Finding Voice
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Finding Voice • Posted: Apr 20, 2022 10:34:03Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

And, what do you think,
young lady in the back row?

Me? Uh, um, ...
I don’t know.
What should I think?

Hm, typical. Waiting
for someone else to
tell you what to think.

No, sir. That’s not it.
I do have thoughts.
I have feelings.
I just don’t have the words.

Ah, interesting. So, let’s
try something. I’ll say
three words. And you
tell me if they stir any
feelings within you.

Hammer, gun, strawberry.

Well, sir. Yes. Hammer is
my friend. I use it to pound
stakes for netting to protect
the strawberries I like to
put on my cereal. If I didn’t
put netting around, my dad
would use his gun
to shoot the rabbits
and birds that come for
the strawberries. And
that would make me sad.

Well, young lady. It appears
that you do have thoughts.
And they are very much tied
to your feelings. The words
you have used make that
quite clear. Now, if I were to
ask you to elaborate, to tell
me more about your friends,
or the things you like,
or that make you sad,
what would you say?

I don’t know, sir.
Telling all that
would make me
... uncomfortable.

Ah, yes. I can see that.
It would make me feel
uncomfortable, too.
Why do you think that is?

Well sir, it’s kind of like
you asking me to
take off all my clothes.
I’d feel naked.

Indeed. And I’d feel
quite embarrassed, too,
for both you and me.
That is not what
we are here for.

What we are here for
is to learn about thinking
and whether it might be
a good idea to share
our thinking with others.

Now, one of your
classmates over here
has already stated that
he thinks all rabbits
should be shot. And
he is not embarrassed
in the least to share
that thought with us.
Why do you think that is?

That he is not embarrassed?
I don’t know, sir. I would be.
I’d be embarrassed that
other people would hate me,
or be afraid of me.

Ah, very perceptive. I think
we are getting somewhere.
Sharing your thoughts can
be embarrassing if you don’t
have real confidence
in the reasoning
behind your thoughts.
Practicing sound reasoning
is the path to gaining
confidence in your thoughts.

Now, what do you think of that?

Well, sir. I still don’t have the words.

Okay, well, I’m sure you aren’t
alone in that regard.

Language, just like
pictures and emotions,
if well understood
and used with fidelity
can be our friends.

But, just like faulty reasoning
can cause us real embarrassment,
so too can misunderstanding
and misusing certain words.

So, let’s all get busy.
We have work to do.



What kind of words are
you talking about?

Tuesday, September 9th, 1969
Mount Prospect