Dr. U Chit Tun, husband of Daw Thein Ngwe, father of Dr. Walter Chit Tun.
The following is an excerpt from Joshua Chit Tun's upcoming memoirs.
As I prepare to establish the Chit Tun Foundation, I look back on my origins and influences. Unofficially the Chit Tuns have played a vital and strategic role in the various stages of the STUDENTdirect Charitable Foundation to which I am very grateful for.
This would not be possible without my grandfather Dr. Walter Chit Tun a man who continues to inspire me. Like all great men he died too soon before he could fulfill his responsibilities but as his grandson and future generations to come the Chit Tun family is adamant in finishing what he started. This is one of the reasons why I am committed to the STUDENTdirect Charitable Foundation, before I even existed my grandfather understood the importance that students would have in changing his government, he died before this could be fully realized but as the founder of the STUDENTdirect Charitable Foundation (www.mySTUDENTdirect.com) not only is this apparent to me, but this need for students to lead and be the change throughout the world is a more pressing issue even more now today than ever. The direction this world is going I truly believe that leadership needs to have a younger perspective so a sustainable solution can be devised that benefits all mankind and not the few. As for the STUDENTdirect Charitable Foundation, we are understanding and striving towards this through the program Initiating Community Action (www.InitiatingCommunityAction.info).
NiNi Chit Tun, daughter of Major Walter Chit Tun seen here with Burmese Ambassador.
As for my efforts in philanthropy, my family has given me many advantages, their knowledge and education greatly appreciated. There is a reason why I can do the things I do despite my lack of a college degree or more specifically I do not believe that the education system worked for me so to prove my point I dropped out. I have my reasons but simply my Family's education is a far greater learning experience than what I could learn in any institution and the time that I gained by not attending college I was able to use in my need to do community service.
Clearly my family wanted me to go to a good college, so in this regards even though I do not have their approval I know all that I accomplished could not have been done if I attended college. The irony is though I am a college dropout and many people technically have a higher education than me I am the founding member of the STUDENTdirect Charitable Foundation. Further I have never truly worked in my life, something my family disapproves of, however that came with its advantages, it just allowed me to do more. Years later I can almost say that with the infrastructure I have created I am making some change with education with the schools I have had the opportunity to work with. However to scale this I have come to realize I am left with no choice but to run for office. When I meet the requirements at this moment age and money I will run for US Senate. I have never been one to fail.
Unfortunately my family elders have never been one for politics and I do not blame them, in this regards I do not have their support but that has not stopped me in the past, it is only fire to my ambition. However what is unsettling for me, the truth of my family is they do not want me to run, their reason is my mother is of low birth simply put.
I know they are wrong, I appreciate my Father's family in instilling in me their noble ways, but my strength is because of my mother, because she was born of poverty. My best memories are not in the comforts of my Father's extended family but in the poverty and resilience of my mother. In a variety of ways my life is contradicting but I have learned to adapt in both settings, in every way this adversity is my true advantage. I am very much a common person and I take so much pride in knowing that. Its unfortunate that I am mislabeled as rich because in all honesty those who truly know me, know I hardly spend. If I am rich it's that I have the freedom to do what I want to do with my time and it is evident that for me my time is spent in helping communities and those who want to make a difference. The way I see it is I just happen to be a very poor person that was born in a family that had certain advantages and privileges. However for many years I've seen my young teenage mother have to go through the discrimination of my Father's family. It is what it is, their formalities do come at a cost. A mother less than them, a father who is disowned, a child raised by guardians old enough to be grandparents., a grandmother I have never met but yet dictated that I would be raised Baptist yet her daughter a Buddhist.
Dr. Walter Chit Tun, one of Burma's first great Myanmars.
This life of mine has always been controversial, but I am not the only one, many in this world have lived in controversy and for them I work harder everyday. Who knows I might be the modern day Robin Hood, I say that jokingly, but I do know I have been educated by the rich and driven to succeed by those who are poor, simply I am very competitive and ready to lead.
Come to think of it, my dear aunts have faced their own discrimination being their mother Barbara Margaret King was a British woman. Though my family is elite in many ways some like the princesses of my country at the time just couldn't tolerate it. It's interesting how children can be so cruel. Because my aunts had color eyes, light skin, color hair they were not so well accepted. But now I could laugh at my Family's story to say the least my aunts showed the princesses that they were not beneath them and it is evident today because any remnants of the royal family of Burma is just disgrace and dishonor. My family survived the revolution and the changes to come, for them I can not say the same. Now thinking of the change in government I hope to prove to my Father's family that my low birth would actually help in maintaining order and being better suited to lead.
This world is changing where pedigree does not determine your aptitude however your experiences will, in a country like the United Stated that is very clear, but there is still many governments in this world where people live in fear and discrimination exists. I am grateful for the contradictions that defines my existence however I would not have it any other way. I am in my Father's debt for marrying my very beautiful young mother despite his Family's resentment and as such, I have lived my life in his manner always rebellious towards my Family's edicts. If my father married another individual of the elite class I do not think I would be who I am today, just like if my grandfather survived or if he married a Burmese woman of the same class. Things happen so accept it and look towards the positive.
Dorian and Aidyn Chit Tun seen here with Robert Hays.
To conclude I was not raised by my young teenage mother but by my Aunt NiNi and her husband Robert Hays who served as my guardians. When I was small child they were in there 60s which came with its advantages. As a child I think I was made more fun of for this, but now I know it was an advantage. They put me in Westminster Academy which gave me a strong foundation further Christian Service Brigade that instilled my moral compass as well challenged me. It is here where I understood the value of self and community development. I may have mix feelings when it comes to my family but it is clear to me that the way they raised me which is unique in every way is why I can do what I do today. Some call it tough love, but to me it is the cost of being competitive further what I am today my nephews will be tomorrow. We Chit Tuns accept the controversy and look towards the future, my only regret is that when I do have children they will never get to experience my Aunt NiNi and my Uncle Bob the last of their kind. It is what it is.
Walter Chit Tun, son of Dr. Walter Chit Tun, father of Joshua Chit Tun.
Joshua Chit Tun, current Chairman of the Chit Tun Group.