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Pay It Forward and Make a Difference!

Hi, The following is my contest speech. The title is “Pay it Forward and Make a Difference!”
I want to share the message with you and hope that you will like it.

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KSTMC International Speech Contest 2011
Title: Pay it Forward and Make a Difference!
By: Yetti Chiu

Do you know more than 22,000 children die every day around the world?
That is 15 children dying every minute…
The main killers are poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.

We are lucky! We live in a well-developed country. We have plenty to eat. We have clean water to drink. We have a good health care system. Our children here receive proper education and grow up in a healthy environment.

But in many poor countries, people are starving. They don’t have clean water to drink. They are forced to drink dirty water and may get diarrhea or other sicknesses. But they cannot afford to see doctors when they are sick. That’s why many of them die of preventable diseases and illnesses. Very few children can afford to go to school. Children begin working as garbage pickers as soon as they can walk. Waste dumps are toxic, but there is no other choice. If those poor children do not collect money by selling the rubbish, they would have nothing to eat.  Quite often, gangsters force children to take drugs so as to control them. Some parents even have to sell their children into prostitution so as to support the rest of the family.

Yes, the world is unfair!
Don’t you want to make the world a bit better?
All children need love and care! They should have their basic rights and have the chance to receive a proper education.

Make a difference!

Some people may think…Yes, poor children are indeed very unfortunate. But it is impossible for just one person to change the world! Our ugly world is like that… It is a fact even though it is cruel. How can one person alone change the world? It is impossible…

Yes, one person’s efforts may not be enough to change the world…

But think about this statement: “I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do!”

The quote is said by Jana Stanfield at the “I Can Change the World Tour” in November last year. The tour was a program for a group of kind-hearted professional speakers to raise funds for homeless children by making use of their speaking talents. They want to touch lives and make a difference. They pay it forward, giving generously without asking for any returns.

You may wonder at the meaning of “pay it forward”. “Pay it forward” means somebody does a nice thing for you, and instead of paying them back, you “pay it forward” by doing a nice thing for other people. The words come from the movie with the same title.

The story is about Trevor, a 12 years old boy living in a small California town. He accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better. Trevor chooses 3 persons for doing those favours. Instead of having them pay back, he told them to “pay it forward” by choosing 3 other people for doing favours to.  It’s like a human chain letter of kindness. The idea is to positively change the world and make a difference!

Have you heard of the organization “Doctors Without Borders”?  The organization “rejects the idea that poor countries deserve third-rate medical care and strives to provide high-quality care to patients.” Some of the kind-hearted doctors, nurses and other volunteers make use of their professional skills to help people who are caught in crises around the world. They save thousands and thousands of lives every year. They pay it forward and make a difference!

If you have some kind of talent or professional skill, think about how you can make use of your talent or skill and make the world better. Make a difference!

But it does not matter whether one has a talent or possess a professional skill or not. Everyone can contribution if we have the “heart”.

We can all do our part.
We can donate some of our money to charities.
Why not sponsor a child?  Build a better world for the poor children…

At World Vision Singapore, it costs only Forty-Five dollars per month to sponsor a child. I think most of us can afford that.

Every little bit counts, any amount is welcome.

My husband and I have been sponsoring a few children in the past 12 years. We feel happy when we see those smiling faces from the photos of the children. They can get a proper education and a healthy environment for growing up because of the money that we donate every month.

One person may not be able to change the world, but we can change the world by one person at a time.  We cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good we can do!

What might this mean for Toastmasters?

We are Toastmasters and we can speak. You may consider choosing topics that can make the world a bit better for your project speeches. Maybe you can influence some of your audience and make a difference. And your audience may influence some others and make another difference!

Why not start now, Pay it Forward and Make a Difference!