Viewpoint: Keeping Your Promise
A message from our International President
I recited the Toastmasters Promise when I was inducted into the membership of the Swan Valley Toastmasters Club more than 27 years ago. And then I filed it away.
On my visit to the District 81 spring conference in St. Lucia, in the Caribbean, I was amazed and inspired when the general membership stood en masse and recited this promise at the Opening Ceremony. I also felt self-conscious that I was unable to recite the promise along with them. Right then, I committed to revisiting – and memorizing – the promise when I arrived home.
A few days later, with the Toastmasters Promise in front of me, I thought, “How can I best fulfill my Toastmasters promise?” And then it came to me: I could bring the Promise to the forefront of our great organization in this column space! (You can read it on the opposite page, in a box on the Table of Contents page. It will remain there this year, so you can be reminded of it in every issue of the magazine.)
As I reread and ponder each line of this promise, I realize that this pledge we take as we join our clubs leads us to become engaged students of the Toastmasters communication and leadership programs. We promise to do our homework. We promise to encourage our fellow learners. We promise to play fair and to rise to the challenge when someone sees something great in us. We promise to engage in our experiential learning program. We promise to include others in our learning and hold them to a level that they are worthy of achieving. And I especially love the part of the promise where we commit to having fun while learning at each meeting!
Toastmasters International is fortunate enough to have people knock on our doors searching for leadership, listening, thinking and speaking skills. Millions of people worldwide have found what they came looking for. I hope that is true for you as well. I believe we are able to meet these diverse needs because each of us fulfills our promise to ourselves and one another.
My fervent hope is that each one of us identifies our fear and moves boldly into it. This is the very spot where true learning takes place. Make a commitment to your personal greatness by looking for new lessons to learn and supporting the learning of others.
Greatness is keeping our promise to ourselves and to each other. I am confident that as we fulfill our promise, we will catch glimpses of the greatness in ourselves and others. That is the reward in our programs. Be bold and grow this year. Keep your Toastmasters Promise!
Pat Johnson, DTM