What is a voice?
Simply put, it’s the expression of our opinions and beliefs. Do we all utilize our voices and are all voices really that important? We do not all utilize our voices. In fact, many chose to be silent. Or maybe they don’t. Maybe they are silenced. It’s unfortunate, but the softer voice often gets drowned out. Nevertheless, I believe that all voices do deserve to be heard, to some extent. Maybe what you have to say, someone near you needs to hear. So what drowns your voice?
Fear of judgment and failure immobilize my tongue. My voice, normally strong and unwavering, falls prey to these fears. What if I’m wrong and someone challenges me? What if the person who I esteem finds fault in what I have to say. Or worse, thinks me inadequate and incapable of competent coherent thoughts? What of this?
Yet, I must say that my biggest enemy is ignorance. It chokes me. Slithering its sly smug hands over my mouth and laughing at my inability to refute what I do not know. Lack of knowledge, simply being uninformed always kills my voice. Because how can I rebut an argument I know nothing about? Instead, I find myself silently embarrassed and quizzically nodding approval of a subject I desperately wished I knew anything about.
I urge you to find strength in your own voice. Listen to it. Challenge it. Encourage it. Introduce it to new voices, parallel voices, or opposing voices. Love your voice. Never be ashamed of it. Don’t allow anyone to stop the growth of your voice. Additionally, if someone puts you down for a minor or inconsequential mistake or belittles you and makes you feel inadequate, unworthy or invaluable in any way then they are not someone you want to esteem. That last thought is often extremely difficult to embrace, because, unfortunately, that belittling person is sometimes a loved one. Nonetheless, we must not be muted. Instead, we must sing.