Good afternoon, fellow toastmasters and distinguished guests,
Once again, we are in good company today, listening to fabulous speeches, learning from one another, and striving to improve. We the toastmasters are truly unique. Never before, have I seen a more conducive climate for growth, where everyone mutually support one another along the road to excellence… mutual encouragement… mutual evaluation… mutual appreciation. This is the perfect place, laboratory with all the vitamins we need for growth.
When I first step into Tampines Regional Library Toastmasters Club, I have found myself in a welcoming environment. Chiun How and Tan Bin nudge me to try out the table topics. I tried and joined the club on my very first day. Eng Lye, my mentor, guided my on the do’s and don’ts of the club, gave me tips on speeches. She had also advised me to write evaluation notes for fellow members. I followed this advice diligently, not knowing the significance it holds, until only recently.
3 weeks ago, on 17 Oct, Friday, I took part in organising a charity campfire at Gracehaven with colleagues from my company UPS. Gracehaven is a home for homeless teens. Some of them abandoned by their parents, some victims of rape cases, some dimwits and problem child. It was truly a meaningful event, bringing them food and fun. At the same time, I also realized that how in need some of them are. Not only in material, but also in companionship, confidence, and communication skills. They have potential, but like us before we join toastmasters club, need a mean to draw out their potential.
How many others out there are in need of development, in communication, in leadership? I do not know, but there are many. As a person who stammer since young, from primary school to college, I know how it feels when one is not able to express …. Frustration.. and fearful. But fortunately, given the opportunity, courage and knowledge, anyone can acquire the ability to express.
One thing I understand about knowledge is that its free. It just take one to freely give and the other to freely receive. Knowledge is in abundance and does not deplete, but gain in depth with sharing. I am honored to know of toastmasters who selflessly share their knowledge and gives their time and effort to help others without asking anything in return. Richard Sng – he helped to setup and mentor several toastmasters clubs in Singapore; Tony Phee- Serve as coordinator during the speechcraft program, share his experience, and now serving all of us as Area S2 governor. The true spirit of giving and sharing, is around us.
Agent Smith, the anti-hero in the movie “Matrix”, said “Man is a virus in this world. He only keeps consuming and destroying”. He is right. But he failed to see that man has the same capacity to give and to share. We have the choice to exercise this capacity. By taking experience and knowledge, we learn and grow; But assuming a strength is itself meaningless, unless we apply it to a worthy cause. By sharing our gifts, or applying them in meaningful service (e.g. story telling, persuasion, inspiring others), we manifest our humanity and strengthen our spirituality… We make a difference to those whom accept our gifts, to our community. We become principled leaders and adds meanings to our living.
The habit of giving can starts small, and it needs practice. There is no better time to start than now. Less experienced members can share voice of encouragement and sincere evaluations with fellow members, write down in notes and pass to them, it will be appreciated; experienced members can help to mentor new members and coach the less experienced ones; Accomplished members can help to start new clubs, or take on projects to bring development to our community. Speechcrafts, workshops, gavel clubs,… these are ways which we can contribute, as toastmasters.
I dream that with sincerity, conviction and righteousness, toastmasters make a difference to many others who are in needs
I dream that with selfless desire to serve, toastmasters contribute to the development of our community, and ask nothing more in return.
I dream that all of us here in this room will become virtuous leaders of tomorrow, the stars of the future.
Join me, and share this dream.