“Humility in Defeat “
I had read from the history books… A long time ago, there was a battle made infamous somewhere in Europe.
Fellow toastmasters, guests and honorable judges, A pleasant good evening.
On the 18th day of June year 1815, somewhere in Brussels, Belgium, the so called battle of the titans, the final battle of the Hundred Day War, the battle between Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s French legions against the Anglo-Allied Forces led by Duke Of Wellington…… The Battle at Waterloo took place.
As I imagined the story written, it was a stretch of a field with an area of about 10km long and 4 km wide. The rolling hills and valleys drench and wet due to heavy downpour of rain from the previous night. While gazing from that horizon, I can see the green fields covered by men in red uniform while on the other side men were all clad in blue.
On both side the generals and officers riding horses alongside cavalry men all line up on battle formation. The infantry men gripped their guns with sweaty nervous hands. All the cannons were loaded and ready to fire!Napoleon’s legions, all 70,000 of them were much feared at that time. They have the edge, experience and mostly were proud battle tested veterans. While the Duke of Wellington England, who leads the allied forces gathered more than 145,000 men from England, Germany and Prussia, though they outnumbered Napoleons legions, mostly were young and inexperienced in war.
The morning has become silent yet deafening, and you can feel the high energy about to explode at any moment. The scent of impending death is enough to raise the hair on your skin.
On Napoleon orders, ready….fire! Cannons roared BOOM!! BOOM!! sending volleys of cannonballs in the air. Ka-Boom! Ka-boom! Explosion brings instant death upon impact. The allies retaliated with fire….Ka-boom!
At the end of that day, Napoleon the once proud emperor had finally fought his last battle and was humbled in defeat in Waterloo. And from that day onwards, the name Waterloo was made to signify “humility in defeat”.
Fellow Toastmasters and guests, in our lifespan, once in a while we shall experience Waterloo. Yes, I personally had my Waterloo! For the information of our judges and guests, in QDC Toastmasters, I was for a while called the “Humorous King”, yet at the humorous speech contest, like Emperor Napoleon, I was humbled in defeat. But today, as I entered another contest, I may loose and be humbled once more. Shall I forever despair in defeat? …Never! I will keep my waterloo in remembering and will treat them as my learning experience.
This is just the beginning! I know that at the right time and the right place…unlike Napoleon the Great, I will rise victorious from my Waterloo.
<– at the conclusion of the contest, I did rise from my Waterloo…. I won the 2nd Place !!! Congratulations !!!