Thursday, September 10, 2015

POTENTIAL - Tuesday 8th September 2015
I have to say that the very minute I walked into this club, I felt at home. I always look forward to every alternate Tuesday of the month from 17:45 to 20:00.
I learn a lot every time without fail. What I like the most is that everyone is encouraged to learn, grow and be corrected in a loving and safe environment. It is not like work or school where you feel like if you have made a mistake, you are made to feel like you have killed the pope himself.
One can definitely grow in confidence in this kind of environment. I particularly love the speech evaluations where positive feedback is given, where speakers of the night are both encouraged and given constructive criticism.
Tonight, my enthusiasm was definitely not deflated.
Starting with our Table Topics- (Impromptu- speaking and thinking on our feet was encouraged.)
·         You get to learn to speak for a minute on non-researched and non- prepared speeches.

Tonight’s topic took the direction of “Potential”, where the inspiration behind these topics was the late Miles Munroe, affectionately known as “Mr. Potential”

This legend visited South Africa and said something quite disturbing in my opinion, and mentioned that our gold mines in which we take pride are actually not our richest resource, but our cemeteries. “Oh, my goodness, how could that be and whatever did this man mean”.
Well, the reason for his intriguing statement is because at our cemeteries, lay many riches, such as, to mention but a few:
1.       Businesses that were never started.
2.       Books that were never written
3.       Music that was never sung
4.       Relationships that were never started
5.       Dreams that were never fulfilled
6.       Miracles that were never allowed to surface
7.       Opportunities that were never ceased
The list goes, on and on, and on, you can fill in the rest.
I was amazed at the wisdom in speeches of everyone who participated.
I know you are reading this blog and you may not belong to any Toastmaster’s Club, but I would like to pose the following questions to you to think about:
·         Will you die empty or full?
·         What or who is possibly stopping you from fulfilling your God-given dreams and visions?
·         Could you be robbing us of yourself and your gifts?
If the answer is ‘YES’ to any of these questions, my last question to you is, “So what will it take for you to die empty?
Moving right along…..
Goodness me! The prepared speeches were outstanding, could’t hear a penny drop during the speech sessions. One of which – by Igor Lesko - focused on one of the biggest monsters in our country, “ROAD RAGE”.
The very next day as I was on my way to work and had a glimpse of this monster as, one woman driver failed to stop at the demarcated “stop sign”. We have our own mini dramas in P.E. too - Jo’burgers, not only you!  Anyway, this lady nearly caused a nasty accident with a car that was driving straight. This driver stopped for a while and instead of carrying straight on, as was his original direction, he turned right and sped after her.
I was so afraid and very thankful that I was not going that direction, as I could only imagine what would happen. I could not, however, stop wondering what happed or how the confrontation unfolded.
This gentleman in my opinion was well within his right to be angry and shocked – but was it really necessary to follow this woman? I am not too sure about that! “What do you think fellow readers?”
Another very true story was told by one of the brilliant fellow toastmasters – Megan Judd - in a story telling form, based on how one of the world’s cruelest leaders was raised. I will not mention his name, just in case his great grand-son or daughter is reading this blog and decides to sue me.
This leader caused much harm to many innocent people in the world. It turns out that he was abused as a child, emotionally, physically and I would even conclude that he was spiritually wounded too. Someone said that wounded people wound others.
Listening to this story made me wonder if abused children also go on to be abusers as adults? It also made me wonder if some people ever overcome their childhood demons? It also made me wonder whether or not it’s fair for the whole world to suffer just because one person was abused?
What is your opinion as you are reading this blog?
Above all though, the best speaker of the night was Awonke Mbete. Wow! as he bravely completed his very first public speech and broke the fear of public speaking. You see, he found safety in the midst of supportive people at Algoa Toastmasters!!!
I will end by following in the footsteps of our fellow toastmaster, Warren Tagg and ask you all South Africans to share a toast to our freedom.

Let us remember that many people of all races, men and women fought for the democracy that we are enjoying today.
Celebrate it and don’t take it for granted!
Follow us on facebook; we would love to hear your comments.
 Ciao for now!!!
Thandi Swekile

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