Saturday, April 2, 2016

The King's Speech

I loved the 2010 biographical movie “The King’s Speech” about King George VI struggling with stammering. The defining moment in the film was when the monarch delivered a radio address upon Great Britain's declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1939. With the help of a voice coach the King overcomes his stammering. One report I read about the speech was that the King flubbed words beginning with “W”, despite the accolades he received for the speech at that dark moment in English history.

I related to the movie since it patterned some aspects of my own life. Through my childhood into high school I stammered. When called to read out loud in class I would scan the text quickly before I started , looking for words that began with “T” or “W”, because they were so difficult to say. No matter how hard I tried, I rarely succeeded. Fear would grip my throat like hands trying to choke me. I would do anything to not read out load.

Like King George I successfully overcame my speech impediment. Here’s how I did it. First, I noted I did not stammer when I was singing in school choir. I took voice lessons, not to sing, but to learn how to control breathing. I was inspired by the Greek orator Demosthenes who overcame a speech impediment. I thought if he could do it, I could do it!

Finally, I learned a principle of life that can be applied to any personal issue. Instead of avoiding what we fear, embrace the challenge. Ask the Lord to prepare a way for you to overcome, to strengthen you, and to walk with you.

If you have successfully overcome a fear, why not share that with me? I would like to post it on my blog and encourage others.

Robert Parlante

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