What inspires you to take action? A Poet and a Colonel motivated my first blog of 2014. It all started when I attended a stimulating interactive workshop last Saturday called STORY UP. Sharon and Norm Frickey, who I share adventures with in Toastmasters and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), facilitated the session. During the workshop, they delved into the intricacies of mirror neurons and expressed the importance of “Finding your story in the experience” and sharing it with others in order to bridge awareness gaps. They explained how story telling increases connectedness with our fellow humans.
Sharon passionately moved me when she said, “A story told with purpose and an authentic voice can change the world”. This writer’s workshop was a strong Call to Action and has prompted me to share my stories. Could I possibly change the world?
Sharon reflects on mirror neurons.
Photo by Steve Smull.
Last night I gave a speech entitled “Traditions and Changes- the Last Quarter of a Century “ at my newly joined Titan Toastmaster club. During the speech I realized the power and importance of telling a story. I connected with my audience on many levels when I shared my 25 year journey from college, to the Army, to War deployment, to the VFW and to Toastmasters. I explained that there is an interesting dichotomy in mind because I am a traditionalist who embraces change and new technology and I am an agile technophile who often longs for many old fashioned traditions.
In my speech I had fun with props as I detailed the numerous technological changes over the last 10 years and how it has altered the way that we communicate with one another. I displayed my cell phone, iPod, Kindle, and iPad and contrasted them with the tossed-aside printed newspaper, vinyl LP record, a cassette tape and paperback novel. I shared that although I have adopted and use all the most recent technological devices to communicate, I still value and yearn for live, verbal communications with my friends, family and colleagues. One of the reasons I love Toastmasters so much is because it provides a warm, friendly environment to speak with others in a supportive setting. Live, real-time dialogue and interactions with honest to goodness humans who actually smile, nod and react to my words and actions. Wow- what a concept.
It was heart warming and refreshing for me to tell a story about traditions, changes and the value and importance of how we communicate with each other. Could the connectedness I felt during this small speech begin to help bridge the recent polarization in our public discourse? I hope so.
Storytelling is a uniquely human experience
The ability to verbalize your thoughts and feelings into a 10 minute face to face presentation is so much more fulfilling and better understood by others than a 3 sentence Facebook post or a 140 character tweet certainly is!
So here’s to STORY UP and sharing our experiences live with our fellow humans.
Thanks to Norm and Sharon for inspiring me to reach new heights of authentic expression! My story telling has just begun.
The Poet and the Colonel