I had a short stint as a Toastmasters Club Secretary. Though I loved the meetings, I soon realized that the secretary’s role took too much of my time and I dropped off Toastmasters after a single term, which is 6 months. Every now and then, I missed speaking in front of the lovely crowd and listening to people’s inspiring speeches.
Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a mesmerizing speech by my friend. She is an excellent orator and has an exceptionally creative mind. Since I loved the speech, I got her permission to share the message here. Note that I have modified the structure and content a bit, but the core message is intact. Without further ado, here is the speech titled “Let it GO!”.
I lay in the hospital, listening to the dripping sound of glucose and staring at the ceiling fan. As I stared up into space, my mind drifted back to that fateful day.
Fellow Toastmasters, Dear Brothers, and Sisters,
I was born with a twin sister. Our appearance may be identical, but our ideas were non-identical. Our ideologies were poles apart. She always hovered around me, never parting from me even for a single minute. She decided everything for me, from my dressing to eating to socializing. Though my twin sister was a control freak, I felt proud to have her by my side. Her presence gave me a boost of confidence.
One afternoon, we were waiting for our driver to deliver our lunch. He usually comes on time, but that day he was late. I was so hungry that when the driver arrived I could swallow him along with the food. Our lunch break was half over and no one had come with our food. My sister and I were sitting under a tree and looking over the entrance.
My eyes glinted at the sight of a hand with food in front of me. Nithya offered to share her food as she noticed that our driver had not turned up. My face dazzled with a million dollar smile. I wanted to accept it, but my twin sister scowled. You see, Nithya is the daughter of our maid, Gowri. To my sister, accepting food from our maid’s daughter was unthinkable. She convinced me not to touch the food and spitefully threw it on the ground.
The thing is my mother considers Gowri as her well-wisher, best friend, and trustworthy helper. Being a teacher, she believed that education is one of the best gifts to provide someone and sponsored Nithya’s schooling. This could be one of the reasons why Gowri always treated us like her own child. Yet, my sister considered both Gowri and Nithya to be beneath us and brainwashed me into thinking the same. I was too naive and accepted it without protesting.
A couple of days later, our dad had gifted us a scooty for our birthday. We were doubly excited because we were going to a get together with friends on our birthday, and we would get there in our new scooty. As we were getting ready to leave, the lady we detest, Gowri, came our way to wish us. My sister did not want to spend a minute more in the house because she simply did not want to talk to Gowri. She pulled me out of the house, banged the door shut and rushed on top of the scooty.
How cool would it be to flaunt our gift in front of friends! With that excitement, she revved up the accelerator. Like all teenagers, we did stunts and the speed was going up and up and up and… boom. It happened so fast. When I opened my eyes, I was lying under a truck in a pool of blood. A few good souls around me took me to a nearby hospital and informed my parents. The one striking thing that my fading consciousness caught was the cry of a woman. It was louder than my mom’s wailing and belonged to the person we were running away from.
Two days later, I was shifted from the ICU to the normal ward. The very first person to receive me was Gowri, adorned in the same saree that she wore on my birthday. She had stayed in the hospital since then and left only after confirming my wellbeing. In the next few days, till I was discharged, she voluntarily visited to take care of me.
I lay in the hospital bed, listening to the dripping sound of glucose and staring at the ceiling fan. As I stared up into space, my mind drifted back to that fateful day. I was stumped by Gowri’s unconditional love.
She was my storyteller. She was my walking stick. She was my news channel. She was my super singer. That one week with Gowri was etched into my heart. Despite how I behaved, all I received from her was love, love, love. Suddenly, I realized that something was weird. Something was missing. My sister’s influence! What happened to her?
Yes, I lost my sister. She died in the accident. And she was called “EGO”.
It was my ego that stopped me from enjoying the pure love and affection of Gowri.
It was my ego that made me reject the food offered by my maid’s daughter, even though I was starving in hunger.
It was my ego that pulled me away from a good set of friends.
That accident made me realize that I was wearing ego as an identity card. It cost me multiple injuries and a hospitalization to realize the value of pure love.
Ego is the only requirement to destroy any relationship.
So be a bigger person. Skip the E and let it go…