and I going to do?”
Not the Rabbit King; he didn’t speak of desperation and despair, but rather of confidence and opportunity.
He was thankful for the 30 rabbits that were spared, and he was even more thankful that no one in his family or his community was killed in the disaster. He was surprisingly positive, even as he took me around his farm and showed me the devastation. Even though a plan wasn’t in place yet, his mind was focused on rebuilding.