Public Speaking, a Third Look

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 lecturn. My mouth was so dry I wasn’t sure I could finnish the reading but I did.

In the fall of 1960 I entered high school where one could participate in debate locally and statewide. Much more comfortable with arguing than giving speeches, I really 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 for several years. Life had come surprisingly full circle, another of life’s mysteries.

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


“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.” Carl Jung, erudite, renowned psychiatrist.

I think that is the essence of the mid-life crisis. You are not fond of the research at forty.

I had one. No sports cars. No other woman. No dressing like a twenty-year-old.

I realized I had chased my tail running on a treadmill. My marriage and career were painfully stressed, but I was developing a better grasp of what I needed in life. They were and are God’s love, my wife’s love, and meaningful work.

 What at forty seemed the worst thing in my life, looking back at 77, is the best thing that ever happened. Hallelujah.