You Make a Difference

by Yeow Chern Han

December 2001

I always remember the story of the brave little boy who saved his village in Holland - he jammed his finger into a hole in the dyke which prevented seawater from gushing in and destroying the village. His act of bravery made a difference and saved the village from a catastrophe.

Making a difference is about being of service to people. We may not always have opportunities for heroic acts as in the case of the little boy, but the essence of making a difference is the same - whether it is about blocking a leaking hole, filling up a gap or making lives better for people around you - it is about being of service to others.

In Lion City Toastmasters Club, there are plenty of such "services" :

- Seng Chuan's constant reminder for us to "Mind our Language",

- Sophia's effort in putting together the New Member Kit,

- Swee Kiat's constant early arrival to help prepare for the meetings,

- Augustine's creation and maintainence of our club's website and

- our new member Chee Kheong's creative way of facilitating the Table Topics session.

The above are just some examples and by no means exhaustive. All these contributions are voluntary beyond the call of our duties as toastmasters. We, the clubmembers, get to enjoy the fruits of their labour. These little differences by different individuals, added together, becomes a Big Difference to our club!

As such, I modified a prayer from St Francis of Assisi and called it the Toastmasters Prayer to remind and encourage every member that we all can make a diffference:

Lord, make me a deserving Toastmaster.

Where there are guests, let me welcome them.

Where there is a speaker, evaluate,

Where there is table topics, participate,

Where there is stress, lighten

Where there is sadness, joy

Where there is no timer, let me be

Where there is no money, (robe in the) Ah ha (counter)!

Grant that I might not so much seek

to be motivated as to motivate,

to be inspired as to inspire,

to be encouraged as to encourage.

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in serving that we are served.