The best parts of being a professional speaker and trainer are who you meet and what you learn from clients.
I first met Donna when I keynoted a Human Resource conference. She brought me into her company for presentation skills training. Since then her company has expanded Globally and she is a partner in the firm. Recently at lunch she fascinated me with her adventures and stories of how much more complicated business is. Donna’s last email was so interesting I asked her permission to share it with my readers.
Enjoy… and look for hope!
“As you know I was in Cairo right before the protesting took place this spring. I thought I would share with you just a few of my thoughts about this experience.
The streets of Cairo are crowded with cars of every shape and size. They drive so close to one another you can reach out and touch the one beside you. Cars push their way in front of you from all angles while pedestrians try to cross the street. Cabs are adorned in various manners. Skulls just under the window, stripped with hearts, windows streaked with dust and dirt. Older people on canes, a man with one leg crawling in the street beside the sidewalk. Every tone of horn honking, honking none stop. There is not one second of stillness. U-turns are a way of life here. Roundabouts are six – eight lanes across when it was made to handle three or four lanes. 4 million leave the city every day at 5:00. Vendors are on every corner. Selling fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. Groups of sheep or goats are huddled together to be sold for the upcoming holy day.
The sidewalks are covered with trash and debris. Boards with nails, fallen trees, old car parts. You can’t walk on the sidewalk without looking down. So you walk in the street and risk getting hit by a car.
Looking out the window while I sit in a black Mercedes, being driven by a hired driver I am aghast at what I witness. We have driven upon a corner where workers place their buckets of tools on the sidewalk to indicate they are for hire. Men are lying everywhere in the trash, hoping to be hired by the next employer. Many shoeless. Where is the grass and trees? My eye is drawn to steam and the flash of fire. A man is setting around something that is heating water for tea. He pours water into clear glasses while men around him wait to sip on what he is serving. A sense of calmness and order dwells on this block. The sense of desperation is only in my heart as it bleeds for those who need so much.
Then in the middle of it all there is a boy around the age of 8 on the back of a donkey. Riding behind is a small girl whose age I would guess to be six or seven. Instead of holding onto the back of the young boy rider she is holding onto a book. Raising it up to the light in order to read. The desire she has to read in the midst of this craziness is amazing. Her strength and determination gave me hope. Hope for all the children of the world who live in poverty and aren’t afraid to reach out for the things we all take for granted. ”
Donna, GPHR (Full name withheld for privacy, title adds to the credibility of the experience.)
Vice President Global Human Resources
Patricia Fripp, San Francisco based Executive Speech Coach, Sales Presentation Skills Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Silicon Valley Speech Coach