Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 271 – The Prison Of Our Minds

“There’s a general sense of a society disintegrating. I think [the novel] also anticipates the kind of absurdity of fanaticism — the kind of making a prison for the mind, which makes the world easier to deal with. They sort of narrow your world view and then the world becomes less fearful when you see it through the lens of that very simple idea.”

— Atish Tasheer addressing fanaticism

In some ways we are all prisoners of our mind. We create a safe world view where things are ordered and predictable. To expound on Mr. Tasheer’s words, this makes it easier for us to cope with the world. That prison is a safe place.

Ironically, I would consider earthly prisons to be very safe places. They are ordered. They are predictable. One is isolated and thus protected. But it is not a place where we would ever want to go. It is unpleasant. The prisons of are mind are just as unpleasant.

Tonight I got to see a speech by someone who is escaping her own prison.

Although she did not use those words, Sopha talked about how difficult it is to get up in front of a group to speak. She talked about her own battles with procrastination, her fear and even how she chose to clean her 19 year old son’s toilet rather than preparing a speech.

To hear her speak tonight was especially touching.

Yesterday, she delivered this speech and won 2nd place at Timber Talker Toastmaster’s humorous speech contest. That was good enough to get her an invitation to the Area speech contest tonight.

But she was unwilling to go.

When told she was invited, she adamantly refused to go. She was not ready, and she could not do it. Eventually she reconsidered and delivered one of the better speeches this evening.

Her speech was funny and touching. She said that Asian women “don’t do funny,” even though she was. She felt uncomfortable giving the speech in her second language, even though her halting English made her more authentic. She said she could not compete, even though she had the audience laughing.

The ironic thing about Sopha’s story is that she is from Cambodia and is a psycho-therapist. She knows the reality of fear first hand and has overcome it. It takes amazing courage to have done what she has done, yet she still will admit fear. Then she will strive to overcome that fear. She is a champion in my mind!

Sopha is escaping from a prison in her mind. A prison that kept her from speaking publicly.

The prisons of our minds are real. But we also have something real prisoners do not have.

The key.

Broke out of a prison in my mind by MC’ing the Area 94/95 Toastmasters contests tonight, something I had not done at the Area level before. 

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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6 Responses to Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 271 – The Prison Of Our Minds

  1. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Sopha and Eric!

  2. Jodi says:

    Eric – love your blog!! Honored to call you my friend 🙂 Have a wonderful day.

  3. So very true. And what an inspiring lady! Thanks for sharing her story Eric.


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