The Power of Voice
Ever heard of The Moth? It’s a series of open-mic story-slam competitions. On stage: one person and a mic. No notes, no props. Sophisticated story-time. Get up there and share the power of your voice. Since I was introduced to The Moth last weekend by Molly S. and Izzy C., I’ve been listening to podcasts of the competition(free on itunes).
It’s interesting listening to The Moth. Some stories are funny, like one woman’s story of her experience at a ‘radical honesty’ seminar. Some are sad – one man told of the stillbirth of his second child and the guilt that racks him. Other stories are just weird. But the best ones, the ones that stay in my memory are those of story-tellers who dove straight into the heart of their story. The ones that seemed fearless, whose voices were powerful. They have a keen ability to, in the span of a few minutes, string words together and leave the listener with something almost…tangible.
Story-telling is a timeless activity – I guess it’s one of the oldest and hope it will never die. Today, we can hear stories from around the globe. I imagine that early men eventually ran out of new and creative story-worthy material, but available to us today are the voices of all. That is, if we choose to listen. And if they choose to share.
On MLK Day, we heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s story at Gould. The focus of the day was ‘The Power of Voice.’ What I took away from the day was the importance of speaking up. Martin Luther King Jr. certainly had a powerful voice. With his voice he moved and inspired people, and his words are still famous today. Who’s heard of MLK, but not of his “I Have a Dream” speech?
Story-telling is something that I want to practice. Communication is one of the most basic human abilities, but to get your story right, to ‘speak the truth’ as Reverend Thompson put it on MLK Day, is hard. But it’s worth the struggle. So I’m going to dive straight in and use my voice. I’m waiting to hear yours too.