YOUR VOICE – DARREN REDMOND

Darren Redmond presents "Your Voice."

“Your Voice” is written as an exclusive article from the heart of Darren Redmond.

YOUR VOICE

When I bring up a question about your voice and its origins do you know from which I ask? I can assure you I do not mean the name of a TV show. This does not mean the voice you have when you sing in your car, or the shower, or in your room when you are alone. I mean where is the voice that is YOU. My opinion is that we all have our own voice, as we all have a unique finger print. but it seems many of us wear “community gloves” that cover our unique finger print, or in this case, our voice.

Finding your own voice is not easy, their is no 2 minute YouTube video that can make that happen. How may one find something they may not know what it looks like or truly is? Your voice also changes so what you may pursue at 18, as your voice may be different at 40. But are you chasing your voice? Or, rather a imprinted voice that is not truly yours, but a sound you have chased for a variety of reasons.

THERE IS NO CRISIS

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What is your voice? Is it produced as some form of “community gloves” or is it really you?

It is not a mid-life crisis, nor is it a perplexing question facing students as they move from school to the working world. It is not anything else but finding ones self. But, how do you find something that you see and feel and talk to every day? (yes, my friends, we do talk to ourselves every day). Yet, sometimes, it feels like a suit we are wearing and nothing more.

PUTTING ON APPEARANCES?

Are we here to get by or to pursue the best we can be? That voice inside you, many times gets silenced by the noise around you. How to vote, how to think, how to react, may be some reasons. And, what you should be happy with, what you should share, what you should keep are other reasons. Of all of these decisions, do you make them from the voice in you, or rather a voice that comes to you from elsewhere? The beliefs that you grew up with, learned and believed in; did an outside voice tell you not to listen to things you grew up with? Or, was it to question everything, but then tell you to only listen to them?

LISTENING TO OTHERS INSTEAD OF YOUR VOICE

Are you listening to a millionaire singer tell you to be there for the every man and having enough and share the rest, who lives in a huge home, but, will not allow you to down load his or her music? And has armed guards all around them while singing this? If your voice tells you to listen, then that is great indeed; however, are you listening to some one else, while not hearing YOUR VOICE? The musician metaphor works, but many will do this. Who made the rule that you are too old to learn to dance? Or, go back to school? Maybe, dress a certain way, or to build a business ? That is their voice; it is not yours. Free will and freedom allows you to make a choice listen to them, or ignore them.

ARE YOU HEARING YOURSELF?

Your voice may not scream. But, rather, sitting silently, your voice may allow you to start hearing it. I am of the opinion that many times for what ever social reasons, we often do not allow ourselves to hear our wants and desires for fulfillment in who we are. Family, friends and commitments are all important and variables to listening to your voice are valid. But, your voice is helping you become the best person you can be, as any one who has gone through a 12 step program has conveyed to me. Your voice allows all those who rely on you to benefit, as well.

IT DOES NOT TAKE A VILLAGE

It takes a village to raise a child is not something I have ever agreed with. Rather, to me, it takes a village to look after each other. But, it takes a parent or guardian to set the best examples they can along with the child who becomes an adult, understanding who they are and where that voice brings them. To me, Screw-tape and the example given to us by C.S Lewis of him is alive and well. Your voice steers you away from Screw-tape. Anyone who tells you you are not unique and special has started to muffle the voice with in you.

We may be based on variables and scenarios around us. To settle to be one of the many box cars on the train which we all belong to, but, if it is your choice, based on your decision, that is YOUR VOICE. No one has the right to limit you based on any factor. If your voice tells you to sing..SING.. IF you want to own property, do so. If your voice tells you to help the homeless, do so and do it with passion. Your voice is who you are. It is not who others tell you to be.

BE YOUR VOICE

Following your voice does not make you selfish. Rather, it is selfish of society, to tell YOU how to act or be. as long as you are not breaking any law. You have the right to pursue happiness, but, there is no guarantee to actually achieve it. Nowhere is it written that your happiness needs to be mandated by the collective. Because, your voice is yours and belongs to just you.

Written By: Darren Redmond


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Observation Study and the Cinema

Observation Study and the Cinema

We all have hobbies and observation activities; one of mine  from my earliest remembrances, has been studying the habits and mannerisms of people while going to the movies. When it comes to going to the theater to see a movie, I may have an old soul, or maybe most likely, I am just a creature of habit.  I know I can sit at home and watch the movie once it is on Netflix, or accidentally on purpose watch it on a P2P (point-to-point) site, but I like the old fashioned feel of going out to a place to sit and watch a movie.  As a kid, we did not have many air conditioners in our little row house in Brooklyn, so I would go to a movie theater 10 blocks away, pay for my movie ticket and sit in the theater all day and enjoy the cold temperature the theater always provided.

As a child of the streets, as it were, I spent  a lot of time just walking the wonderful and gritty storefronts of  Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, way into the night and because none of us had any real money from the neighborhood, we all just sort of walked everywhere.  With this daily repetition in place, habits such as people watching and the ability to anticipate interactions just naturally it seemed start to germinate. This ability to become aware of patterns of repetition among people has been a measured talent that in some ways has served me well in my life.

I bring up these two points to set the backdrop, for some thing that I have noticed the last few times I have been to the movies and waited in line at the concession stand  for my own personal kryptonite,  movie theater popcorn. For fun and for knowledge, the next time you are standing in line for a purchase at a place like a movie theater, for your own edification, don’t look at your phone or digress to a distraction, instead with out judgement or comical set up, just observe. What you may find may be illuminating not just to how our current society may be, but actually  how we as individuals may be. Remember, when doing this you are not looking to cast judgement. As any one who has set up a scholarly experiment, you are just monitoring results. What you find may be of great interest if not as the great C.S Lewis has mentioned and wrote in the past, I am paraphrasing, “If it need not help you, throw away the information and  look at it no  more.”

I will share some insights and examples, as to what I have monitored during my last few experiences. I have used the staging of the movie theater concession stand because it sets a baseline of statistical certainty meaning the prices at the concession stand, selection of items and turn over time (time to receive requested orders) are some what consistent. The data if I could use that term, was generated from three different movie theaters located around the Fresno, California area. A concession stand works well because the various movie goers come willingly to the stand, and the type of movie they are destined to see, that may augment the superficial data collected will not be skewed by the possible demographics of the movie choice. It may be important to mention, I picked two weekday and one weekend to attend a movie to make sure that I had a cross stitch of variables covered regarding the demographics of who may go to a move on a certain day of the week.

Now, here are the reflections and what may be insights one may ascertain from this very brief observational study.  One example to start off with was interesting. On an early Friday evening at one of the movie theaters I was in, a line developed not of a overwhelming size but one in which it was apparent that  a person was not able to just walk up and buy an item without waiting. Specifically, as the person at the counter called out next, what appeared to be a father and a son of 7 years old walked up to the counter.  The parental figure, asked the child what he may like and the boy paused for a brief moment or two and then suggested hot dogs for both of them. The line of about 4 people or couples behind them was very interesting to observe. Each set of  people in line seemed to close their eyes in a somewhat disappointed fashion about the pause to order and then what was ordered. Two of the people or couples behind the child and parental figure ordering took a deep breath and just smiled patiently.

One person who appeared to be in his mid-60’s visibly rolled his eyes and the group or teenagers that made up the forth group of people waiting in the same line, deferred back to their phones to keep them occupied. I found the reactions very interesting from the stand point of perceived wrong line choice or even victim-hood. DO not we see this type of visceral response when someone consistently lane changes during rush hour traffic? That response many of us have heard from the driver who somehow believes, “Every lane I pick is the slowest.”  The teens were heard to jokingly, it appeared at least, to say to each other, “How can you not know what  you want to order?” This reaction seems not to be age specific, as I heard it multiple times during my study. The variables of a parental adult teaching a child the age appropriate lesson of ordering on their own or a simple act of a father and child bonding over the ability to make a decision, seems to get lost in the victim-hood mentality that seemed to present itself.

On a different occasion during my study, I observed a very short line of only a group of four female teenagers at the front of  the concession stand line, and a pair of women about 40 years of age. For whatever reason, the teenagers,  seemed to order everything a la carte. This meaning, they ordered a large popcorn, then decided to order a soda, then when the cashier thought to ring them up, they came up with the idea of maybe ordering nachos. This decision was debated a few seconds and then the decision was made, yes on nachos!  The two women behind the four teenagers literally stomped their feet and again rolled their eyes.  One woman said to the other some thing along the lines of , “They are going to make us late.” This may seem like a common response, but if you pause for a moment are they making the pair of women late, or are the time variables specific to the pair of ladies actions prior to entering the movie theater variables that need to be examined as well and the culprit of the potential lateness?  Is this yet another example of “Skinner’s box” being alive and well about automated response int his case of victim-hood?

The last observation I would like to bring up in this article took place at the third theater I visited for my observational study.  It took place during a mid-day weekend. It was the interaction between a child of about 8 or 9 and a parental figure about 40 or so. The child seemed not to be to concerned about the length of the line at all. Holding the female parental figures hand who appeared about 30, the child was singing to her self, and pointing at all the visual attractions a movie theater had to offer. The child was attempting what appeared to be a conversation with the parental figure, but the adult seemed distracted in phone interaction in a text type format and then preceded not to acknowledge the child’s seemingly inquisitive questions, but rather responded with a very short almost stern list of price points the child could not go past when making a buying decision and that the child should be grateful and I am paraphrasing again because I could not hear all of the exchange that, “You should feel lucky you dragged me here.”  The child simply smiled at said nothing and looked away. Is this an example of a precursor to exchanges between these two individuals as the child grows?  I do not know of course, but the question certainly entered my mind.

It is interesting what you can notice while you stand quietly and observe.  Silence can bring l many times, both visually and audibly, a fascinating  story of conditioned responses and insights into the human condition.

Contributing Author: Darren Redmond

Universal Digest Presents A Succinct Editorial With Thanks.

The Human Condition…Where Do You Stand?

 

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