We live in a society that is consumed with noise. Kenny Chesney a country artist singer has a song aptly titled “Noise” . Here is a sample of the lyrics from his song:
24 hour television, get so loud that no one listens
Sex and money and politicians talk, talk, talk
But there really ain’t no conversation
Ain’t nothing left to the imagination
Trapped in our phones and we can’t make it stop, stop this noise
Yeah we scream, yeah we shout ’til we don’t have a voice
In the streets, in the crowds, it ain’t nothing but noise
Drowning out all the dreams of this Tennessee boy
Just tryin’ to be heard in all this noise
I think citizens of the world have a growing frustration and feeling of inadequacy. Have you attempted a conversation with someone in a noisy room? Have you attended a meeting where you felt like a spectator? Are all opinions equal in merit? They truly are it is just a matter of perception.
My wife works at an Elementary School, her position places her at the front desk. Daily, she has parents calling wanting to speak with their childs teacher. She advises them the teacher is currently teaching the class and cannot be reached at this time. The parent many times reply “But I need to speak with her now”. Can you imagine if every parent had the same request? Can you envision the chaos of a room if the teacher stopped and called back the parent instantly? We live in a society that happens fast almost instantaneously in some cases. The gain in efficiency can often lead to diminishing levels of patience. Frustration, is the first step in feeling you are not being heard by those you encounter.
Let’s look at a second example. Religion was once the most polarizing subject in society, I believe politics has eclipsed even the clergy and the sacraments. In politics we see a unhealthy dose of fear seeded daily to control the masses, this fear is common to all political parties. The one commanality is each party believes they are the Savior of the people. A perfect example is the left telling people the earth will cease to exist in twelve years if the green deal is not put into action immediately, climate is a problem that needs to be addressed, but hyperbole on the time frame is an attempt to frighten people towards your ideaology. Do not feel smug if you are on the right. “Make America Great Again” followed by I am the only person that can accomplish this monumental task; again hyperbole, without a doubt. When we feel people are not listening maybe we turn up the volume of our voices. When shouting doesn’t work, maybe we become physically violent. This might get you the five minutes of fame but is woefully the wrong approach to get your voice heard.
Stephen Covey once wrote that to increase your voice you must increase your circle of influence. If your idea has substance, people will soon recognize its validity. Mentor people, respect their voice if you want yours heard. The formula to be heard is fairly simple:
- Listen more than you speak.
- Read, study and seek out others that have credibility with your subject.
- Seek solutions that help other people.
- Be humble, regardless of the results.
The world is a noisy place that drowns out the soft voice. It is the people that seek to understand first than to be understood who will find their voice. Do you hear what I am saying?