What is the secret that makes some people more successful?
It was raining outside. Big fat droplets of water slapped indignantly against the classroom window. Dreary eyes made their routine rounds from the clock to the window over and over again. While in the background, there came the steady hum of nervous and shaky voices of grade 8 students. They all tried to pretend not to read their speeches directly from their cue cards. But we all knew they did.
Every single speech started with a quote from some vaguely familiar person in history. But before we can pinpoint who it was, our minds would already be assaulted by the staggering amount of statics each student undoubtedly mined from the obscure recesses of Wikipedia. After what seemed liked an eternity later, we were all awoken from of our mind-numbing comas. For when we heard the phrase “in conclusion” being mumbled from the front, we all knew any of us could be summoned next to deliver our speech.
As I sat on death row and awaited my inevitable fate, I stared down at my sweat-soaked cue cards. I knew my speech was a carbon copy of everyone else’s. The only difference was that it was about a different preassigned topic; bullying. And I knew that no one was going to listen; except the teacher who was paid to do so.
And so, when my name was called, I lumbered up to the front of the class. And then, I did something completely unexpected. I abandoned by cue cards, closed my eyes, and sang the first few lines to the chorus of Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful”.
When I finally reopened my eyes, I was met with a sea of shock and pleasant surprise. And instead of sharing all the detrimental facts of bullying, that I copied from the internet, I proceeded to share my story and how I was bullied in the past instead. Not only did I get an unexpectedly high mark for this speech, but I was warmly embraced by a classroom filled with heart-warming applause.
Many of us are afraid of sharing our silly, quirky and unique selves. But the more we do so, the more we realize it adds flavour to everything we do. And it also enriches the lives of those around us.