One Saturday I was invited to discuss a chapter in Oswald Sanders’ book, “Spiritual Leadership,” to a group of young people as part of their leadership training. The title of the chapter is ‘The Leader and His Reading,’ and it tackles the importance of making time for supplementary reading to equip and enhance one’s leadership. In this chapter, Sanders quoted a line by Harold Ockenga, a Congregational Minister, which I found very striking:
“Read to refill the wells of inspiration.”
I could not agree more. For many years now, books have been my source of information, entertainment, motivation, and strength. I can say that the books I have read have shaped me into the person I am today. On a very bad day where I find my inner “wells” empty, books have been both a mentor and a best friend to me. And that Saturday, while I was speaking in front of those younger potential leaders, though some were just mildly interested or giving me blank stares, I found the confirmation of my call to leadership – to help refill the “wells” of this generation to the next.
I’m not a master in public speaking. Quite the contrary actually, for I am the quiet, shy, and reserved type. My palms get all jittery and sweaty whenever I get onstage. However, the moment I get to look the crowd’s expectant faces, a shift happens. I start feeling that confirmation that I’m representing something bigger than myself. The desire to share what I know and what I have learned, be it from books or my personal experiences, has always overcome any fear or insecurity that I have inside me.
After my lecture, a 20 year-old girl from the audience approached me with a question:
“Can you be my mentor?”
My reaction was like “wow, seriously?” That was actually the first time that I was asked such a question and truthfully, I have also never asked anyone to be my mentor so that kind conversation was somehow new to me. If you’d ask, I would actually give a low mark to my leadership skills and I know for a fact that there are other speakers during that day who are better in teaching and mentoring an aspiring leader. So out of curiosity, I asked this girl why she chose to approach me, out of those whom I thought would be the more fitting choices.
“You inspired me and I want to hear more stories from you,” she told me. And I was the one who was inspired and humbled by that answer. Since then I promised myself to read more and write more, so I can share more and inspire more.
So for today’s ‘Person X Day’ I wish to commemorate all the writers who selflessly share what they have to the world. May you continue to “refill wells of inspiration,” and raise leaders from this generation to the next.
A response to Daily Prompt: Honorific