Today I want to ask you to think about Membership ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I felt a little bit crazy this morning when I got up at 4:42 A.M.; sunrise wasn’t until 7:34, the house was dark, the floor was cold. Just in time I remembered to turn off my 4:45 alarm in order to not awake my dear wife who might confirm my first thoughts of the day.
I splashed cold water on my face, filled my water bottle, and picked up two oranges to nibble on over the next two plus hours – I was heading for a meeting in the Tamil region of southern India and what would reveal itself to me as a meeting of minds and hearts.
On LinkedIn the other day I fortuitously was introduced to the Coimbatore Toastmasters Club, I connected with them not even knowing why, or would be my next step. Impulsively I committed to myself that I would attend their next virtual club meeting before I calculated the time difference. (here is a link to their website)
That 12.5 hour time difference resulted in my early wake up so I could arrive early at their 6 PM meeting at which Toastmaster Mayur promptly welcomed me and asked where I was from.
I stayed more than two hours, and enjoyed the meeting immensely because of the members, their well organized meeting, their warmth and their energy.
One thing I realized quickly when I visited and interacted with Tarum, Muthumakar, Rajesh, Praveena, Akaash, Bubha and others was how much we had in common. That common language and understanding made us less than strangers despite the fact we had never met before.
Toastmasters all share common values (Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence) and we speak the same Toastmasters language even if our native languages are different. This is very possible since Toastmasters is truly international as members are in 145 countries. Kind of mind boggling isn’t it?
Late happy birthday also to Toastmasters also. The founder unofficially began his work in 1905 at the Bloomington, Illinois YMCA educating men in public speaking and how to conduct meetings. Ralph Smedley was helping them develop self-confidence, along with many other skills. (click here for History of Toastmasters)
The first official Toastmasters meeting was October 22, 1924 (Happy 96th birthday!) and I am confident Ralph had no idea where that first meeting would lead to.
WDYD (Where Do You Belong) – Membership Matters
I was thinking later on this morning that I have been a Toastmasters since 2006. I enjoy it, I learn from it, and have fun while benefiting. Perhaps being a member says something about me.
I hope it says I value communication, and helping others. I know Toastmasters has helped me practice speaking and I am grateful. If not for Toastmasters I know I would not have spoken up when in my heart I wanted to.
Toastmasters involvement helped me in my career also but the important times in my life are really the personal events, the weddings, the celebrations of life, those are the moments I value the most. Those are the moments I was grateful I had a voice and could use it.
Describing me, people don’t say David is a Facebook member, or has had a gmail account for decades.
After my hobbies like blogging, cycling, I hope they say David is a Toastmaster, David supports his local library supporter by volunteering as a member of the board.
Membership Matters –
Where are you a Member?
“Don’t be deceived by the spirit of complacency and think you have achieved enough. Try to become better than you’ve been.”
― Israelmore Ayivor
Tens of thousands of Toastmasters Clubs are meeting every week, and you can join a virtual meeting from your own computer; if you are a guest – you will be welcomed just like I was today.
Thanks for visiting today. I am grateful you visited. See you again soon I hope. – David
Mohammed Qahtani is a champion speaker now, but he overcame stuttering. Enjoy his fun speech