Yesterday, I was interviewed by a local marketing company who we have worked with in the past as they are doing a project on “voice”. Outside of being slightly uncomfortable having someone taking pictures while being interviewed, I enjoyed the conversation and thought about the concept of voice for quite a bit longer than the actual interview. One of my comments regarding voice was basically that so many people are “yelling” through blogs, Facebook posts, Twitter, etc. that it is hard to hear their “voice”. Made me think that perhaps having a “voice” means absolutely nothing unless you can actually be heard.
So how do we become heard so that this wonderful gift of “voice” truly means something? Hell of a question and I don’t have the answer. But, of course, I have an idea or two. I guess we should start by remembering that yelling usually turns people off and tunes them out to your message. Maybe we should start by not drowning out the truly important messages by using our voice to tell the thousand friends we have (really?) what restaurant you are currently at or taking a picture of your dog sleeping? Maybe we should use fewer words with more meaning given that our attention spans are nil these days? Maybe you don’t have anything to say, but your “voice” shows up in your actions – an act of kindness, a hug, or a wink of the eye that says I believe in you.
I remember the quote “your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying” or something to that effect. My father still tells me that the reason he doesn’t run (or didn’t run in his case) is that perhaps you only have so many steps to take in your life and when you take that last one, you check out. Why waste them running in a circle? Of course, he is making an excuse for not exercising, but what if that principle applied to our “voice”? What if we only had so many words to say in our lives and when we spoke the last one, we were done, checked out, kicked the bucket? How would you share your voice differently? What words would you choose to say?
For someone who can talk much longer than needed, I am going to think about my “voice” much differently for a bit and see what happens. Might even use my “voice” for those that don’t have the same privilege of having their “voice” heard. That would have to be better than using mine to let you know that I am in the airport in Little Rock, Arkansas (no offense intended to Little Rock).
(This is me being quiet now…)