Learning a tough lesson can leave you speechless

LISTEN Greg, I know you can talk underwater with a gob full of golf balls, so how about compering our charity music night?"

"Okay," I mumbled, because frankly, I was speechless.

Afterwards, I remembered that I'm terrified of public speaking, so I started hoping for some stroke of luck to get me out of it. And luck delivered! On the appointed day, my car broke down. Unfortunately, I managed to repair it just in time to make it to the show; just my luck.

Good fortune, though, was also in pretty short supply for some of the people at the event, starting with the poor sods we were there to help. But while I was chatting with the organisers, audience and musicians prior to the show, I got a real education on tough luck. Serves me right for asking I suppose.

Hidden beneath several bright smiles were tales of human hardship which were shared without complaint, or bitterness. I won't go into details, but some of those folk were actually worse off than the people we had gathered to raise money for!

Later, as I stood trembling in front of the microphone, I gazed at the crowd and wondered how many more of Lady Luck's victims were in attendance that night, and part of me wanted to run screaming from the building before I got infected.

But then it hit me, like a spade to the back of the head, that even though their own lives were waking nightmares, these wonderful, selfless people were cheerfully doing what they could to help others down on their luck. At that moment I felt very fortunate indeed to be among them.

And with that in mind, I started yakking up a storm for charity; in spite of the big lump in my throat.

Greg Bray blogs at

Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.

Topics:  charity column greg bray

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