Life is a melding of joy, opportunity, and stress. In the spirit of life, Darnell, Sherry, Bob, and Abdul remind us all of these different ingredients.
Darnell provides valuable insights concerning how to influence people, sprinkling these six insights throughout the meeting as the Toastmaster for the evening. Sherry further challenges us to stop and ponder life – not merely how we influence others but how we influence and engage life itself. Her questions acutely focused on what we value in life and how we live out those values. Time travel, theft, or desire: no question is too small or profound as she provides a context for us to articulate how we think about life.
Elaborating on these themes, Bob spoke on stress. In his speech “How to Cope with Stress,” he presents Babe Ruth as the quintessential example for dealing with stress. Babe is not remembered for striking-out; rather, he is remembered for his home runs. When we are batting at the “plate of life,” we should remember that we cannot change our past, we cannot control the future, but we can break our tasks into smaller, manageable, meaningful segments. Each swing should be for a meaningful task (and hopefully we will enjoy a meaningful home run like the Babe).
Finally, Abdul provided closure to life's recipe by reminding us of the importance of marriage. Providing more than just a reminder of this sacred moment and vow, he showed us what marriage is life in Pakistan. In “Let's Go to a Pakistani Wedding,” Abdul explained the before (Mehndi), during (Barat), and after (Walma) elements of a Pakistani wedding. Reliving the celebration is a reminder of both the similarities and differences between cultures – it's a reminder that within our similarities we can embrace and appreciate our differences.
Whether it is learning to influence people within our social circles, dealing with the stress of life, self-reflecting upon our worldview, or reveling in the new life found of a marriage, Monday's meeting provides a little bit of everything to incorporate into everyone's secret life recipe.