“It ain’t about you!!” is an often exaggerated tagline from Dr. Phil, but when you really think about it…it’s good advice. The world is a better place when we consider others before ourselves. My personal perspective got an adjustment last night, and it came in the form of a speech by a young man named Kyle Bryant.
In my mind, last night was supposed to be about me. I was competing for the 5th straight year in the Toastmasters District 39 inspirational speech contest, and I had worked very hard for 4 months leading up to Saturday night. My goal this year was to develop an impactful “dramatic story” speech, about having to turn back on a Yosemite Half Dome climb (read the original post here.) I appreciated the judges awarding me with 2nd place, but this concludes my drive toward the world championship for this year.
1st place went to Kyle Bryant, who told a story about having heart… and “heart” trumps “drama” any day. Kyle was the final speaker in a field of 8 strong contestants, and he closed the show with a heartfelt telling of his battle with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a degenerative nervous system disease. He rode a recumbent tricycle across the US with his father to raise money for a cure, and is about to enter an even bigger race. As I sat in the audience, I couldn’t help feeling grateful for my health, and wishing for a cure for Kyle.
Everything happens for a reason. If I hadn’t entered the contest, I wouldn’t have met Kyle and heard his message last night – “It’s not what life throws at you… it’s how you react to it.”
So I’m reacting by passing his story along to you now. Learn more about the new documentary movie at www.theataxian.com and donations are still welcome.
It’s true… sometimes, “it ain’t about you.”