The Whisper in the Room

by Starla J. King on August 21, 2014

It’s a crowded room, packed to the gills with friends, family members, and a few unknowns who showed up through some distant line of connections.  Although nobody is actually yelling, the noise level is high as people try to hear each other in umpteen conversations around the buffet line.

“MY GOODNESS, COUSIN MARTHA STILL MAKES THE BEST BRISKET, DOESN’T SHE?”

“HEY, KARI, WHERE’D YOU GET THAT ROLL? IT LOOKS HOMEMADE. IS IT?  I JUST LOVE HOMEMADE.”

“OH, STANLEY, LOOK AT YOU! WHY, THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU, YOU WERE JUST A LITTLE PIP ABOUT THIS HIGH.”

“YES, YES, I HEARD ABOUT GERTIE. ISN’T THAT JUST TERRIBLE?? WELL THANK GOD IT WASN’T ANY WORSE.  THANK THE GOOD LORD INDEED.”

Loud banter, chit-chat, accolades and assessments combine into a volume that makes it nearly impossible to have any conversation beyond surface-level comments.

Until someone whispers.

You know what happens: the room falls silent as everyone, desperate to hear, leans toward the quiet one.

Because it’s not always the loudest voice that gets heard in a crowd; sometimes it’s the quietest one.

I’ve needed to remind myself of this a lot recently, because the Internets are loud and my natural volume hovers on quiet.   Oh yes, I can raise my online presence to a shout or a continuous wheedle that draws attention (I’m the youngest of 9 children; my skills have been honed), but it eventually wrings my spirit out to a potato-chip level of dry, parched, and easily shattered.

Most often, I need instead to whisper.  I need, in order to be at my greatest strength, to speak quietly; to suggest instead of insist; offer instead of require; wonder instead of know.

And based on the unrest that seems to be growing these days about social media, I’m guessing there are plenty of you out there who are also hoarse from continuously amping up your naturally soft voices to rise above the volume.

Bouquet“In a gentle way, you can shake the world,” Mahatma Gandhi says… .

With a whisper you can quiet the room..

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