Greetings Happy People,
For today’s post, I am going to go on a very different path.
As many of you know, I am part of an organization called Toastmasters International. This organization is about improving one’s communication and leadership skills through a positive friendly environment. For more than 85 years, millions of people benefited by joining this organization. From Toastmasters, we have successful leaders, business people, and amazing personalities.
With all this positive energy, it is hard to believe that there could be anything negative about this organization. Like many things in life, there are two different sides of the coin. There is a positive side and a negative one.
The one thing that really breaks my heart about this organization is someone not having fun learning as much as they can. Now and then, there are people that want to improve their communication and leadership skills, but there are situations that make things uncomfortable for the individual. Whether it involves certain businesses, people, or anything else. There are those discouraging moments where one wants to just leave the organization on a very bad note.
Throughout my 15-year experience in Toastmasters, I have seen those moments. Every time I see them, it hurts me to the point where it breaks my heart. Sometimes, I go by myself and just cry. I cry because of the lost potential that could have been. It may not be something I have control over, but it hurts big time. Damn!! I am crying right now just thinking about it!!
My first experience in this happened five years ago. That was when I served as an Area Governor for the first time. I served 5 clubs. One of those clubs met at the Las Vegas Review Journal - a local newspaper establishment. One January, I walked in for a visit and the President told me that the club has disbanded because the company would not fund it anymore. My jaw hit the floor. I could not believe it. When I got home, I wondered if anymore could have been done to help that club. I also thought about those people that were in that club. They were some good friendly folks too. It was a shame that it folded. For a while, I kicked myself. As heartbreaking as that was, I came to a realization that it was out of my control.
There are people that also left this organization because of other people too. Somehow, personalities would clash to the point where it gets pretty messy. Words are exchanged. Feelings are hurt. Fingers are pointing. Accusations are made. Seeing these things is like watching a tragic Shakespearean play. You know something is coming at the end – and it is not a good thing. These things hurt because I don’t like seeing people get into any unnecessary confrontations where both parties get hurt and NO ONE WINS!! Again, this is heartbreaking for me.
Of all the heartbreaking things I have seen in Toastmasters, people would often ask why I never leave. Well, I can give you the following answers:
1. I love the organization too much. This is one good hobby that I have found worthwhile to be a part of. It is one of the passions I enjoy.
2. Of the entire negative that can happen in this organization, I still find positive people and made some good friends in the process. That is something I am grateful for.
3. No matter what happens, good or bad, I just keep walking. That is the advice I give to many people when they either join or undertake any leadership role.
With this, I will bring the following post to a close. Before I end this, I have some words to say. If I can talk to someone that is going through a heartbreaking moment, I first give my apologies that their Toastmasters experience was not what they expected. Another bit of advice I will give is that no matter how good or bad things get, just keep walking. Like different points in my life, I have walked through storms and sun shines. The more you walk through them, the stronger you will become. All you have to is just keep walking. Trust me. You will be stronger for it.
That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.