The Most Precious Thing

Toastmasters speech - 07/14/04
Who here has ever been in love?
Who here has ever had their heart broken?
Who here has ever been married?
Who here has ever been divorced?

What is the most precious thing in your life?

You're going to start a new business venture and you're going to need a partner. You're going to put all of your eggs in this one basket. Assume you have a solid business plan and suffcient capital to see it through. What are the criteria you'd have for your business partner?

What are you risking here? OK. Now let's look at another kind of venture. You're single and tired of living a life without romance. You go to either a professional matchmaker, Internet matchmaking service, or even a yenta. What are the criteria you put down for the person you're looking for?

I went to and found these criteria:

So you answer all of these questions about yourself and as to what you're looking for in someone else. And if everything goes perfectly, you're going to find someone to spend time with, fall into bed and into love with, and perhaps even marry. And what are you risking in this? Anyone who's been divorced care to comment?

I'd say you are risking:

Now let's go back and compare the two sets of criteria.

   Business venture vs. Romance

So if you get a good match with each, based upon the standard criteria listed above, which do you think has a better chance of success?

Love relationships are the stuff that we build our lives upon. Love is what makes the world go round, not money. Love is what makes us all go to incredible lengths to have and is the source of great sorrow when it is lost. We enter into a search for romance because we are not satisfied with living alone and without romance. Each of us is needy or vulnerable in some way, and it is in this context that we use these criteria we have for making a choice in seeking romance.

The most precious thing you have is your own heart. Even if you are a parent and have children you love dearly, it is your own heart which is even more dear. Your children look to you for love and guidance, and if you are broken, angry and sour on life, how can you possibly love, nurture and guide a child to a full and happy life?

Your own heart and self-esteem are the foundation upon which the whole rest of your life experience is based. This is your most precious thing. The key to that happiness is making choices where your expectations are most likely to be met. I submit to you that the most likely choice for a long and happy romance is to not seek the most desireable and attractive mate, but to instead see your romance as the business of building a life together. While your partner has to have some enjoyable and attractive qualities for you, the things which will determine your long term happiness and stability are the same kinds of qualities that would make for a good business partner.

As we age and look back on the choices we've made in life, it will be the love choices we've made that will be the most important. Your heart is the most precious thing you have. Take care of it and make your choices wisely.

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