Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mission Impossible, Speech No. 2 of Carol Lee

Good evening, fellow Toastmasters. Let me share with you a story about a weight-lifting competition between an ant and an elephant. The ant lifted a match while the elephant lifted a log. But to my surprise, the ant won the game because it was appreciated that by lifting stuff eight times heavier than itself was almost a mission impossible.

We, ordinary people, are like ants; tiny and insignificant compared to the size of the universe; having very slim chances to be able to lift a "log." As slim as building a space shuttle, walking on the moon, predicting the coming of a hurricane or even buying a gorgeous new house for your family. But we are winners as long as we can lift our own "matches"; something thought to be "impossible".

Years ago, I attended a national English competition in China, and luckily enough survived until the finals. I was so amazed by the other competitors because they were so much more advanced than I was. You surely can imagine how frustrated I was. Later on, I learned that most of the competent competitors I admired came from very highly ducated families. Some of their fathers were translators, interpreters, professors from renowned universities or even mentors of PHD programs. My parents were only ordinary people who could not speak a single word of English. They were elephants, I was an ant. Smile and confidence came back to my face; I began to feel so proud for myself and my parents. Because their girl was competing with professors’ children. Wasn't that worth a toast? Though I did not win any major prizes from this competition, I still regarded myself as a winner. I had lifted my "match", isn't it something?

Fellow toastmasters, do you have your own "matches" to lift? Yes, of course you do. After a day's tiresome work, after finishing a tough talk with your boss or customers, with your head fully loaded with thoughts of how to help your children, your family and you still find time to come to the Toastmasters meeting every time. You still stick to your plan to finish your goal of transforming yourself into a successful communicator and leader. You are persevering to lift a match that not anyone can lift.

Ordinary people, who take on and accomplish tasks that are beyond than themselves, become extra ordinary themselves. Your winning is not judged by size.

In the end, please allow me to share with you this poem BE THE BEST OF WHATEVER YOU ARE by Douglas Malloch.

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley, but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t t be a muskie then just be a bass,
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail,
Be the best of whatever you are!

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