All of us in this room are striving to become successful in life … this is one reason we join ToastMasters … it is my dream, that ‘ALL’ of us find ways to ‘help others’ along the way to our success!
If you decide to help others there are four words you should remember: "Unexpected”, "Unknown”, "Way out of your Way” & "Treasure” To help you understand this I want to tell you a true story about [point] this box and how it taught me about these four points!
This box is over nine years old so we have to travel back in
time to a very cold winter evening on November 6th,
This was "Unexpected”, our first point … sometimes helping others will be inconvenient and will interrupt our schedule … but to not help in the case of a baby could have very bad consequences … of course my wife chose to help and that evening forever changed our life!
The next point is "Unknowns”… as my wife left with Peter neither she or I knew what would happen … but many times when you truly help others there will be many unknowns … when they arrived at the gate to our community a group of local ladies were surrounding a box [point] in the street … my wife could see a very small newborn baby wrapped in blankets in the box … it was so cold with a light freezing rain coming down which would later turn to snow.
My wife convinced the ladies to let her take the box upstairs so the baby would be out of the cold … so they all came to our friends warm apartment … my wife knew that many abandoned babies have medical problems so she wanted to check and took the baby out of the box and unwrapped the newborn child … what the ladies saw caused many to run horrified out of the home … the baby had a hole in the belly and most of the small intestines were outside of the body … this was a very serious birth defect.
At that time there were so many unknowns but we knew the baby needed immediate medical attention or the child would die … my wife called me and told me the situation … our friends wife brought clean bandages so we could protect the intestines and take the baby to the hospital
One of the elder ladies in the community looked at my wife and with tears in her eyes told my wife she would help us any way she could if my wife would help this baby … that was all the encouragement my wife needed.
Helping others will many times take you "way out of your way” … We took baby to the GongYi People’s Hospital … there my wife gave her the name Xiaoqing for the hospital records … but they did not have any surgeons trained in the surgery she needed … They told us we would have to go to the Children’s Hospital in Zhengzhou.
My friend Dr. Wu Ying Chen traveled with us and helped us find a taxi that was willing to cross the Song mountains in the snow that was already falling … my wife wore a very big coat so she could keep Xiaoqing close to her body to stay warm and used a small flashlight to keep a check on the baby during the long and dangerous trip … the taxi driver was a very good driver and our car only slid a few times as we crossed the mountain in the snow … we went way out of our way but we finally arrived at the children’s hospital.
The doctors knew exactly what the problem was and went to work getting Xiaoqing under bili-lights and started an IV to hydrate our little one … all this was done before we even talked about money … even thought we were ‘way out of our way’ we were right where we should be to keep Xiaoqing alive.
Xiaoqing had her first major surgery when she was 19 ½ hours old … the surgery was successful … four days later she had to have another major surgery and they thought she would die … I believed she would live and encouraged the doctors to continue treating her … of course she did live, and 17 days later we were approved to care for her at our home with the permission of the government and the Zhengzhou orphanage.
My last point is the word ‘Treasure’ … you can not buy the good feeling that you have when you truly help another person in a positive way … we don’t ask for anything in return from the folks we help … our satisfaction and treasure comes from the feeling we have from having given a person a chance at life!
Xiaoqing is a clear example of this treasure, in that now she is my legal adopted daughter and her birth defects were corrected by good surgery in the first days of her life … it all started with this box … and now (bring the picture out of the box) Xiaoqing has celebrated her ninth birthday and is a very bright primary school student and the love of my life!
So remember, sometimes the opportunity to help others will happen at "UNEXPECTED times” … "There will be many UNKNOWNS” … sometimes it will take you "WAY OUT OF YOUR WAY” … but, if you are willing to help others, the "TREASURES” are so worth your trouble, time & money!
Just do it! It’s the right thing to do!
This speech was tweaked a lot to make it a winning speech in the finals … my team and many other friends gave wonderful advice about possible changes … the tweaks I made worked And I just used one image in the attached PPT program and had it flash up when I talked about treasure at the end of my speech … I hear the visual aid had a very powerful effect.
Go here for information on the Charity my wife and I founded back in 2006 as a result of seeing the great need of Special Needs Orphans in China.
you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for finding ways to "Help Others”
H. Clay Williams