Celebrations seem to be the theme of the season. Our Area Director paid us a visit and brought along sparkling wine to celebrate our successful charter. He was also on hand to witness the unwrapping and hanging of our official Center Berlin Toastmasters Banner – a generous gift from District 95. This gave me the opportunity to thank our membership and hospitality team for bringing guests to the club, welcoming them cheerfully, and helping them transition to full members.
Our speakers added insight to the evening. Volker’s Ice Breaker was spun around his name – meaning soldier and settlement. Volker is deeply involved in creating opportunities for people to meet off-line. Yes, that means face-to-face, in person, without Internet interface. How radical! He’s passionate about getting people to meet in their settlements (their neighborhoods). In fact, he is a soldier for this cause. It is his destiny.
If that wasn’t radical enough, Matthias urged us to go on a News Fast – to go on a crash diet limiting or eliminating news consumption. Our lust for news stems from evolution. Our animal instincts tell us to scan our environment for possible dangers. Under the motto “bad news saves lives” we are bombarded with news of conflict and disaster happening on the other side of the globe. The result? We have stopped being aware of things closer to us. Matthias asked us to delete news apps on smartphones, turn off TV and radio news, unsubscribe from web news sources. The benefit? More time for us, time to pay attention to those closest to us, and time to learn about ourselves.
In the final prepared speech, Anna walked with us through time and asked which is more important – the number representing our age or how we feel about life? Numbers stop being relative as we age. What counts is living life fully no matter what our age.
What will I remember from this evening? The spirit of acceptance and collegiality.
What did I take away from this evening? The directive to Turn Off The News!
Founder, Center Berlin Toastmasters