I felt it coming on, but didn’t know how to prevent it. About twice a year this happens. For some unknown reason I develop an unpleasant and irritating malady that leaves me without much of a voice. I rasp and scratch and my top volume is barely audible. It’s easier to just clam up and not say a word.
This, of course, wouldn’t be much of a problem if I were a monk who had taken a vow of silence. Or anyone who had taken a vow of silence. I, however, have taken no such vow. In fact, I am bound to do the opposite. My job is to teach, and in teaching I generally use my voice. During these times, though, I have to think of something else.
Fortunately for me I have access to technology. My lessons this week have been delivered with the support of powerpoint presentations, and in those presentations I have shared the voices of others. Poets, athletes, entertainers, and ordinary people have shared their voices with my students this week. They have learned through not only my voice, but the voices of many others, from around the globe. There have been voices of the able bodies and physically challenged, the wealthy and the poor, the successful and the downtrodden.
In class we listen to music, get lost in poetry, and think about our place in the world. We challenge ourselves to be our best, and by doing so to make a positive impact on our world.
Sometimes losing our own voice allows us to really listen to others, and in so doing to learn from them and make our own message more clear.