All the World’s a Stage, but When Does the Curtain Fall?

More people are scared of public speaking than of death. This is a scary fact, because almost everyone goes on living after speaking in public, but few get a chance to go on living after death. So what is it that frightens people about speaking in public?

Now everyone is not afraid of speaking. Some who are find ways to overcome it. Personally I have never been afraid of it, and have relished the oppportunities, but one aspect I feel is the reason I believe most who are scared are scared. It is the fear of disappointment. When you know someone is watching your performance, most humans tend to want to perform better. Knowing that someone is expecting some earth-shattering, important epiphany of a proclamation from you is frightening when all you have is your own meager life experience to share. Some dress better, some try to use a different voice to project better. It is all because of the desire to perform at the level of expectation of the crowd, those there to see you.

This is not the approach we take for the remainder of our lives. When we are by ourselves we don’t act better, we don’t talk better, we don’t perform better. We become relaxed, we take our shoes off and kick back, we revert to language that we would never think of using in front of a crowd (whether it is foul, offensive, or just slang). The odd part is that even when we are alone, we perform on the most important stage, for the most influential audience, God. We don’t try to church up our everyday life because no other humans are watching, yet we are under the constant gaze of the Almighty.

We desire others to see the best us we can be. We try to be the most useful, helpful, educated and informed subject matter expert for those watching us. He sees the unfiltered us, and doesn’t hold it against us. Never a better time to be thankful for His mercy and His grace.

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