Speaking Before a Crowd

This seemed worth a third look. See what you think.

It was 1960, May or June. I had to do a reading at our graduating class’s confirmation service in our synagogue in Miami, FL. It was my first shot at public speaking at fifteen. As I read, my knees were banging together. I was glad they were hidden behind the lectern. My mouth was so dry I wasn’t sure I could finish the reading, but, I did.

In the fall of 1960 I entered high school where one could participate in debate locally and statewide. As I was much more comfortable with arguing than giving speeches, I fit in. One certainly has learned to argue by the heart of adolescence.

So with the debating behind me I found that speeches got a little easier over my 41 years in the workforce. Of all things I got most at ease late in my life, now, teaching Sunday school. Life had come surprisingly full circle, another of its mysteries.

Jerry Seinfeld in one story on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Netflix) described how life’s twists and turns can be enigmatic. He asked the question, seeing a wanted poster in the post office, why didn’t they nab that guy when they took the picture?

H. Robert Rubin, best selling Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? and Please Save the Third Dance for Me, available on Amazon

The Two Sides of Laughter

“If it bends, it’s funny; if it breaks, it’s not funny.” “A laugh is a terrible weapon.” Kate O’ Brien, an Irish novelist, and playwright.

Getting a laugh is a thing of exquisite timing. There is just that instant that works. It’s that tension where the message bends but doesn’t break. I think that is why so many comedians do so well when given serious roles. 

Something as beautiful and healing as laughter can be cruel. You and I have both experienced being laughed at with derision. The pain is no secret to either of us. Is it? It’s a part of this beautiful and painful place in which we live.