Not everyone succeeds. But everyone hurts.
I’ve done public speaking for years. Communicated, written, told stories. Judging by the general response, I’m not boring. My wife, on the other hand, dislikes the public stage passionately. Crowds of more than 20 people are uncomfortable to her.
But in 2005, almost a decade before I write this, she was conned into speaking at a women’s tea. Her expectation was for maybe 50 ladies to attend. Imagine her terror when we arrived to find a tent set up for 500. Completely packed.
Tahnya simply told her story of pain. Of infertility and depression. To this day, people still consistently mention that event. No one ever mentions a sermon I preached. I mean, we really can’t go anywhere in Minnesota where someone doesn’t talk to her about that speech. And they speak of it as if she gave it last year.
Why? Because not everyone succeeds, swims with sharks, skydives, lives in radical environment. But everyone, from presidents to nursing home residents, we all hurt. We all experience pain. And when someone is authentic (there’s a buzzword for ya), it opens up others to experiencing life together in a meaningful way.
If you want to lead, if you want to connect, if you want to make a difference, remember. Pain is a megaphone that everyone can hear.