Friday, October 2, 2009

The birth of a nation.....the NSA Nation!

Good evening teammates around the world,

I do apologize for the lack of new posts lately. It may seem like a week or so, but for me it felt like an eternity. The school year is now back in effect, and there's something very special to me about the fall, and change of seasons. This is my time when I come alive. I guess you might say that I am a rare bird, because many of us enjoy the long summer nights and sizzling temperatures. Yet I enjoy the raw winds, the chill permeating from all directions.

Sept. 26 marked another special celebration of all things stuttering. On that day, teammates from various NSA chapters got together in Washington DC for a great social occasion-taking in the Atlanta Braves-Washington Nationals game at Nationals Park, followed by dinner out at Buca di Beppo in Dupont Circle. I have truly enjoyed many amazing moments and breakthroughs in my life with stuttering, which have not just taken place locally, but anywhere and everywhere. Each conference and social gathering is as unique as the next. But when you think of Washington, DC, what comes to your mind? The monuments? The ideals? The oppressive humdity in July and August? (Try waiting for a hotel shuttle at Reagan National when it's 100 degrees with 90 percent humidity-as Paris Hilton might say, "That's hot.")

Washington is the center of our nation for all guidance how our lives are shaped, and lived. When a law is passed, the eyes of the world turn there. And on the bus ride back home to New York City to catch the LIRR out to the suburbs, I began to think. What if we could create a NATION about all things stuttering? The National Stuttering Association, my greatest love, has become the biggest and most dominant advocacy organization for teammates who stutter everywhere. And like a thunderbolt out of a clear blue sky, I thought of the best way to describe all things stuttering: The NSA Nation. For teammates who stutter, by teammates who stutter.

Now while America's capital will always be Washington, the NSA Nation has no permanent location at all. Wherever you are, that is where the NSA Nation is. When you show off your sexy attitude that you will speak your mind and others are going to hear it, that's where the NSA Nation is. The NSA Nation is everywhere at all times.

If you want to be a teammate of the NSA Nation, here's all you have to know:

1. That YOU WILL speak loudly and confidently,
2. You WILL make others to hear and respect you,
3. You WILL reach out to other teammates to help them find their voices,
4. You WILL make sure SLP graduate students know the your story, and the story of the NSA Nation,
5. You WILL break the stranglehold of stuttering,
6. You WILL celebrate the NSA Nation every day.

Sept. 26 is the birth of my NSA Nation. I invite all teammates to join me.

My name is Steven Kaufman and I am a person who stutters. Until next time, stand up and be counted. Make your voice heard.

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