A Toastmasters story to warm your heart

A story shared by W Joseph Stegner

A snippet of Joseph’s poem. Link to the entire poem at the bottom of the post.

“Anne Moss Nimocks Rogers, I had occasion to share copies of your blog post, which includes “Be Like a Phoenix,” tonight, at San Leandro Toastmasters. A fellow artist within the club reached out on Facebook, expressing her need and request for help, with all the classic cues to the proximity of the edge she was on the verge of surrendering to.

Thanks to a friend and fellow Toastmaster, Stephen Dolgin, he saw the post and sounded the alarm, calling me to let me know our friend was reaching out for help, expressing thoughts of dying by suicide.

Within 14 minutes of her creating the post, I was able to reply

Unfortunately, by the time I hit send, she had deleted the post. I pasted my reply and support under another of her posts. While engaging other Toastmasters in the club, to rally their assistance, she called.

We talked for an hour. She was safe to cry and curse, and I validated her feelings. She promised to attend the meeting that night, and I lit up with joy and applauded when she arrived just as the meeting commenced. 

I performed the poem, You, Who Are the Voices, with prepared introduction read by the evening’s designated runner of the meeting. I made twenty one copies of your blog post, to accompany my “speech” and set one at each chair. Only four remained at the meeting’s conclusion.

Thank you for making the message all the more presentable and palatable. She was very grateful that we cared enough to put the effort we did into supporting her, and I believe her hope is restored. <3″

The entire poem Joseph read is here.


The handouts from the blog

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AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

2 thoughts on “A Toastmasters story to warm your heart”

  1. Again, thank you, Anne. Here is more of the poetry I read, that night:
    “…I cannot silence all the voices
    that think another way,
    who do not have an artist’s eye
    behind the things they say.

    This is a world whose chiefly measure,
    of success, is Cold Hard Cash,
    while artists see another treasure
    more worthy of our stash…

    The ability to inspire,
    to be a light that shines in the dark,
    to love enough, when we sense danger,
    to not hold back our bark…

    to love the truth enough,
    it’s all we want to express,
    using our talent and creativity
    to find new angles to emotional address…

    I wish everyone around you
    could see what we clearly see,
    here, with your peers are your fans.
    You are a humble Titan,
    given to Artful use of your hands.
    Here, we see a warrior of Truth,
    able and ready for what success demands.

    Storms may batter your ship with high seas
    and waves may sweep over the deck,
    but hold your grip, oh Champion,
    to rejoice that you weathered the wreck!

    Don’t settle for less than all your best,
    else, common you will be.
    Those who strive for excellence
    have qualities observers can see.

    The higher your standards,
    The higher your goal,
    The higher your mark will achieve.
    Don’t be discouraged
    If intuitive visions
    are too grand for the blind to believe.

    We, who are born to ride the wave
    of our pulses to tomorrow,
    let us be the noble creatures
    who rid the world of sorrow.

    W. Joseph Stegner Jr.
    A splicing of poems.

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