I dug this out of the ancient files in the basement… thought I’d share. It was a piece I wrote for The Optimist’s International’s Speech Contest… I was 14. Transcribed from the badly typed, yellowing original. It seems I loved ellipses even then (of course this time they were there to cue me in on pausing to keep my timing right.)
Prompt: Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s Success
What is the challenge? It’s all around us, and it’s everything. Living from day to day we find many obstacles in our way, and the challenge is to overcome these obstacles. We must decide whether to allow the obstacle to remain in the way for others or to remove it.
Who is the challenge for? It is for anyone who wants to accept it. The challenge is not for anyone from a particular background, rather it is for the entire public.
The challenge is a struggle and this struggle has been going on since the dawn of time. In the past the struggle has been for survival, and since the beginning man has realized that he could make this struggle easier if he worked with his fellow man. Now we are trying to improve the living conditions for all and, again, we see that by working together our task is much simpler. And tomorrow is up to us, today. The future is ours to make, and we must secure that future for our posterity.
We must work together as a world if we are to survive. It cannot be the survival of the fittest but the survival of all. We have proved that we can live together in the face of disaster and now is the time for us to get together and decide how we will govern our world. We cannot afford to put this off for there may never be another chance, another time for us to get together.
What do the idealists, the optimists, and the dreamers all have in common? They are the creators and the conquerors of all our challenges. Who are they? They are you and me, and they are the people of the earth. If we look along these terms we can realize that we aren’t that much different and if we overlook the physical differences and just look at the way we think and what we think, we’ll see the likeness.
We never have really been able to get along and sadly enough, it’s because of people. People trying to gain just for themselves, people overlooking the need to work together…
What they don’t realize is that if we work together the gain will be far greater. Because this gain will give us a better understanding of life and the needs of our society. This gain will benefit all.
Some days look gloomy all over, I know, BUT that is no reason to stop working together. We cannot shut ourselves off from people. Working together cannot be whenever you feel like it, it must be every day. This is not something you can quit, I mean quitting this is like quitting the human race, it is quitting the human race, and that’s one race you can’t quit. This is the race you cannot have a loser because either we all are winners or else we’ve all lost.
This sounds gloomy, right? It isn’t really. It’s quite simple; if we work together there’s no way we can lose.