International Toastmasters - A Power for World Peace
The writer - A Toastmaster for many years
One of the World's most useful organizations is making for a better world
It is my privilege to be a member of what is probably the best all round Communication and Leadership organization in the world – Toastmasters International. Anyone who knows anything about it at all will affirm that it is truly one of the world’s most useful organizations. Virtually anyone can apply and become a member. It’s inexpensive. It is non-religious and non-political. Generally it offends no one – unless of course, you happen to control a sect, a business or a nation which deplores free speech. But even here, the leadership is likely to see the benefits of having a competent populace able to compete in an ever-widening world of International Communication. For we know how essential Communication is.
Two very dedicated long-serving Toastmasters
There are huge benefits in ongoing membership
Those who are member of Toastmasters, especially those who have been members for some years, know the huge benefits of ongoing membership. It means a steady growth not only in knowledge, and skills, but an ever-widening circle of contacts and friends. It this last that I wish to mention particularly in this Hub (essay) for it deals with something very important to us all – human belongingness – our being a part of it all.
A man who has visited many countries
Doing away with the 'us' and 'them' concept
When people are in an organization, the natural inference is that there are also those who are not in it. They’re the outsiders. It is often looked at as a case of ‘us and them.’ It is this separation or division – which in essence is simply an idea of separation in the mind – that causes so many of our world problems. One fairly natural corollary to ‘us and them’ is that ‘them’ or they are not like us. They are different. The next step is some degree of alienation. And a step or two beyond that can be evolve into enmity. They are our potential enemies. They are dangerous.
There is no exclusivity in Toastmasters
Toastmasters International allows anyone to join. When I say that, I mean that the individual members of a club make the decision to allow visitors to join. It is a democratic process where the membership of the club takes a vote on whether a visitor who has indicated his or her desire to join will be accepted. I have seen this done dozens of times and, to this date, have never seen anyone excluded. I have witnessed debate. I have seen some hostility where a person who has earned a reputation of being a ‘trouble maker’ has had members of a club argue against their admittance. I have never seen such argument succeed. Toastmasters are a broadminded, fair and just group and I stand by my remark “anyone can join.”
Australian Toastmasters from diverse backgrounds
A powerful intrument for world peace
It is because anyone from any nation from anywhere in the world is welcomed into the Toastmaster fold, that it is such a powerful instrument for world peace. It is not easy to make believe that certain people are our potential enemies when we’ve visited a Toastmaster club or a convention in their country. For such visits create not only links that pertain to the aims of Toastmasters: better listening, better thinking and better speaking - but friendships.
Always good to get recognition for one's efforts
Be an International Toastmaster
As more and more Toastmasters begin to see themselves as International Toastmasters belonging to and being part of Toastmasters International, more and more friendships will be formed around the world. This can only be a good thing. So it is my earnest hope that our wonderful organization will spread and grow to the point there will not be a country or nation on Planet Earth that does not have within its borders a Toastmasters club.
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