Black Friday and happiness

As soon as I entered the Toastmasters room, the new distribution of the speaking area got all my attention. I recalled the feedback from the previous meeting, and it really felt it was going to work better, clearly with more space to free up the orator spirit.


Mark led the session as Toastmaster of the Day, introducing the different members taking the roles. ‘Invidious’ was the word chosen by the grammarian Patrick, and invidious could turn to be the Ah-counter role, as Gerry expressed while explaining at what words he would be looking at.

After Deirdre explained what she was going to evaluate from the meeting and Shay was ready to take the times, Bo introduced the Table topics. This was going to be a nice food for thought session, with Shay reporting to aliens about humans, and Gerry showing his will for persuasion in a true desire of peace and love. Richard surprised us when, silently, answered to the question if it was possible to lie without words, being challenged again with what he would get angry at. ‘Wet shoes!’ he shouted.

I’m sure during the car trip from Australia and into the south-east of Asia his shoes were wet a few times, but the passion and adventurous spirit of Richard seemed to disregard the discomfort. His speech was about making together with some good friends that dream road trip from Australia to London, driving through unknown lands, crossing borders and exploring a new part of the world. From Indonesia to Mongolia, crossing Laos and China, capturing anecdotes and leaving us wanting more, as there is a next part hopefully coming very soon.

Damien’s speech gave us a taste of the excitement and the craziness around Black Friday two days in advance, staging the sort of war that starts when the stores open their doors on that day. It made us think about the ephemeral happiness we get when we buy things, and all the pressure we constantly get around getting new things.

And while we waited for the last part of the meeting with the evaluations and tips, John made us enjoy the open-mic time reading from Lyndon Johnson’s biography about the lives of women in a time when there was no Black Friday. While he was reading a passage, I felt transported to the United States in the first half of 19th century when houses didn’t have electricity and water had to be carried from wells. Women would carry on with the house tasks using their hands for everything, while their shoulders would be sore and tired from carrying the water’s weight. 

A tribute to so many women living in tougher times that made me feel thankful, a reminder to all of us that we can be happy with all the things we already have, that make our life nice and easy. Because we already have everything to be happy, we don’t need to buy things in Black Friday, just find inside the passion and the dreams to accomplish, like in a long road trip starting in Australia.


Our next meeting is 7pm Wednesday 5th December in the Harcourt Hotel, Dublin 2. See you then!

Meeting 21st November – Black Friday and happiness