Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Speaking in Beaumont

It was my distinct honor today to deliver the keynote address at a special mid-day event, "Hospital-i-Tea," at the Reaud Guest House in Beaumont, Texas. In attendance were Beaumont businesswomen and community leaders, including the city's mayor, Becky Ames, who I was able to meet and sit next to during the meal. 

I always enjoy talking to groups, but being able to speak on the topic, "Living on Purpose," was great! I was able to share my story: how I discovered my passion for writing and being in the field of journalism, how a couple of early experiences as a journalist inspired me to do what I do in a meaningful and purpose-driven way.

During my talk, I asked the group to pair up. I asked them to take turns quizzing each other about their passions. Immediately, the noise and energy levels in the room changed. The "folks" changed from an attentive audience of gracious listeners to a group of talkers on fire. Clearly, talking about their own passions got them all excited!

I overheard some of the comments. "I love painting," said one woman. "I love working with kids," said another. " I love to garden. You should see my roses," said a third.

I loved it!

Next,  I encouraged those assembled to treasure those passions. I encouraged them to make sure those passions were part and parcel of their daily lives. I encouraged them to view their passions as gifts that can — and should be — shared with others.

Note: The Reaud Guest House was built by the Beaumont Foundation of America, Reaud Foundation and Baptist Beaumont Hospital to provide low-cost accommodations for out-of town familiesi with loved ones receiving care at any of the Beaumont hospitals. It is named for Albert E. and Gena Reaud.

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