My first official speech in Grade 8 was about self-confidence. I don't remember much about that speech other than I was terrified to present. Thankfully, I've since developed the confidence to speak and have been given many opportunities to share with both small groups and large groups (600+). My experience includes, but is not limited to, speaking informally to both local and provincial groups as a parent advocate, speaking both informally and formally to church community audiences, and, over the last number of years, frequently sharing a parent perspective to new parents of children with special needs at Niagara Children's Centre.
Each time I speak and meet with listeners, I witness the universal experience of both loss (of any kind) and the longing for belonging. Though we are diverse in belief systems, culture, and circumstance, there are common threads in our fabric of living. These common threads are part of what I believe can bring us together to foster a culture of compassion that empowers all of us to thrive.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S. Lewis