Friday, March 30, 2012


Her hand shook as she reached to brace herself against the table.

Her eyes were averted from the audience.

"I'm very nervous," said a tiny voice.

We are in an abuse prevention training session for people with disabilities. The audience is made up of both people with disabilities and care providers who had come to learn how to teach the class. It was well into the class. It was the first time she had come forward. She stood beside me terrified. I whispered to her, "It takes a lot of courage to get up in front of people."

She did well.

She was applauded.

I whispered, "Would you like to do another one?"

She paused.

Then nodded.

And my heart soared. She was fighting her fear and winning. She was taking ground, and holding it. She was grabbing control, and not letting it slip away.

In front of me.

That morning I got up and realized that I still wasn't well. I knew that this particular cold and cough was taking people out for two weeks at a time. I was only 6 days in. I got dressed wishing I was staying in bed. I ate breakfast wishing that I could go back to bed. Rolling out the door, I wanted to roll back in.

Not any more.

Not now.

I felt better as the day went on and as the class progressed. I found myself focusing on what I was doing, not how I was feeling. 

I can't always rise out of a sick bed to do this ... but I could this time.

And I'm glad I did.

Because I saw a hand that trembled become one that didn't.

One of the seven wonders of our inner world.


Anonymous said...

That indeed was wondrous - makes you wonder what the other 6 wonders of our inner world would be?!?

Such a edifying event to witness. Yipee!

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I can see how witnessing her courage would be healing. So, you know those times when you wonder what the heck you are doing here? Remember this woman and that it was your presence that gave her the opportunity and support she needed to do this.

liz said...


Jeannette said...

And a second Amen.

John R. said...

Speaking in front of people is such an act of vulnerable abandon....I do it for a living and realize it every time I am about to present...The influence I have, as any public speaker has, can be huge.....this person realized her incredible responsibility and obviously understands the power and importance and responsibility of public speaking (particularly when it revolves around important and vital topics i.e.; abuse prevention, etc)....bravo to her!!!