A tribute to family bonds and culture
LIFE LESSONS: Bina Briggs with her new book The Red Thread
BINA BRIGGS DISCUSSES HER INSPIRING BOOK
SUCCESSFUL businesswoman, HR expert and volunteer worker Bina Briggs has achieved a lot throughout her life.
A journey that has also included arriving in the UK with her family from Uganda in 1972 after Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of the country’s Asian population led the strong role model to write her book The Red Thread. The recently released book has a series of stories loaded with important life lessons to inspire others and show them they are never alone. The wisdom filled book is a tribute to her mother and family’s cultural traditions that have been embedded by generations of strong female figures.
Eastern Eye caught up with Bina Briggs to discuss her powerful book written with heartfelt honesty, the interesting title and who she hopes it connects with.
Tell us about The Red Thread?
Within The Red Thread I share stories of life lessons, love, strength and determination to encourage readers that no matter where they are in life, they will come through the other side. I remind them to never despair because there is always a way if they have faith and a vision to which they are totally committed. Also, to believe in themselves and their God, universe or whoever it is that they believe in. By trusting the process, it always works out for the better. Each chapter starts with a positive affirmation to motivate the reader, encouraging them that they are loveable, stronger than they think, that life is for living and they must take the first step towards making a positive change.
What was the biggest challenge while writing it?
The biggest challenge was to sit down at my laptop and start at the beginning, and to verbalise it. I had different visions of what the very first sentence of my book would be and yet, I opened the laptop and stared at a blank screen. That I think was the biggest challenge.
Who are you hoping connects with it?
The book is for everyone, but ultimately, I am hoping I can reach people who might be lacking motivation or self-confidence. Throughout the book, I provide an encouraging and supporting voice that I hope empowers readers and gives them the self-belief to remain resilient through difficult times. And remind them of their infinite capabilities.
What inspired The Red Thread title?
The title of the book has been inspired by rakhi, a sacred red thread in the Hindu religious tradition that a sister ties on her brother’s right wrist, like a bracelet, or a wrist band for their safe keeping and wellbeing during the festival of Rakshabandhan. In modern times, the rakhi is tied on women’s wrists too or, for that matter, anyone whom you want to protect. The red thread symbolises a sacred bond, commitment, and support for one another, but to me it is also the red thread of fate.
Tell us more…
People who are destined to meet are tied together with an invisible thread, which may stretch or tangle, but will never break. The red thread mirrors my experiences having grown up with my mother and sister; the bond and support we provided each other and our family traditions. Also, from overcoming fear and uncertainty, and arriving in Luton as a refugee in 1972 through to carving a career in HR, I am proud of my accomplishments as an Asian woman and starting my own business in my fifties. So, I want to inspire others that anything is possible.
Many people who write say it helps them heal. Was that the case for you?
For me, it was more of a project I wanted to complete, to get my mum’s story out there. I suppose it has closed a chapter in my life of having successfully published a book.
What is the biggest thing you learned while writing the book?
Over the course of my own life and experiences, I have learned life is for living and so I wanted to share my message. The human spirit is unbreakable. Believe in the affirmation that ‘we all have a choice to live a better life today than yesterday and tomorrow will be just as good as today, if not better’.
What do you enjoy reading and do you have a favourite book?
My choice of reading is very eclectic, but mainly, I love to read non-fiction more than fiction. Biographies of people who have succeeded in life, often from difficult starts in life.
Who is your own favourite author?
At present, I would say they are BarackObama and Michelle Obama. They are very similar and yet so different, with a real passion to make a difference in people’s lives, with integrity, purpose, and charisma.
What can we expect next from you?
I plan to continue building my HR business as well as my presence supporting others in my community. I believe in giving back to others and providing support to younger generations in my role as a governor at Luton sixth form college. I am also heavily involved with some localcharities and will continue looking to expand opportunities to volunteer withinlocal projects.
What inspires you?
Helping and guiding others inspire me in all my professional and personal endeavours. As an Asian businesswoman, I am particularly passionate about inspiring other women in business and showing them that it is possible to do so at any age. Don’t let age stop you from fulfilling your dreams.