Many people focus on having friends, but I think we should focus on being a friend.

To me, the key that unlocks the door to true friendship is commitment. It was great privilege to witness this commitment in my grandson first hand during my stay in California.

My grandson Daniel moved to America ten years ago to pursue his dream to become a professional speaker.

Daniel met his friend Cindy through a group called Toastmasters. They were different in age and personality but they both had the goal to to stand on the final stage of Toastmaster’s World Championship of Public Speaking, and deliver their own message.

They worked together and helped each other whenever they could, their motto was “We are in this together.”

For five years, they both came close to their goal but always fell short of reaching the final stage of the World Championships. But despite failing many times, they never gave up.

About two years ago, Cindy became very sick. She battled on with cancer, until it took away her ability to speak.

A year ago, Cindy passed away and Daniel made a commitment to stand on the final stage of World Championships and deliver the speech, “In This Together.” He would be the speaker and Cindy would be the speech, and help Cindy achieve her dream.

In August this year, Daniel made it to the final stage to deliver his speech. He was advised by several people that if he gave that speech he could miss his chance to win or place in the World Championship. He knew the risk, but his commitment to his friend was what he needed to keep, as well as what he had worked so hard to do.

He gave a very emotional speech from his heart, and Cindy’s dream of being on that final stage was fulfilled. Daniel fulfilled his promise yet he didn’t win or place in the speech contest. In my eyes, both Cindy and Daniel were winners.

Daniel will continue working with his dream and I know that one day he will become the World Champion of Public Speaking.

I am so proud of my grandson, his commitment to his goals and his commitment to what is true within himself.

Thank you Daniel, for showing us the true meaning of friendship and the true commitment to others.       

– Nancy

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