I have a book given to me titled “Speeches that changed the world”.
From time to time, I pull it out and meander through the pages, reading the quotations highlighted on some of the pages. Some I know and some I don’t.
Some of the speeches I take a little more time, read the included context explanation in which the speeches were given, and then the speech in its entirety.
It’s obvious that the words are crafted to give the listener a sense of having heard something. Thoughts drawn out in description that they become illustrations in the mind, moving beyond words.
I am amazed the way the speeches are alive, powerful, and heartfelt. They are given in a way that appears to be impromptu and without premeditation. It can also be intimidating; causing the student of the words to doubt their own ability to do the same.
Not to take anything away from the speeches, but they aren’t off the cuff. They were written and re-written, thought about and mulled over. The words were selected, arranged, and weighed for their impact. The delivery was deliberate and practiced.
I’m not saying that everyone can or should be Churchill or Lincoln, but anyone can express the deepest thoughts, the tenderest feelings, and inspire the greatest of works. But such speeches do not come from 5 minutes of scribbling notes on the back of your hand. They are not born in flashes of brilliance. They are worked, dug out, cleaned, and polished.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that great speeches are just that. They inspire people to great feats. They leave the listener edified.
You also can be inspirational and edifying. Even if made in simple responses to questions of a friend in need or a child in search of wisdom. And that might be world enough to merit a change.