I made this speech in Advance Toastmasters club, Little Rock, AR on May 10th 2007. Again thanks to Stellus for recording this presentation as well as the evaluation parts. Below here are the video clips of my speech and evaluation for my speech. Also I am including the text I wrote during the process of my preparation.
The Power of Unconditional Giving:
Not until Jan 29 of this year, I realized the tremendous power of unconditional giving. Unconditional giving is a true blessing.
Mr.Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters, and distinguished guests
It was a Sunday morning, Jan 28th. I sat down relaxed and contemplated about unconditional giving. I decided to do one selfless act everyday during the coming week. As this thought pervaded me, I picked up my journal, jotted down Monday – Sunday, with dates beside, Jan 29th– Feb 4th. I left few blank lines between each day. After giving some careful thought I filled in each day with what I intended to do.
And here’s a copy of my journal page. Of the seven, I would now like to share two of them – Monday’s and Saturday’s, which are really special and had a remarkable effect on me.
My first experience is about the sheer joy of making some one happy.
Jackie is a lady who works in my office. I don’t interact with her with work related matters. But, I get to see her on my way to lunch,and talk in the break room occasionally. Jackie’s work area is on second floor,and mine is on 3rd floor. We have internal stairs connecting 2ndand 3rd floor. Once Jackie and I along with few others got to attend a training session where we got to share about our interests and hobbies. Jackie mentioned that she enjoys reading motivational and spiritual books. As some of you know that I am an avid reader. Having common interests, we immediately got connected and from then on used to share about our interesting readings.
When I was thinking about something to make Jackie happy, an extra copy of the book – As a Man Thinketh by James Allen quickly caught my attention. I picked the book, wrapped in a beautiful gift-wrap, and kept in my handbag so that I wouldn’t forget to take it to work on Monday morning. The moment I started thinking about giving Jackie something she likes, pleasant thoughts started permeating across me. Finally it’s 12:30 in the afternoon on Monday, Jan 29th. It’s “My Lunch Time”. It’s time when I can go and meet Jackie. With those thoughts, I chuckled gently. Got up and started walking down the stairs. Having sprained my ankle couple of times in the past, I pay caution to each of my step on stairs. So, I walked with the head bent. As I got off the stairs, I lifted my head. Jackie’s cubicle is located right in front of the steps. As I walked towards Jackie’s cubicle, I saw “Happy Birthday”decorations. Oh my God! I felt ecstatic! I couldn’t believe what I am seeing. Still in astonishment, and with half-belief approaching Jackie, I asked “Is it your Birthday?!” She answered “Yes", with a blush on her face”. With a Big smile, I said “Happy Birthday Jackie!”, with a slight pause, opening my handbag, I said “I have a little something to give to you”. I took out the beautifully wrapped book gently and handed it to Jackie. I didn’t know it was your Birthday. I just thought of doing little something that makes you happy. With a tinge of puzzled look Jackie said “You are so thoughtful, and have given me so many books. I owe you so much.” Holding Jackie’s hands, I told “No Jackie, please don’t ever feel so. I am doing this for my own pleasure. Please do not ever feel obligated to do something. Elucidating my thoughts, easened Jackie. She thanked me with a bright smile.” I felt this act was such a true blessing to me. It rose my spirits to a high degree. Guess what, after a few weeks, one day Jackie stopped by me and aid “I greatly enjoyed that book. It’s a tiny little book, but of great value. I bought one more copy of it and gave to my brother-in-law. Wow! I am on the top of Himalaya mountains now. It’s so amazing to experience the profound effects of giving something without any expectation.
My point here is it brings you sheer joy when you make someone happy.
The second story I would like to share is about the pleasure in expressing our sincere appreciation. I often go to a post office in West Little Rock on Huron Lane. I know even Roger comes to this post-office. Whenever I go there, I see each of the employee working with so much patience, no complaints, or frustration on their face even during the busiest holiday season when the queues are so lengthy almost extending until the entrance doors. I always wonder it would be so nice if everyone keep up that attitude of doing one’s work with pleasure, and no complains. As I get my turn to seek service, I usually ask “How is your day going so far!”. To my surprise, not one time I noticed someone with unpleasant face. Guess what? Almost always, I receive a response “Doing wonderful, How about you?” Wow! That response illuminates my face. I respond back it’s wonderful to hear, and I am too doing wonderful.
I even visited other post offices, and even there I noticed the same. I noticed the same pleasant, enthusiastic response and attitude. I shared about it couple of times with my husband as well as friends. As I was pondering, I thought why not I express my sincere appreciation for their attitude directly with them, and make them feel good. And it did fit my criteria of not expecting anything in reciprocation. I went to Hallmark stores bought five blank Thank you cards. I hand-wrote the message “Whenever I visit you and ask you “Howz your day, you always respond “Wonderful, with a pleasant face. Your response makes my day much sunnier. Thank you for such a wonderful attitude!” I wrote this message in each of the five cards, using my calligraphy pens, signed them, and enclosed in the envelopes. Still I didn’t write the names, as I wasn’t sure who will be working on that day. But, I knew one person so well, as I get served by him many times. His name is “James”. No matter what, I wanted to give one of my appreciation cards to him. So, I wrote his name both within as well as on the envelope, sticked the little crown sticker over the top to make each of them special, and that he is the king or the queen. I enclosed all the five cards in a file, along with the crown stickers, and my calligraphy pen to write each of their names. I also had an airmail envelope to mail. I headed to post-office. Standing in the line I tried to notice each of the staff members names. There were three people serving that day – Paul, Regina, and Richard. As my turn came quickly,I didn’t have enough time to write their names. Hence, as I got my turn I gave my envelope for having stamps, and mailed it. I stood to the side, wrote their names, and sticked the crown stickers, and again joined the queue. As my turn arrived I approached each of them, gave the card and said, “I always feel so good to notice your wonderful attitude of doing your work diligently and with pleasure. This is my little thank you card to express my appreciation". There faces beamed. You can’t imagine how joyful I was to see their elated faces.My face beamed 10 folds.
I had no idea that a simple heartfelt appreciation will bring me such immense pleasure and joy.
Why did I say that I didn’t realize the power of giving until early this year? Did I mean that I didn’t do any thoughtful things? No, I didn’t mean that. The difference lies in the word "Unconditional" Giving. I confess that until early this year, I used to expect from my giving. Not that I expected a reciprocating deed or a favor,but I used to look forward to hear to an acknowledgment. For eg. I received your card, thank you. Or I received your thoughtful timely gift. When I didn’t receive the feedback I used to be disappointed. But the moment I learned the joy of unconditional giving, I am happy not the moment I receive reciprocation, but the moment I did the act. I am inundated with sheer joy, happiness, and appreciation from even those whom I barely know, and from those I haven’t been in touch for years. Since I am happy with my unconditional giving, happiness is attracting me.
Everything in universe obeys the law of cause and effect. Whatever we do is sure to return back to us in many folds. We may not receive from our recipient, or the moment we expect, but sure it will return one day, from someone, in some unexpected form.
Experience the joy of unconditional giving. In my opinion it is a true blessing. It inundates us with joy, pleasure and prosperity.