I’ve been a member of Toastmasters International for almost 15 years now. It’s been a quite a journey. Something, that I will never forget. It’s helped me grow my communication, leadership, and public speaking skills in ways that I’ve never imagined. And I look forward to another 15 years of continuous self-development.
I’ve met so many wonderful people thru this organization as well. People that are not afraid to support me thru thick and thin. People that I’ve had camaraderie with. People with shared interests and goals. People that I can tap into for a wealth of motivation and inspiration. This organization has been an absolute boon for me over these years. And I look forward to keeping the good times rolling.
The thing with Toastmasters is that it is mainly about improving your public speaking skills. Which is all fine and dandy. After all, public speaking is the number one fear of most individuals in this world. Even more so than death itself! Which is quite amazing.
But aside from practicing your speaking skills, Toastmasters also practices your ability to put words into action. To take care of your fellow club members. To serve as an officer and let your actions speak for themselves. There are lots of leadership opportunities present in Toastmasters. And I am thankful to have served in some of these roles - like Vice President, Area Director, President.
These are roles that I will hold on to for the rest of my life. Experiences that I can tap into at the drop of a bucket. And it’s important to note that words are the trigger for everything. Words are what causes people to go to war. To start that next big project. To find motivation and inspiration. Words are important. Words can heal. Words can hurt. Words are more than just mere letters.
The next stage after words is action. After you sufficiently understand what it is that you need to do, will you go out there and do it? Will you learn to apply yourself? To turn the abstract theories into practical practice?
Actions speak louder than words, they say. And to some extent, that is true. Because how important are words if you don’t back them up with the sufficient action in detail? Words are a means to start great things. And they should be appreciated. But it’s the actions that really reveal the true character of the individual.
Will they truly help others? Or are they just saying it for the sake of saying it? Will they truly move towards their ambitious goal? Or will they falter at the slightest sign of distress? These are important questions to ask ourselves. How true is our word?
In philosophy class, they have a saying to speak what is kind and true. Don’t speak what is true but unkind. Nor what is kind but untrue. I think that saying rings true to me and in this day and age. It’s a philosophy that I try to live by. That I try to practice day in and day out. And it’s easier said than done.
But words do have meaning. Words do have power. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I don’t necessarily agree with that statement. Because again, words are the trigger for everything. They are what make you move mountains. They are what makes you want to go out on a date with that attractive guy or girl. Words make you pursue your goals with a sense of focus. They help you cut out the toxic people from your life. Words are the instigator towards actual action.
So, words should not be discounted. And the beauty of Toastmasters is that it helps us in the practice of words. In public speaking. In organization and facilitation. In leadership. These skills all require simple words to become instigated and inspired. So, don’t discount words. Words can hurt. And they can heal. They can demolish. And they can build. Words are the backbone of our culture and society.
Without words, how will our economies run? How will buildings get built? How will our infrastructure get renovated? How will we ever communicate with our friends and family?
So, that’s the beauty of Toastmasters. That’s a cause that I truly believe in. The power of words. I think that’s one of my prime love languages as well. Words of support. Words of encouragement. Words to heal and build. Rather than words to target and demolish.
So, yes, action is important. Dare I say more important than words. I agree with the age-old idiom of actions speaking louder than words. But words are still the backbone for everything. They help promote understanding amongst societies. They help build empires. They make the pen mightier than the sword. So, it’s important to build the skills necessary to enhance our words. To help heal this divided community. To bring passion and life back into the little pockets of societies where we reside. To inspire and motivate. To bring kindness and goodness into this world.
Words have meaning. And meaning is what makes life. So, I’d like to thank Toastmasters for helping me discover my hidden passion for simply words. Words in the mundane. Words in the exciting times. Words that bring us together. Thank you for this discovery. And thank you, words, for providing me with so much meaning. From the bottom of my heart.