I am the current club president of “Sunrise Toastmasters”, a club in Fort Collins, Colorado — one of many clubs worldwide that are part of Toastmasters International. Club members practice principles of leadership and learn a range of communication skills. In effect, Toastmasters are students of “Oratory” — the art and rationale of public speaking. Sunrise Toastmasters is a “morning club” that meets weekly at 6:30-7:45am.
My experience with Toastmasters goes back eight years. During that time, I have continued to find in myself fresh new ways to communicate and lead. Core to that work is a deep desire to see the best in others, to the end that I clearly see the best in myself.
In that wise, I want to share my experience of a Toastmasters meeting that had a particular impact on me, because I came to know the essence of a man whom I had never met through the expression of those who spoke at our club meeting.
The theme of the meeting was in tribute to a longtime, now dearly departed Sunrise Toastmaster, Mr. Alan Beatty. Several members who knew Alan reminisced about him in ways that brought Alan’s spirit, atmosphere, and attributes to fine focus.
Words are powerful, and Reminiscing is a powerful way to use words which flow from positive thought and loving feelings.
Reminiscing with uplifting memories of the dearly departed brings soothing comfort to the hearts of those grieving their loss. It also provides a safe medium of support for the journey of the one who is in the midst of a final ascension to the most profound state of “New Normals” there is!
Alan Beatty was known far and wide as a happy, fun-loving, and often flamboyantly-dressed source of energy and enthusiasm, as well as a brilliant (yet mild-mannered) inventor whose curiosity was conversant with multiple fields of mastery.
In this tribute to Alan, my role called for the delivery of a “Thought of the Day”. Typically, it would be a 1 to 2-minute presentation of a quote, a joke, poetry or a (very short) story — Whatever might induce entertaining or inspiring thoughts in the listener.
Having a lyrical piece by an unknown author, I prefaced it for the occasion as follows:
“This set of verses is titled ‘AfterGlow’. As I read this, please close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, in your imagination, hear Alan’s voice speaking these words to you:
“I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to hear an echo whispering softly down the ways of
Happy times and laughing times — with bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun of
Happy memories I leave, when life is done.
My last few words to you are spun,
“Go out there now, and have some fun!”
My life has been enriched through the reminiscing of those whose lives were touched by this man. My point in sharing this experience with you here, is to epitomize the power of connection, spoken tribute, and living life to the fullest (as Alan most certainly did)!
(Rest Softly, Alan, in the Delight of Sublime Peace)