bu Ankur Bora
The meaning of life is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. The meaning of life is something you build into your life. You build it out of the incidents you experience, out of the people you admire, and out of the wisdom you gain.
Years ago, I met a special person who made me realize the true meaning of life which was the appreciation of life regardless of trials and hardships. It was in the year 2010 when I met LaShunda Rundles, the 2008 World Champion in Public Speaking. Years later, I delivered a speech “Three important things in life” reflecting on how her inspiration and kindness profoundly touched me.
Recently I delivered the same speech at the Art of the Heal, an organization based in Dallas. It is a group of people focused on healing – alternative therapies and qualified holistic practitioners. They organize monthly workshops with themes like — Living with Heart, Hearing, and Sharing Its Messages. On July 9, 2022, I spoke at Art of the Heal and shared with the audience my recollection of meeting LaShunda – how Lupus affected her, and how despite the severe medical condition she was kind and responsive to me. Kindness is the most important thing in life – it was the crux of my speech.
One of the organizers, Dr. Anne Redelfs, called to thank me for representing Toastmasters and delivering my speech. She also left a note, “And I’m happy to say that on the evaluation sheets where asked what takeaways people got from the event, several people wrote: number one kindness, number two kindness, and number three kindness.”
Through Toastmasters I was able to meet LaShunda. Her story is of the triumph of humanity, a story people might not otherwise have known. Toastmasters allows me to share her zest for life and inspiration to keep the legacy of a beloved Toastmaster alive.