A Bigger Voice

13 09 2008

Back when I was studying to be an opera singer, my vocal coaches and voice teachers used to tell me, “You have a big voice,” meaning that the quality of sound was very open and clear with natural volume and that it had the potential to fill large performance spaces without strain or “pushing”.  As a matter of fact, it was this quality that often made a challenge out of singing in choruses or small ensembles, because my voice was more inclined to stick out rather than blend in requiring a greater amount of vocal control to match the sound quality of my fellow singers.

As I’ve moved beyond my professional singing days, I find that having a big voice is not exclusive to the realm of musicians.  People with big voices naturally stick out in every aspect of their lives.  Of my fellow students at the time, there were two or three others characterized as having big voices.  They also posessed big personalities, distinctive styles of dress, and an engaging, charismatic eloquence that ensured they never blended into the background of any situation wherin they found themselves.

Big voiced people don’t cope well with being overpowered or drowned out, mainly because it rarely ever happens.  We can sing over orchestras, dammnit!  We can cut through the roar of a party crowd with a single well-placed shout.  Our voices always rise above.  That’s why I think I experience so much frustration during major political cycles.  I’m not used to not being heard, particularly when I feel I have something vital to say.

At this moment, I wish I had a bigger voice.

As human souls, as sparks of Divine energy, we find physical form on this planet of ours, and we are tested, tried, broken down and reformed.  All of our experiences here on Earth are meant to teach us something.  All of our actions and choices in our lifetimes are meant to help us learn how to be worthy to join those higher beings–call them Angels, Enlightened Ones, or what you will–who have gone before us and become a part of a greater community of spirit.  Right now, Humanity is having difficulty passing the 3rd grade.

We are still too embroiled in the challenges of the physical world–which is what three represents, by the way.  Land ownership matters, as do the physical substances that can be rendered from that land.  Material wealth is valued over the riches of mind and spirit.  We still think it far better to strike out with fist and sword and gun and bomb than with thought, word or emotion.  Love and compassion are ridiculed in the face of fear and agression.  What is best for “me and mine” is valued over what is best for everyone as a whole.  When we were children, we had these attitudes as well, but we grew past them.  Our increased interactions with other people, with new situations and different ideas lead us beyond the circle of our nuclear family to embrace the world at large.  We need to do this on a mental and spiritual level now.

What we lack, I believe, is balance.  The world is very “masculine”, very martial right now.  You can see this in our leaders, in those who strive to be leaders.  That is also a quality of three.  The triangle is a masculine shape, the circle and the square, feminine ones.  What we need is more “feminine” influence.  Some people call this Christ Consciousness, not because they are Christian or follow any organized religion, but because of the philosophy that Jesus–be he man, prophet, or Son of God–put forth:  Love, not hatred and fear.  Compassion, not hard-hearted selfishness.  Fellowship, not stubborn isolation.  Often, when people hear “feminine”, they immediately think “woman.”  That’s a very limited way of thinking, and history shows us that some of the most vocal proponents for “feminine” principle have been men.  Likewise, there are not a small number of women who embody “masculine” philosophy.

In eight weeks, American citizens will be called upon to choose someone to lead us through the next four years, to act as a role model, to be a guidepost, to set the standard.  The stakes are so high because we collectively feel that this choice can either propel us forward or hold us back.  To me, this contest isn’t about Republican or Democrat.  It isn’t about John McCain or Barak Obama.  This contest is about resisting change or embracing it.  Oh, I know both candidates say they’re working towards a change, but when you get right down to it, when you clear away the rhetoric, the TV ads, the minutiae of policy and voting records and all that, what is left is the inherent philosophy of these two men and their campaigns.  One of them represents balance and change, the other represents staying the same.

Now, lest you think I’m passing judgement, let me pause and firmly state that sometimes change is not right for everyone.  Every soul progresses at its own rate and in its own time.  Some of us are further along the road of spiritual development than others.  That doesn’t make these forerunners “better” or those behind “worse”.  This is important to realize.  It is in our nature to resist change, in spite of whatever high-vaulted words we use or our very real desire to do so.  Change cannot be forced.  It’s like children who repeat a year in school.  I never see those kids as being “slow” or “dumb” or somehow less-than.  I just think those kids need more time to adjust, to prepare for the changes that must eventually come.  And oh, when we do change! When we do resist, when we accept the hardships and the vulnerabilities that go along with that process, we realize the potential of our better selves.

It is easy to get lost in the rush of emotions that surround big choices.  It is easy to look upon others who don’t share our philosophy and think them petty or ignorant.  I know I’m as guilty of doing this as any other person, though I try hard not to.  My personal belief is that a vote for Barak Obama is a move towards balance, a step forward, a choice to embrace more of the “feminine” principles of Love, Compassion, and Fellowship.  Some people are ready to make that step forward.  Others are not.  This doesn’t give those of us who *are* the right to shake our heads sadly and bewail the supposed “stubbornness” or “foolishness” or “ignorance” or “pig-headed-ness” of those who choose differently.  It is far better to let people change at their own pace rather than drag them, kicking and screaming, into things they are not ready for.  Rather, ours should be an attitude of patience, of willingness to accept that some of our fellow human beings aren’t quite up to jumping off the high-dive into the deep end, but also of care, vigilance, and encouragement.

I hold out hope that my fellow Americans will make the same choice that I will, but if they don’t, that just means that I will have to work that much harder to encourage them, to show by example that change can be good, that the deep water is not so scary as it might seem.  But I wish I had a bigger voice.  It’s hard to be heard over the ranting, wailing and screaming of the crowd.