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STUDENTS' PROJECTS > THE STORY OF MY LIFE > PART II : IN ENGLAND AS STUDENT > Shyness
 

13. Shyness My Shield

I was elected to the Executive Committee of the Vegetarian Society, and made it a point to attend every one of its meetings, but I always felt tongue-tied. It was only in South Africa that I got over this shyness, though I never completely overcame it. It was impossible for me to speak without preparation. I hesitated whenever I had to face
strange audiences and avoided making a speech whenever I could.

I must say that, beyond occasionally exposing me to laughter, my shyness has been no disadvantage whatever. In fact I can see that, on the contrary, it has been all to my advantage. My hesitancy in speech, which was once an annoyance, is now a pleasure. Its greatest benefit has been that it has formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. A man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech; he will measure every word. My shyness has been in reality my shield. It has allowed me to grow.
It has helped me in my discovery of truth.