The Leap of Faith


I have joined the Toastmaster’s on 21 March 2011, due to a courteous invitation from an affiliate.  Anyway, Toastmasters International has always fascinated me by keeping me wondering what are these people actually doing?  Proposing a toast?  During every meeting?  Learn how to propose a toast?    I did get my answers when I attended the first meeting.  I was thrown a table topic and invited to speak on “What are the qualities that you are looking at your future husband” and was given some very convincing and constructive feedbacks that I am a born toastmaster.  Little did I know that all members will always try to give constructive and convincing comments in order to help new members to grow.

So, here I am, a part of the local Toastmaster’s club.  My mission now is to be a Competent Communicator.  In doing so, I have to complete 10 tasks listed in the Competent Communicator Handbook.  As a reminder, or rather a sharing session with my virtual audience, I have decided to upload my scripts.
Well, any constructive or critics are still welcome, online.  🙂
My first communicative task is an ice-breaker.
The Leap of Faith

Hi, my name is Faith.  Many have came to me and said it is a nice name.  Indeed, it is.  It is my baptize name.  When I was younger, I am not that willingly to tell people my baptize name.  First of all, it is not easy to pronounce for non-native speaker due to the ‘th’ at the back, making it sounds like ‘fat’ most of the time.  Second, I do not feel comfortable in projecting a religious or holy image, especially I was quite playful in my teenage years.  Nonetheless, as I age, I begin to slowly realize that there is a lot of faith in my name. 

My very first leap of faith in life was for my career choice.  It has never crossed my mind that I would end up to be a teacher.  I have dreamt of becoming a police, a soldier, a lawyer, a civil engineer, even a spy, but never a teacher.  I couldn’t imagine how it is like to be a teacher, teaching at some remote villages, using long boats and be cut off from civilization such as Internet or TV (those were the significant elements in my life then).  That was because there were many, in fact, there are still many stories being circulated about a teacher’s first posting after graduation.  At the same time, I was being offered a scholarship to do Diploma in Nursing at Singapore Nanyang Polytechnic.  I do not know why, but I chose to accept the teaching diploma scholarship.  Though I have always thought of leaving the profession, I still do sometimes, but 12 years of involvement in the teaching line makes me see that this is probably my calling. 

Even so, I find that I take many leaps of faith when I am working with children.  I am trained to teach, but not all the methods or strategies are spelt out in my teaching methodology book.  There are many times I have to just take the leap of faith and believe my strategy will work, from teaching, to counseling and be the role model.  People always say a teacher must be a very patience person.  But I think a teacher must have a lot of faith, if not in themselves, in God.  This is because children that come to you are like pieces of white cloth and you are the painter.  To me, this is gross responsibility.  I couldn’t feel more stressful than this. 

In my free time, I like to write especially when the inspiration strikes.  When I was 9, my mother ‘ordered’ me to write a story about a fire.  I obediently wrote a story like how I did my homework.  She then sent my story to the local newspaper and it was published and I earned my very first wages from writing, RM3.50.  However, this incident was never significant until I was in the college.  A friend encouraged me to take part in the North Regional Short Story writing competition.  I never thought of joining because I never did think that I could write.  However, I took the leap of faith and I won.  I have been writing ever since and most of the time my work is appreciated.  My recent award is State Level Teacher’s Day Short Story Competition, entitled ‘The Dawning’.

I consider myself a rather adventurous person.  I am fascinated with physically challenging activities, though I have never participated in any extreme sports.  I went for Obstacle Racing when I was a Scout in my school years, climbed up to the Mount Kota Kinabalu summit and enjoyed abseiling.  Normally, I do not have to gather much courage for all these activities, until I encountered my recent hobby – open water diving.  I am a swimmer and I swim well.  However, it is a much different story when I enrolled myself to the Open Water Diving course.  In order for me to get my certification, I had to prove my mastery theoretically, dive in pool and dive in the sea.  I passed the first two easily, but on the day I had to do my dive in the sea, I took the most memorable leap of faith in my life, literally.  It was an amazing experience and my world was suddenly 60ft deeper. 

I believe that we will encounter numerous situations in our lives that require us to make judgment, not base on facts and figures, but acting in believe without any empirical evidence.  The implication of taking a leap of faith can, depending on the context, carry positive or negative connotations.  We could weigh the situation out and be careful in making a decision, as it is a virtue to be careful.  Some may even think that it is foolish to act without taking into considerations all the factors concerned.  However, the very core of the leap of faith is, the leap itself.  Without the initiation of the leap, we will never know what lies await for us.  Hence, look before you leap, but never forget to equip yourself with a bag of faith.