An interesting thing has been happening to me of late. I do a lot of keynote presenting around Australia and now internationally, and many of my presentations start with some background on my history and childhood, where I have come from to get to where I am today.
Basically my life did start out a little different to others. My sister Wendy and I grew up as orphans, living with a host of carers, in institutions and so forth and with this kind of upbringing you come across many good people and more than your fair share of not such good people. We had a lot of violence, dysfunctionality and abuse. That said, it was never dull and in many ways a very rich way to grow up, even if it made us both grow up a lot faster than children really should.
But I am truly greatful for everything I experienced during my childhood because it has all made me the man I am today. So, when I do presentations or keynotes I talk about my past. I use it to show people that we all have choices, we can dwell in the past, blame the past and hide behind it or we can learn from our experiences and move on. I do this in a matter of fact, cheerful and very frank and open manner. But for some people they see my open and humourous style as strange. They think I should be more forlorn about it. To the point where they don’t believe my story, which I find incredibly bizare to say the least.
In fact I got an anonomous email from a person recently accusing me of lying about my background. They said how could I dare do this when other people who had survived tough childhoods are ridiculed as a result of my actions.
Now why would I lie about my background? And even more importantly, why would someone even think I would? Is it because I don’t get on stage and cry? Is it becasue I can laugh about sleeping outside on a mattress until I was 10? Is it because I can laugh about living in a house filled with violence and abuse? To me I am over it all and I prefer to laugh about it rather than cry about it.
Anyway, the point I want to make here is that people have strange ways of choosing what they want to believe. If someones actions go against the norm, or people try to be different, this proves a real challenge for those with closed minds. Thankfully, on the upside, most people embrace my story and take a message of inspiration from it – and they let me know. So to those people thank you – I really appreciate your feedback. To those who doubt my story – I apologise if my delivery seems light hearted but every word I utter is magnificently true! So get over it!
Over and out! AG
PS If you want to make up your own mind, you can listen to an interview with radio personality John MacKenzie on this website – go to the section “About Andrew Griffiths” and listen in (or just click on the link below). I tell most of my story there. I did the interview a couple of years ago so some of what I have been doing lately may not be covered, but just about everything else is.