An awful lot of people who think they don’t have a good voice love to sing. They would like to come to class and develop their voice, to share their heart and soul through a song that says something in a way everyday conversation never could. They would like to feel the physical energy and joy of creative spirit flowing from self to others through singing. However, they hold back because it seems pointless if they don’t have some special gift.
I look at it another way. Whenever I see Olympic athletes receiving gold medals I think it belongs to all the children they ever competed and played with, to all their peers along the way, to parents, teachers and coaches, to researchers and the evolution of the sport itself. Everyone and everything that inspired or supported those athletes went into winning those medals.
When someone with extreme hearing loss comes to class and learns to sing by feeling the sound, we all begin to feel the sound of our own and others’ voices in our bodies. We listen and sing in ways we had never imagined possible. It works this way when people are recovering from throat surgery or a stroke. And it works when someone sings with complete ease and abandon, when their voice soars with the beauty of an angel. We all learn something extraordinary we could not have found in isolation or ordinary dialogue.
If we don’t use our voices to capacity, we diminish not only our own greatness. The ones who rise to fame to be the focal voice of our generation, or culture or religion will also be impoverished. Cultures, religions or regimes that repress their citizens’ voices are impoverished. We need people’s voices and creativity. We need their artistic expressions of curiosity and wonder, of courage and love.
When heart and truth are in the voice it is always beautiful. So if you love to sing, go ahead and take that class. Risk growing into your wholeness and supporting others to live into theirs. Or if you love to write, or paint, or cook or bowl, then go do that. Whatever it is you long to do, assume it is yours to do, not because you are meant to earn money or recognition, but because you need it in order to be whole. And as you are becoming whole you help the rest of us to do the same.