I was thinking about this at work the other day, and realized the ONE positive thing I can truly credit the JWs with:
I have NO fear of public speaking.
I was a shy kid, fat, clumsy, with crooked glasses and worse teeth, who wore hand-me-downs in one of the wealthiest counties in all of America, who sat still while classmates got up to salute the flag or recite the pledge of allegiance.
But those Witness fuckers forced me on stage at least once a month in a comparatively "safe" space to talk about something I had to pretend enthusiasm for, and I actually tried to get them involved, usually with jokes (it was always frowned upon-there was the assignment on self-abuse from one of the "youth books" erroneously assigned to me, a 13 year old. I deliberately used the phrases "in the ONE hand" and "in the OTHER hand" until my brother's friend John snorted so loudly he had to leave.) And then they would criticise you publicly (actually, they stopped that practice in the '70s as it was too embarrassing)- but they did give you feedback, some of it even valuable, and it inured me to a fear of public speaking. I've had classmates and business colleagues literally (and I don't mean the ignorant usage of "literally" where folks actually mean "figuratively") physically paralyzed by the prospect of getting up in front of a bunch of people and talking. I just put my head down for a minute, collect myself, and stand up. So that's ONE good thing. Anyone else?