In Appreciation, Public Speaking, Toastmasters, Women

Last Sunday (March 9), our Toastmasters Club, Smedley Speakers Society celebrated International Women’s Day with a 3 minute speech contest for women on the topic “What Women Want” . I was surprised to note that a recurring theme was women need attention and appreciation ! I thought they were already getting enough of it !

No, asserted all the contestants. All they wanted was some space, some quality time and genuine appreciation at the right moment.

And my mind went back to an incident involving John and Annie, married for five years, sipping tea at home on a rainy day !

Annie asked John ” Sweetheart, when I die, won’t you buy flowers to wrap my dead body ?” A shocked John said ‘ Honey, sure I will. But why do you ask such a question ?”

And Annie replies with a smile ” After I am dead and gone, all these flowers will mean nothing to me. All I ask is- just a flower now and then when I am living !”

I thought Annie echoed the feelings of not just wives but most of us, accountants, engineers, teachers, students- all, all who crave for a sincere word of appreciation which can mean much more than increments and stock options !

And it was Mark Twain who said ” I can live for three months on a sincere compliment !”

Even the great emperor Napoleon Bonaparte lamented ” If only I had more medals, I would conquer the world !”

Well, back to the contest, the first prize was won by our star speaker and VP Membership, Malora Fernandes, who had composed a poem for the occasion. Using simple, evocative language she not only cornered all the attention but words words of appreciation from all of us !

Here is the poem in full !

What Women Want

Women are shallow
Women are vain
Women, men feel
Are often a pain.

Now if that’s true
What’re you to do?
I must ask then
What’s a woman to you?

A mother, a wife;
Or a sister beside
Here are some women
Men walk alongside.

We say we are equal,
We say we are strong
Truth of the matter is;
We are rarely wrong!

What do we want?
You ask us today,
Will you ask again tomorrow?
What happened to yesterday?
Are you ready to listen?
That list runs long
No expense necessary
But you must be strong.

We want love & respect
Not be spoken down to
Some understanding & compassion
For the work that we do.

We play many roles
We try not to hurt,
We pretend to be strong
Whenever you are curt.

We say we are equal
We say we are strong
Truth of the matter is
We are sometimes wrong.

We want to be cherished
Thought of as wise
A compliment from you
Will be really nice.

Treat us sweet
Treat us kind
Treat us like Queens
We don’t mind!

Be nice to a lady
For how lovely she is
Her smile & her warmth
Is one you will miss.

Buy her some flowers
A trinket or two
A bar of chocolate
And she’s closer to you.

A call in the day
‘Hi! How do you do?’
A hug in the night
To say ‘I love you’

Hold our hand
Please, make us laugh
Listen to our woes
They will divide by half

Let me end my rambling
Let me stop this jaunt
I have answered the question
Of what women want!

Malora Fernandes

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