I had stated this fact before but I will state it again ! Not one Toastmasters meeting goes by without giving me something to think about. This is the real value of public speaking, someone just has to say something thought provoking. Now I might not always agree with the person I’m listening to, nor can I say that I like every speech I hear. And, well as a human being I can say that I don’t really like every speaker’s style there are some speakers I love and some who give me just the opposite sentiment.
However, I do consider thoughts in their purest of forms. And if I end up pondering something I heard then it must be worth it regardless of where I heard it and by whom and whether or not I agree with the speaker on the professional or personal level.
I say this because not all of us can make this distinction but fortunately I’m amazed at myself because I realize that I can and I will.
One speaker I heard in a Toastmaster meeting today made a case about how ok it is to be normal, and his definition of normal was bestowed upon anyone void of any major achievement , accomplishment, or discovery. He spoke about great people like Edison, Albert Einstein , and many others, and yes no one can disagree with the fact that they are anything but average but he did go on to say that anyone not making such great accomplishments is “just normal”
So, I can’t help but wonder if we as human beings can define our value or self worth to the world in such black and white terms. Do we really have the right to label anyone as just “normal” More importantly isn’t calling ourselves just normal because we don’t measure up to some acclaimed scientist or celerity a damper on our own self image?
So who really is just “normal” or “just blah”
Call me an optimist but I like to believe that everyone is above normal in their own way. Everyone is special to someone, somewhere, or even many groups of people. We all have a great story to tell and we all have an audience willing to listen.
We might not all be stars but we are not normal because normal means a lack of uniqueness and at best at least we all look unique and each person is unique in some way or another. It is this drive to divide humanity into just average and above average that stops people from taking risks, from trying to achieve , and from being the best people they can be. More importantly, this idea of just normal is the same idea that makes us undervalue personal accomplishments people make and even undermine great things we ourselves achieve.
A father who is great to his family isn’t just normal he is a great father. He probably won’t have his name in the paper nor will he have a statue in his honor but he is not normal to his kids at least. A woman who is the best at her job is not normal she is fabulous to all the people who work with her so she isn’t just normal. A person wanting to lose ten kilos and ends up losing them isn’t just normal, he or she made some personal achievement worth celebrating, and a person setting out to write a book and finishing it on time isn’t just normal, they are great even if the book is not a New York Best Seller.
While this person was speaking I couldn’t help but think that no one is normal because the minute we start defining ourselves in such limiting terms we limit our own potential. A few months ago I wrote about our biggest impediment being our own thoughts and I really believe that fully. To me, this mode of thinking is further proof of this fact. Because, the minute we resign to the fact that we are blah to ourselves is the same minute we stop growing as people and the minute we view ourselves as just average is the same minute that the world will see us as such.
So I don’t believe that blah exists because everyone of us has a unique story to tell and this story will mean something to someone, somewhere. We are all above normal in the very traits that make us who we are.
However I want to make something very clear this is not a criticism of the speech I heard or the speaker it is only a reflection of the thoughts the speech gave me not more . If anything it did give me something to write about for Day 4 of my 100 days of blogging challenge.
Once again, any speech that gets us thinking is a good speech and any speaker getting us to react whether in agreement or disagreement did his/her job. From my experience in public speaking I learned that the minute we stand before an audience we commit ourselves to giving the people in that room an added value to their evening at least if not to their lives and any reaction does that . After all, listening and not thinking or reacting is what makes words just normal.