We each have ideas, dreams, and visions we want to see live. I have been thinking about the power of our voices; about how the voice of our generation seems to be drowning in the sea of technology. Sometimes, our dreams are slowly passing into the next life not because there are not alive – they are – but because we don’t give them a voice. We fail to let them speak. We work hard to bring them to life, but fail to give them a voice. We fail to develop in ourselves, the means by which our dreams will be expressed while developing the dream itself.
I was drawn to this by a friend, Hikmet. She is Turkish and could read and write the English language. However, her speech was suffering from a terrible case of the accent, lack of fluency, and expression. We discussed the problem and she tasked me with finding a solution. My quest for a solution drew me to the story of a very nice guy with a case of “a..a..a…a…spee…ee…speee…speech….immmm…immMMM…impediment.” He stammered. That’s right, “he…hhh..his…name was M’..M’…M’..os..es…Moses!” .
Moses Story of Transformation:
He was encouraged by the whispers of the divine by way of the burning bush to live out his dream of setting the Israelite slaves free (1). After all, he tried to do it by means of the “sword” once, but it ended in his escape (2). This time, God was asking him to use another means of expression to live out his dream of setting the people free.
Not his hands or sword but his mouth–his voice. The problem however remained–Moses still had a speech impediment and unless he was healed of that, it was not going away anytime soon. To speak to the King of Egypt with such a problem would be humiliating and most likely problematic.
Moses complained and with good reason. In the holy text, Moses said this, “Please Lord. I’m not eloquent…I talk too slowly and I have a speech impediment (3).” Yet, God insisted on Moses doing it, at first with help from his brother. The question to ask then is this: “Why would God, who knows all and sees all ‘supposedly’ be asking Moses to take of this issue with a speech impediment?” Did he forget the memo? Was he suffering from a minor case of Alzheimer? I mean, Moses clearly had a problem.
Well, here’s the wisdom and counsel: There are two primary mediums of living your dreams–your mouth (voice, speech) and your hands (writings, craft, fight…). If the medium through which you will be expressing your dream is handicap or you find yourself lacking, then work on it and develop it. If you will be using your voice to express your idea, dream, or vision, develop it. Practice. Read a book aloud as if you were reading to another. If you have a hard time writing, then heal the problem by performing the action–write.
Write something, anything! If you will be living your dreams by way of your ears, then develop the ability to listen. Start now! Make it a point to listen and recall. If it’s to draw, then draw. The action by which you have to live your dreams and for which you find yourself lacking–DO IT and do so ALOUD! Read aloud to your hearing, write anything even if it is a sentence…do it!
For Moses, it was his speech, but to live his dream, he needed to work on his speech. So what was God’s solution? Ask and insists that Moses himself do the speaking. Here are a few instances. God tells Moses, “This is what you must say… (4). ” in another instance, we read, “Tell the Israelite…(5),” and in another, “Go with the leaders …to the King of Egypt and say to him (6).” Later, Moses first allowed his brother Aaron to do the talking. But subsequently, Moses stepped up to talk and by the end of his journey in leading the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness, we find Moses to be a great teacher, eloquent speaker, and leader. Titles, all of which are anchored on optimal Oratory (speaking) skills.
It is worth noting that Moses tried to live out his dream of setting the people free with a “sword” or his “hand.” We are not told the means by which he murdered to set another his fellow Jew free. But what this episode teaches us is this: if your dream is supposed to be expressed by means of your speech (voice), like Moses, and you use your hand (sword) instead, you will end up doing harm to others and to yourself. You will impair the progress of developing your dream. You cannot play soccer with your hands and you cannot play basketball with your feet. You play soccer with your feet and basketball with your hands. Reverse the order and you get fouls and outs.
Another Fascinating Story:
I find Moses story more fascinating when compared with some of the miracles of Jesus. When a blind man would say he wished to see, Jesus would say, “See!” When a paralyzed man would say he wished to walk, Jesus would simply say, “Rise up and walk!” When a dumb man would ask to be healed, Jesus would say, “Speak!” When it came to the dead, he would say, “Live.”
They very thing and action these people were handicapped by, was the very action each of them were asked to perform. See, walk, speak were all straight forward. It is not surprising that the means by which you will be living your dreams often tends to be lacking and in need of attention. The wisdom behind these two stories is simple. If you have to speak to explain your idea, pitch your plan to investors, defend a cause…then SPEAK!
Learn to start saying something now. Learning takes time–just speak and then learn. If you intend to write or become an author, then WRITE! If you intend to act, then instead of reading a book, read and ACT OUT the book you are reading. If it will be listening like therapists do, then learn to LISTEN!
Note: In each case where the person had to see, walk, talk, or live, less emphasis was placed on what was done following the action. The counsel being, it doesn’t matter what you first speak, write, how you take your step, or perform your first play. Subsequently, it will. What matters first is the action. Build the action muscle first and then critique later. That was what I shared with Hikmet. Over a period of time she read English books aloud and to her hearing. We practiced often. She still has much to cover but her progress has been phenomenal.
If the means by which you will communicate your dream and give it a voice is handicap, do the action anyway. Do it as if you weren’t handicapped in the first place. Its your rehearsal into a new character. One which is oblivious to the impediment. Its the path into Masterclass.