Today would be Dad’s 82nd birthday. He and I shared a love for words, mine is for writing them, and his was for speaking them in front of an audience.
Learning how to express ourselves clearly and concisely helps us to connect with others under any circumstances.
Dad was a life-long member of Toastmasters International. Not only that, but for years he taught public speaking to teen boys and girls. Boys who were in Boy Scouts of America earned their public speaking merit badge following the course. I took his course and as an adult I have been a member of three Toastmasters chapters.
Dad taught us how to engage in effective communication, and to do so with confidence, because he knew that learning how to say what we mean was a skill that would serve us well as adults. He was proud of every one of his graduates, and concerned for the few kids who couldn’t conquer their fears and dropped out.
Learning to use words effectively to express ourselves is surprisingly difficult, even if we’re not speaking formally in front of a large group or writing for all to read. Continue reading
Did you know there’s a town in Colorado called Hotchkiss? I have no idea how many cities and villages across America are named for people. What intrigues me is not that they’re named for people but the seemingly fanciful idea that we can each have a community that we build, just for us.
We instinctively come together where we know our need will be met.
I mentioned Monday about taking part in a discussion last Saturday with a group of people who get together every month to talk about a topic of common interest. If you read Jesse Lyn Stoner’s blog post on Monday, “Why My ‘5 Around’ Group is Important to Me and Why You Should Start One,” you know that she has a different type of group, one that was created to support each of the members professional and personally.
I can’t claim to have done extensive research on the subject of these communities that come together for a particular purpose, but from the research I have done, I’ve made a few observations. Continue reading
Today we honor and remember Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who above all else, was governed by personal boundaries and values.
Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
While Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed when I was too young to comprehend his significance, my parents taught me those same values.
I spent some time recently reading his famous quotes and was struck by how my own principles parallel his. I have codified my values in my own eight Life Amendments. I use this code of conduct to go forward in life assured I am adhering to my precious values.
If we are to go forward, we must go back
and rediscover those precious values – that
all reality hinges on moral foundations
and that all reality has spiritual control.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
When I look at my Life Amendments, I see Martin Luther King, Jr’s influence on my life and see how his dream lives on. His dream lives on in all of us through our actions and words.