This is a speech I wrote and performed during my time in Toastmasters.
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One more story. One more story. One more story. Please.
PLEASE. I’ve already read you 3 or 4 stories already and its late.
What time is it now ? Story time daddy.
I’m tired. Sleep Time. Good night.
Another story. Another story. Well, maybe I’ll tell you one.
A little boy wakes up from a dream and sees the world for the very first time. He sees the seconds becoming minutes then hours and then to days and weeks. He’s too little to think about years yet. He wants to hurry up and grow up. After all grown ups have it all.
Like you, the little boys asks lots of questions, He wants to know everything and now. But no-one tells him all the answers. After all grown ups know it all. He doesn’t see them asking questions. But he still wants to know.
He gets a little older. He gets hurt as children do. But sometimes its too much to bear. And so he looks to his grown ups. When hurt comes they don’t flinch. So he does the same. He sets his face like flint.
But sometimes, something catches his eye. Like a flashlight behind his head. Seeing a sunrise. The orange glow then the sun popping its head over the horizon. Watching the waves break tall, the spray cloaking the lighthouse. Like a flame around a match.
In time, his delight died. Now older more wiser nothing could touch him. He had seen it all.
Now he was grown up. A rational being. Just the facts and figures. Everything in black or white or shades of grey.
But life’s a stream that flows. He tries to send love away but it sneaks in even when he is watching.
The boy now a man, fell in love and married. Is this all ?
The river of love carries him forward. The boy now a man becomes a dad. At first being a dad is just another job. Deadlines to meet, tasks to do. A fairly demanding boss.
But sometimes something catches his eye. His daughters first smile. Or something tickles his ear. Her first laugh as he picks her up. And then it happens.
Cooped up in the house. Its raining. So loud on the roof that he can’t hear himself think. The air so close like a wet towel that doesn’t dry you. The baby crying of course. Must stay calm. If I’m calm the baby will be calm. The rain stops. The sunlight through the window Need a breath of fresh air. The sun has just come out. The rain is gone. And she turns and looks. Then she points. “What’s that ?”
Just the facts. “Well after it has rained, the sun shines through each raindrop. Each raindrop splits the white light into its constituent colours. This is called the spectrum” And she stops him. She turns and looks and says “What’s That ?”
And he stops and looks and sees for the very first time. It’s a rainbow. And it has many colours. Red, green, yellow, blue, purple, orange. And (gasp) it is beautiful. And look closely. It’s a set of colours that seem to weave in and out of each other. Yet each colour is its own. And you could almost reach out and touch it. And it delights him.
I thought I had seen it all. I was blind. I see the sun dancing on green leaves and gilding them gently. Like Icing on a cake . Now I know what gold-leaf truly is. A breath of breeze changes it all and its still icing on the cake. The painting in motion that is a sunset. First the wispy pink clouds in the east turning to purple and then dark . While the sun pours out golden glory in the west
And I know like a child that through such things comfort will come. Beauty is always waiting to be found. To steel yourself inside against such things is to steal yourself from the beauty, joy and sometimes ugliness that is this world. At least now I’ve stopped playing hide and seek and can come out to play.
But I don’t know it all. Like a child I want to know more. I always did. And there still are questions that cannot ever be answered. But they still have to be asked. Children ask them. Adults should. So do I.
I thought grown ups have it all. They don’t. I don’t. I’m just a borrower. Like a child when I see something beautiful. I just want to pass it on.
One day I saw a rainbow coming home on the train. And it was perfect. And so coloured. I was the only one that noticed . Everyone had their heads down. “get up everyone, look at this rainbow”. I wish I had said that. Later on I realised. It doesn’t matter. The rainbow was just for me. All I have to do was pass it on.
When you see through the eyes of a child, one sees the world for the first time. When you see through the eyes of a child, one knows the world was crafted just for you. And then you know what it is like to hold the hand of GOD !