Got thinking the other day that, in spite of having no faith whatsoever that we humans are going to be around for terribly much longer, I still seem to find the act/habit of using my voice very compelling. & want to advise/harass/hector others to bloody well use theirs too (some/many people’s timidity just makes me a bit cranky, frankly. :( )
& I was going to dig up a pithy quote about using our voices to put on my Facebook page, went to my Quotations document (it’s 123 pages long these daze) – & found a whole bunch!
So here they are. I’ll add them in on the ‘Quotation Central!’ list page too.
& I am dedicating this posting to my friend Irene, whose birthday it is today (well, it was on the day I originally posted this, & in the ensuing days some complications have happened, & bleah bleah bleah; details not important!)
Happy Birthday, dear wonderful, incomparable soul!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) & most awesome, inspirational role model. :) :) :)
“A voice is a human gift. It should be cherished & used. Powerlessness & silence go together.” – Margaret Atwood
Susan Sarandon, when asked for advice to would-be activists: “People single me out for being an activist, but I always say that the impulse is inborn – it just needs to be nurtured. It starts when you’re little, and you see some kids being unkind to another kid on the bus. Maybe you do something. Maybe you don’t. But there was that hint in your brain that something was wrong, that you weren’t comfortable with the situation. Throughout your life, you have the opportunity to learn from that experience, to react to that little voice inside of you that says something has crossed your moral bottom line, to ignore what others are telling you to do and honor your impulse. The very core of your being an activist is being true to yourself.” – from Utne Reader, May/June 2002 issue
“Speak your mind, even when your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Grey Panthers, quoted on a bumper sticker
“What magnifies a voice is its human character, its compassion, honesty, and intelligence, and against the weight of things as they are the best resource is the imaginative labor of trying to tell the truth.” – Lewis Lapham, Harper’s Magazine
“Often the voice of conscience whispers / Often we silence it / Always we have to pay.” – Cletus Nelson Nwadike, Nigerian poet, Left Curve (# 28) – Utne Reader, May/June 2005
“I have become very impatient with my own tendency to put a finger to the political winds and proceed cautiously. The voice of caution whispers persuasively in the ear of every politician, often with good reason. But when caution breeds timidity, a good politician listens to other voices.” ~ Al Gore, ‘Earth in the Balance’
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the Quiet Voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” – Mary Ann Radmacher
“’Be fair,” say the temporizers, “tell both sides of the story.” But how can you be fair to both sides of a rape? Of a murder? Of a massacre?” – Edward Abbey, “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness”
“Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.” – Immanuel Kant
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.” –Hermann Goering, The second in command of the Third Reich
“Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healings. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” ~ Starhawk
A modern prayer of the Onondaga tribe in upstate New York:
O Great Spirit, whose breath gives life to the world and whose voice is heard in the soft breeze...make us wise so that we may understand what you have taught us, help us learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock, make us always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades, as the fading sunset, our spirits may come to you without shame.
“One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice.” – Mary Oliver
*** Closely related to using our voices? Telling the truth. Many inspiring quotations here