I am a listener, so to have a focus phrase for 2021 to speak is a little bit daunting.
I did not realize until lately just how voiceless I actually believe I am. I got a paper back at the end of the semester in which Professor 1 wrote, "work to interact more with secondary sources..." It wasn't until I read that line that the lies began to surface:
- Your opinion doesn't matter
- Your two-cents is meaningless compared to what the scholars have to say, so what's the point of saying anything? They are the expert, you are not.
- You don't know enough to say anything educational.
I was talking about this with a friend and he said, "I have rarely heard you say anything that was not worth hearing" (or something to that effect).
I went into the college shortly after the conversation above, and Professor 2 talked about getting insight from the student papers he was grading. I always believed that the professors got nothing out of what I had to say, because they know so much more than me. He later tweeted, "... I always feel blessed when a student provides a particular insight on a paper that gives me pause, and a new-to-me insight to incorporate into my won knowledge bank."
I decided to look into this a little more and I went back to some papers from last year in which I found this comment from Professor 3, "Interesting how you are using a lot of quotes to capture the ideas. I'd like to hear your voice in all this as well."
I'd like to hear your voice in all this as well. Wow. My voice. I don't know how I missed this comment last year, but it is really interesting how much of an impact it is having now. Perhaps I just wasn't ready before.
My voice can only be heard if I use it. Speaking means using my voice, which could be in many forms - verbal, written, creative, music, or whatever means I choose. I don't know exactly what this looks like, but I do know that I need to use my voice more, and when I use it, it will be to Speak Life.