Borne Upon the Wings of Words

Jo Condrill

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How often do you have opportunities every day to exercise your power of communication-encouraging a coworker, appreciating a spouse, guiding a child?

Whenever I visit the Washington, DC area, I usually present a seminar or two at First Class, a Lifelong Learning Center near DuPont Circle. I arrived at the DuPont Circle Metro rail stop about 5:00 p. m. on a dreary, rainy day-right on schedule. The longest escalator in the world is the one at DuPont Circle! It CRAWLS from the basement to STREET at a steep 45 DEGREE angle. I weighted down by a rather large black leather briefcase in one hand and a bag of books in the other hand-hard cover, 208-page Millennium Primer books!

Hundreds of people moved toward the escalators like a giant bug bulging at the sides. I put my foot onto the metal monster to begin the ride up. It was dead still! I looked for the elevator-no way. There was a crush of people behind me and a dead escalator in front of me. Not to worry, in a short while I'd be at the top and on my way. I started off at a brisk pace.

About a third of the way up, it seemed like something had attached itself to my heels and was slowing me down. After a while, I noticed that people were PASSING me! They must be in some fitness program, I thought.

Just past midway I stopped, perspiration oozing out of every pore. I put down the briefcase and book bag and heaved one deep breath after another. That's when I saw the last set of feet disappear at the top of the escalator. At the bottom of the escalator there was a guard, and another mob of people. I was alone on the escalator. “The guard is going to start the escalator, " I thought. What a relief! I picked up my things, slowly walked a few more steps, stopped and looked back. The escalator didn't move. Then a youthful female voice floated up the escalator, “Go ahead! You can do it!" It was quickly followed by a chorus. “You can do it!" Energy rushed through my body. That group had shot life back into me and put a smile on my face.

The POWER of communication! With those few words of encouragement, that young woman had inspired me and lifted me up the stairs. How often do you have opportunities every day to exercise your power of communication-encouraging a coworker, appreciating a spouse, guiding a child? Think about it! Words can be the wind beneath our wings.

Jo Condrill is a professional speaker, author, and consultant. She led a group of 3,000 volunteers in Toastmasters International District 27 to reach the number one ranking in 1992. She served on their Board of Directors from 1994-1996. Jo's book, “101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly, " has been translated into Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Turkish, and Arabic. It is available worldwide.


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