Patty Foote, a student in my public speaking course wrote the following essay in preparation for her ‘Persuasive’ Speech delivered to the member of her class (115 so1) at Southern State Community College in June 2011. Originally posted on the class blog. With Patty’s permission and my GREAT JOY, I’m re-posting it here.
I knew from the beginning of the quarter what I would want my persuasive speech to be, and now that I have gotten to know everyone somewhat and got a glimpse into your lives, I know this is the perfect choice for this audience – YOU!
My speech is BE GOOD TO YOURSELF – BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND
As I have listened to all of you the past two months, I have no other message that I think is more important. I have done a good deal of reflection since going back to school. When I listened to your own stories and reflections, I can identify and connect with many of you. Trust me, I have many more years of life experience than all of you and I have spent years of what you might call just surviving because I did not know my value, or I let someone else define it. I am far from that road I was on and still traveling away from it.
I will discuss these points; I like to call them valuable thought lessons.
Thought lesson 1 – You are Important
Thought lesson 2 – You Deserve the Best in your Life
Thought lesson 3 – Learn from your Past
Thought lesson 4 – Be Good to Yourself, Be Your Own Best Friend
You are Important
There is only one you on this planet, Earth. You have talents, gifts and ideas that no one else has or can offer to this world. You are unique and no one can take your place. Don’t let anyone in your present, your past or your future dictate who you are and where you are going. The people that surround you will be better off because you are in their life. You are Important. Remember that!
You Deserve the Best in your Life
The Best contains all your goals, your dreams and any star that you dare to reach out and grasp. Don’t settle for less than what you wish for. Write your goals and your dreams down and go after them. If you don’t know what your goals are right now and are finding your way, that’s okay. Just wait on it – it will come. It’s okay to be uncertain. Live everyday being confident in who you are. Just live everyday the best you can.
If you find a time in your life when you are discouraged and fear you may not reach your dreams, or think you don’t deserve them, stop! Take captive that thought, grab it and throw it in the trash bin and remember these words – YOU DESERVE THE BEST AND YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY! YOU CAN MAKE IT AND YOU HAVE IT IN YOU TO DO SO!
Learn from Your Past, but leave it behind
Many of you have shared painful, but moving stories of your life and your life experiences, and you are well on your way with life lessons learned. We make choices in life and sometimes those choices affect the people around us. If you have been affected by someone else’s choice, learn from it and go on. Use your past to push yourself forward. If there are those in your life whose good choices have influenced you also, in a positive way, cling to the ones you know in your heart are right for you and use them to build strength of character. Someone’s bad choice can be just as positive as a good choice, if we learn from it. Use your past to take advantage of your present and your future. You are not bound to your past – today is a new day and yesterday is over. Believe it!
Be Good to Yourself – Be Your Own Best Friend
What is the definition of a best friend to you? Someone in your life you admire and spend time with. We have fun and share special moments with our best friend. We might share secrets and thoughts with our best friend that we don’t share with others. A true best friend is someone we can trust and depend on to help us in our life’s journey. Someone who is always there no matter what we’ve done – they don’t condemn and judge, they are there to help and encourage us. A best friend takes high priority in our life, even though they would probably not ask for it. Most of us would drop what we are doing to go help a best friend in need. We put extra thought into picking that special birthday gift because we want to make them happy. We love our best friend. Our best friend knows us like nobody else does. They have our best interest and happiness at heart. You may be a best friend to someone or have a best friend like the one I just described.
But, today I would to encourage and persuade you to be your own best friend.
Be good to yourself – treat yourself with respect and honor – don’t judge or condemn yourself –
Take note of the good qualities in your character – take pride in your accomplishments and celebrate them – treat yourself to a special event, maybe a special dinner or whatever you like – pick out a special gift for your own birthday – let your differences be an asset to you, after all there is only one you, you are unique, you don’t have to be like everyone else –
If you make a mistake, learn from it and go on – be kind to yourself – be happy with yourself –
And finally, relax and know that your life counts in this world and so do you and tell yourself that!
To bring this all to a closing, I would like to recap briefly and please remember and tell yourself often:
You are Important
You Deserve the Best in your Life and you deserve to be happy
Learn from your past and put it behind you
Be good to yourself and be your own best friend