Imagine if I talked like this for the next 5 to 7 minutes? Not only would I be stressed out, but you would be too. Nobody would have enjoyed the experience. I might even hurt myself by biting my tongue.
Toastmasters and dear guests, if you have seen me outside of this club, you have probably seen me walk at a brisk pace, rushing somewhere, always trying to catch the next event in my calendar. Yes, I’m that annoying person who HAVE to pass people walking leisurely on the sidewalk. Yes, I am the one who is too impatient to stand on the escalator. Yes, I get annoyed when fast food staff is far from being ‘fast’. Where does this need for speed come from? Life has been trying to warn me to slow down for years but I have been turning a deaf ear. Today I would like to tell you 2 life lessons I have received.
First example is when I was about 6 years old. The school used to provide chocolate milk to the children. One cup per student, every day. I was always so eager to get my chocolate milk. One day, as soon as the teacher gave the signal, I rushed out of my seat, ready to outrun everybody to the door. Two steps forward and I realized that I didn’t have my mug. Noooo, quick turn around and grab it! That was without counting 20 other kids also rushing to the door! As I turned around, a little boy, who was just about 3-4 inches shorter than me was right on my heels and we collided full on. His forehead. My eye socket. BAM! Guess who had a black eye for a few weeks after? Would it have killed me to slow down and be a little further down the line? No, but it would have spared me a black eye!
Life threw me a bigger warning a few years later. I have a scar about an inch long on my right knee. I got a cut from a lawn mower. Yes, a lawn mower! I was thirteen and rushing to the grocery store at the corner of the street. As I got out of the front door, my dad intercepted me to ask me to lift the front side of the mower over the ledge onto the lawn. My dad’s lawn mower was capricious, could never be started on the lawn itself. I had a plastic bag in my hand and reluctant to waste any of my time, I squeezed it in between my knees and lifted the lawn mower. As I lowered it over my bent knees, the blade grazed my right knee. I looked down and I could see the soft, white tissue under my skin. AAAHHH!!!!!!! In retrospective now, I should have taken the time to put the bag aside, it would not have impeded my movement when I squatted down and that would have saved me some blood and tears.
These are 2 examples where my need for speed were the root cause of my downfall. Next time you are impatiently trying to pass someone on the sidewalk, think again. Is it worth risking an eye for? It certainly wasn’t for chocolate milk. Or the next time you are in a rush and want to skip a step to get there faster, ask yourself if it’s worth having a scar for. You don’t always have to be the first in line and it’s not always best to take a shortcut. Life is not meant to be lived with black eyes or scars. If you are like me and you live life at full speed, then my best advice to you is to slow down and ‘smell the roses’. The 6 year old me with the black eye and the 13 year old me limping to school would agree.