1. 此篇演講入選Toastmasters International 2018上半年北區Area Contest英文演講比賽第二名（原文講稿請參照遠東人月刊官網），同時也將此份榮譽獻給我的父親。
2. Toastmasters International為一個非營利性質國際演講組織，總部設於美國，全世界共有15,400個分會，目前臺灣已成立近180個分會，臺北遠企分會（Taipei Metro Toastmasters Club）即是其中之一。臺北遠企分會由遠鼎（股）公司熊棣華副總及董事長室投資顧問Neal Stovicek二位高階主管大力推動而成，至今已屆滿十年，目前固定於每月第二及第四個星期四中午12:05～13:30集會（假遠企大樓36樓第一會議室），正式會員裡，有多位是英文母語人士及ABC，歡迎想增進英語口說能力的同仁加入我們的行列，集會席間提供免費午餐。有興趣參加者請洽：江皇儀02-2733-8000#8354 /firstname.lastname@example.org。
3. 另，遠東商銀旗下亦成立三個分會（FEIB Senior Office Club, Young-Bankers, Ferina），有興趣參加者請洽:朱悅祥cherylchu@feib.com.tw。
An Elephant in My Heart
As you know, when we say there is an elephant in the room, it means there is an issue which is so obvious, but no one wants to talk about it. In my family, there was an elephant too and that elephant ended up living in my heart for a long time, perhaps way too long. It was getting in the way of my relationship—my relationship with my father.
In Asian culture, it is common for fathers to favor their sons over their daughters and my father was no exception. When I was little, my father was a business man so he was seldom at home. Even when he was, he spent most of the time with my brother Ethan. Despite this favoritism, I remember vividly that when I close my eyes I can almost see that Sunday afternoon when my father took me to the park and we had ice cream together (strawberry one as I can recall). That was the best time in my life.
As time went by so quickly, I turned my early twenty in 1995. I was accepted by several universities in the UK and that made me pretty excited until one night. I wasn’t sleeping well and I overheard my father talking to my mom:
“Our boy Ethan is studying in New York now. You know how expensive New York is and our business is pretty slow these days. I’m not sure if it is a good time for our Florence to go to England now.”
Oh…No…I was completely devastated when I heard that. I became angry and resentful. I barged through the door and yelled at my father:
“Was I adopted? Ethan always comes first before me. Why? My study doesn’t mean anything to you? I am nothing to you.”
I slammed the door and went back to my room cried the whole night. That elephant took over ever since.
Although I did go to the UK as planned, the “silence” between my father and I was always there. This unsettling emotion has continued to haunt me even when I reached my early forty until last year. I went to a “how to” workshop and it occurred to me – I have to deal with my elephant before it’s too late. I worked up the courage to talk to my father. I sat down in his library and there was an awkward silence. I took a breath and asked:
“Father, I’ve always wanted to know if I am important to you.”
My father didn’t say anything. He just stood up and went to the safe, opened it and then handed an envelope to me. My heart was pounding so fast and my hands were shivering while I opened it. There was a bunch of letters! I took one and had a close look. Wait a minute! This looks so familiar and it begins with: Dear Mom… I’ve settled in the UK... Oh! I figured I wrote these letters to my mom more than twenty years ago. I was so confused (because they were supposed to my mom).
Then my father spoke:
“Florence, I treasure a lot of things in my life and this is definitely one of them. I read and collected every letter after your mom read them. It was comforting to know my little girl was doing well in England.”
At that moment, I realized my papa is the one who kept all my letters for all those years and he treasures them. My eyes were full of tears, but those tears were tears of joy, because I found the answer I’ve been searching for so many years and that is—my father does love me.
Guess what? That elephant disappeared and it never came back
Now, I often take a walk in the park with my dad (enjoying ice cream too, strawberry one still). We finally have some father-daughter time together.
My dear friends! Do you have an elephant in your heart too? Is it about your work? Is it about your family? It could be anything you don’t want to face. I’ve lived with my elephant more than twenty years; I understand how that feels. Time is not on our side. My father is almost seventy years old. Look how foolish I was! Twenty years stolen by that stupid elephant. Can you imagine? So, please don’t let the fear or pride get in the way of the relationship with our loved ones. Let go of elephants or whatever it is, we will be able to make more room in our heart to embrace other good things in our lives. ＃