battered door in a torrential rainstorm
in North Africa.
Upon his return from active duty
two years later, he completed his bach-
elor’s degree at Syracuse University
and then we moved from New York
to California so he could pursue
post-graduate studies at UCLA. His
education eventually led him to a full-
time teaching position where he taught
hundreds of fifth- and sixth-grade stu-
dents in the San Fernando Valley.
As the years went by, I went
from being the only child to being
the eldest of nine. Finances were
always a challenge. Besides teach-
ing, my dad tutored students in
the late afternoon and waited
tables in the evening to support
Was my father a rich man?
From a financial standpoint,
the answer would have to be a
Financial security is only
one measure of wealth. Dad
was dearly loved by his family,
friends, fellow teachers and stu-
dents. He enriched the lives of his
students to the point that former
students requested that their chil-
dren be in his class. He was firm,
yet fair, and had a wonderful
sense of humor.
Dad loved my mom deeply
and invested his abundant love
and wisdom into my life and the
lives of my brothers and sisters.
He taught us the value of a good
education, your word is your
bond, and life is about giving—
not taking. He left a rich legacy that
continues to this very day.
How does this relate to the
topic of true wealth and the
professional speaker? Several
years ago, a well-known NSA
member, speaking at an NSA
event, declared that professional
speakers who do not earn several
hundred thousand dollars or more per
year are not very successful. Amassing
wealth and achieving financial pros-
perity is what life is all about about,
according to this person's viewpoint.
PASSION FOR SPEAKING
AND SERVING OTHERS
Mother Teresa said it best: “To work
without love is slavery.” As professional
speakers, we have the distinct privilege
and great opportunity to do what we
love to do. We can follow our passions
and use our talents, gifts and abilities to
profoundly impact the lives of others.
So, what’s important and valued by
your fellow speakers when it comes to
“True wealth is loving who you are,
what you do, who you do it with, and
being able to live a fulfilled life while
making a huge contribution to the fulfillment of others,” says Steve Lishansky,
past president of NSA/New England.
Top: Richard Bruso, WWII Combat MP, 1944.
Middle: Mary and Richard Bruso's wedding