Talk At Los Altos High School
Posted by Nipun Mehta on Jan 4, 2008
Week and a half ago, I was invited to speak at Los Altos high school. Fifth period, 18 ninth graders, "special needs". Sixth period, 16 ninth graders, "rambunctious". If I did the return-on-time analysis, I would've refused to spend six hours on this; if I looked at my calendar, there's no way, "this Friday, two days from now" could've worked; if I mapped out the public transport routine to get there ... but something about Mrs. Hamel's note, the smallness of the whole thing, spoke to me and I wrote instead, "I'll be there. Thanks for the opportunity!"
And it was amazing. The whole thing. Sometimes a talk changes the speaker, listener, everyone and it requires no validation whatsoever. This was one of those. I had a rough theme planned out but after sensed the classroom, I completely off-the-cuffed it for the hour. Same thing in the second hour, with a different set of stories.
Each comment was deeply special -- Kendra wrote: "Dude super raw speech you gave. You inspired me to do good things in life." Mack: "Truly inspiring! I even used used smile cards to deliver flowers anonymously!" Nick: "I appreciate your speech and it has made me realize that being kind not as hard as I thought." Megan: "Thank you for coming to talk to us. What you said has made me more aware of my actions and surroundings." Andrew: "I loved your talk about generosity. In fact, this weekend I'm going to buy candy canes and give them to everybody I know and even people I don't know. I wish I took more of those smile cards. Those things are a great excuse to spend your entire day doing nice things!" It went on.
And then there's this one by Kristina: "I love your stories, there like 10x times better than mine." :)
But I love the last sentence that Kristina wrote: "If you help out by volunteering, it can change you." Wow. I mean, what a thing to write in ninth grade!Whenever I offer anything with a pure heart, I feel the thunder of CharityFocus behind my back. I suppose I'm writing this entry to thank You, for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime -- "helping others help others."