Many years ago, I volunteered to direct the children’s orchestra at my church. I was not the best person for the job, to be sure, but I was the willing one. I simply love music and wanted to give the children who didn’t want to sing or dance a way to participate in the ministry. I was their leader for two years, which really means it was for two Christmas programs.
I will never forget the look on the face of one father who approached me after we performed for our second Christmas program. He was so very humble when he thanked me for leading the children’s orchestra because it gave his son a chance to participate outside of school and with his peers at church. I will never forget his son. His name was Jonathan. He was very thin and a little awkward, clumsy at times. He didn’t speak much, and I believe he MS, just as his mother and several of his brothers had. I didn’t think much of it because he came to our practices and worked as hard at learning the music and putting up with my inexperience as any of the other children. I saw no reason to see him differently (I didn’t know about his MS at the time).
That is, I didn’t see him differently until the night his father thanked me. It was then that I saw Jonathan differently because he made me see myself differently. I walked away that night knowing what it means to say, “If I can help or reach even one, it’s all worth it.” It was worth my embarrassment at being rather ignorant of how to lead an orchestra if it helped even one child feel included.
I felt that way again today. I sponsored a lunch and learn event hosted by Metro ATL & Beyond, a networking organization owned by Rhonda R. Hudgins. In return for my sponsorship, I had the privilege of addressing the attendees for 10 minutes. It was a small gathering, and I had the opportunity to speak with several of the women over lunch. They all let me know how inspired they were by my message.
It was great to touch several women and a couple of men in attendance so effectively. But, it was truly worth the cost of sponsorship and my time and effort if I had only reached one. I sponsor events in exchange for being a speaker to gain advertisement and exposure for me and Topflight Communication, Inc. However, it is more important that I touch people, that I truly inspire them, in the process. After all, if my words don’t truly bless others, they are just words, and a waste of my time and the listeners’.
Strive to reach your entire audience in all you do, but remember that if you only reach one, it is worth whatever sacrifice you had to make to be available.
Watch the video of my speech here.