Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Theme of the Day Speech - 1

Theme :
"If Liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don't want to hear" - George Orwell

This quote is from the Preface of the George Orwell's well known book 'The Animal Farm". This book written in 1945 is a satire on Stalin's policies in USSR. Ironically the British government edited out this preface since it did not want to antagonize USSR , its ally in World War II.

All of us are fortunate to be born in India where most of the time we can exercise our freedom of speech without the fear of getting tortured or executed.
However Liberty does not mean character assassination, abusing a person, putting down a person. And I don't think Orwell meant it this way. I would interpret his statement as Liberty being a right to give a constructive feedback to people without any fear of victimisation.

Here in Toastmasters club each and every member, whether a new member or a long time member, young man or an elderly gentleman, an undergraduate student or a Ph.D, an unemployed person or a highly successful professional is treated equally and has a complete liberty to give the gift of feedback to any of its members. And fortunately we toastmasters really want to hear the feedback so that we can make progress towards being excellent communicators and leaders. We have well defined process to achieve this.

[This is an extract from my first speech as a Toastmaster of the Day. It was delivered on Jan 24 2009]

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