Sunday, September 14, 2008

From the Academy to the Agora

The turning point in philosophy came , for me, when I was done with about 27 hours of grad level philosophy courses. I was about 80% done with the first draft of my thesis. It was in aesthetics.

I had pursued this course of study right after getting my Master of Music degree in Composition and Violin. I intended to fill in my two greatest interests with credentialization.

At that moment I was faced with a choice of how to spend my Thursday nights. Would I take one more class in philosophy, or attend the local Toastmasters Club.

I had heard the recommendations from Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy. Finally, I went to the local club to see what it was.

The value of the educational program at Toastmasters was immediately apparent. As I weighed the choice, I thought, $300 plus for the 3 hour philosophy credit, or $30 for Toastmasters. Both were meeting on Thursday night.

I cold not see the philosophy class as being ten times as valuable as Toastmasters. I made the decision on that basis and never looked back.

One thing leads to another. I was lead to the philosophy of success by the Toastmasters experience.

Preparing short talks on subjects of my choice deepened my study of what success means. The opportunities in the Toastmasters program have directly brought me more personal success. It’s been a good fit.

I think of it as a community service, too. Helping new members develop their communication and leadership skills enhances the whole community.

The Academe is cloistered and sequestered. The Agora is the marketplace. This is where ideas are ultimately tested and proven. I may have started my quest in philosophy in the academic environment. Now it continues in the day to day give and take with people in the normal work-a-day world.

No comments: