This is the third of a four part speech series that I gave in my local Toastmasters speech club. Read Part Two Here
It’s my purpose in the next few minutes to convince you that family is the most important thing in this life. And I’ll prove it to you.
And I’ll share with you some experiences I’ve had that have led me to think the way I do. But first, let’s explore the concept of family for a minute.
Families Come in All Shapes and Sizes
They come together in many different ways. Even just to think about what goes into a family is a bit complicated. A lot of emotions surface. George Burns once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
Family means a lot of things to a lot of people. But it all boils down to the relationship you have with those closest to you. Now let me give you some insight into why I feel the way I do about family.
Just a few weeks before Heidi and I were married, I took a quick flight up to Seattle with my brother to see Mom and Dad. We were standing in line and started talking to the guy in front of us. He found out I was getting married soon. And something about that just really got under his skin. He said, “Oh man! I travel all over the country. I’ve got women in every city I visit. It’s great. Why tie yourself down to just one man?”
I chuckled and said, “I’m glad that works for you. This is what works for me.” We just agreed to disagree.
Well, we boarded our plane and I noticed my brother was deep in thought. Then he turned to me and asked, “Which one of his many women do you think he chooses to spend the holidays with? Does he just jump around with that too? What do the holidays even mean without family?”
It was a good question. And that was just one example of what life would be like without a solid family.
Here’s another experience that was almost the complete opposite of that one. One summer day, over 10 years ago, I found myself sitting in the back yard with my best friend’s dad. His name was Bruce. Bruce and his amazing wife Claudia, were the parents of 6 kids! 3 boys, 3 girls. My friend was number 5 of 6.
Well there we were on this summer afternoon and the entire family was in town. All 6 kids, 3 of them married, and a budding collection of grandkids. Bruce was looking out and watching his family all playing together and enjoying the moment when he turned and said to me, “I’m a very rich man”.
Bruce had done very well for himself in his business but that wasn’t what he was talking about. He was looking at his family and recognized how blessed he was. It was a profound moment for me and I realized then as a 18 year old kid, what was truly important in this life.
Just this week I had another profound moment with my own little family. I was with my 3 year old daughter. I said to her, “Come here. I’ve got a secret to tell you.” I then whispered, “I’m so happy I get to be your dad”. She then whispered back, “Dad…umm…because you’re my dad… it makes me happy… and I love you”. She then gave me a tight hug and a kiss.
Could I seriously ask for anything more?
But that’s me. These are my experiences. It’s part of what goes into how I view the world.
But I’m no different than anyone of you. We all want to have that feeling of security. We all want to share our lives with those dear to us.
Ultimately, nothing is more important than family!
What kind of family you have is entirely up to you. And it will affect everything about your life. As the saying goes, “When you’re lying on your deathbed you won’t wish you’d just spent more time at the office.”
Now I told you that I would prove to you that family is the most important thing in your life.
So let me ask you a question – when there’s an emergency, maybe a car wreck or a natural disaster like a fire or earthquake, who do you call first? Is it your boss? No! It’s your family! When you get a big promotion or land a major deal who do you want to share it with first?
We’re all part of a family.
I hope that some of what I’ve shared has helped you to want to take a closer look at what family means to you.
I know, from personal experience, that working towards having a happy & loving family is the most important endeavor anyone could hope to achieve in this world. I look at my small family and feel truly blessed.
I sincerely wish those same blessings on every single person in this entire world.
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