For years I have been part of the Installation Ceremony,guiding students, helping them write their speeches at times hosting the function and every time it happened , I would be thrilled at the notion of youngsters ready to take the mantle and carry out their responsibilities. Some of their enthusiasm would always rub on to me and I could feel a spring in my step those special days. It never mattered to me who the elected students were, it was enriching enough to watch them grow, to feel that sense of validation as they assumed their new roles and responsibilities. I always loved the event. Never did I think of being so sworn in myself..and when on 11th of July, 2015 ,I was sworn in as the Sergeant At Arms at Dhwani Toastmasters Club, the feeling was surreal. I enjoyed being on the other side of the table so to speak!!!
I realized the importance of taking on a role and committing myself to it in the presence of others. I realized the ownership it brings. While I have been working long enough and have always relished my duties , here I felt a sense of pride and when I looked around, I saw the glint of joy and achievement in others eyes too.
I have always watched with appreciation how a student who carries a flag, who leads a team, who holds a responsibility always would hold his/her head high as if the mere action itself was so elevating.During the sports meet for example, its interesting to watch the captains of houses, the team leaders, the house masters and house mistress all being united as if by an unseen force and working towards a goal. There seems to be a sense of purpose in the air and one can feel a certain tightening of muscles, smarter postures, beaming faces, intent eyes.
Why toastmasters? ,you might want to ask.Not every lay man gets a chance to hold a public office, to be the leader in real life. The toastmasters club helps you to shed your inhibitions,to challenge yourself,to grow as a leader and a speaker, be ready to accept feedback positively and strive for excellence. The result may not be visible immediately but if you are committed and regular at your task the benefits will soon be evident in the way you conduct yourself.
The very idea that people would come to a common platform to sharpen their skills at public speaking and leadership is so endearing and the fact that they have the heart to allow others grow is truly noble. Many cheers to Ralph C Smedley for conceptualizing toastmasters club!!!