Did you feel helpless? Did the silence seem somehow calming? How did you make yourself understood?
Words, ideas, conversation, debate are all very important to me and define how I see myself and how others see me. Ten years ago, my sister gave me a coffee mug that said “Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion” – I think she was joking, half joking.
I get the opportunity to express myself in one on one discussion, group settings and large presentations. My ideas and opinions are heard. My gratitude and outrage has an audience. My personality allows me to speak provocatively and honestly into almost every circumstance.
What if I lost my voice? Overuse, exertion illness all could cause the vibrancy and volume of by voice to disappear, temporarily. Cancer or another disease could rob me of my rants more permanently. But I would find a way to be heard. You are listening right now to the words I pounded out on my keyboard. I could paint, dance, direct and still have a voice. I have a position of privilege that helps my voice be heard. Some of the privilege has been earned through education, persistence, hard work, networking, reputation and some was inherited when I won the ovarian lottery. I don’t know what the percentages from merit or mother.
Some remarkable people among us go unheard every day. A single mom busy raising 2 remarkable children and working 1 and ½ jobs to make ends meet may be too busy and weary to stake her claim to a soapbox. Children express themselves often and often loudly but the distractions of the world leave us missing their real point. Seniors, who have much to teach us, don’t receive the respect their have earned.
I can become a better listener, an audience for those who have lost their voice. You can intentionally invite someone to tell their story and really listen to them tell it. You may not be able to do anything else (or you maybe you can) but listen.
I can become an advocate for the voiceless – not from my perspective but after listening, from theirs. You can retell the stories you hear to your circle of influence.
I can approach voicelessness – mine and others and make it my problem. Will you make it your problem?
Make Today Remarkable, for someone you don’t know,