I was sitting through a graduation ceremony this morning. The rain was pelting down outside and it was only one of a handful of times over the last few weeks that I was kid free.  It was nice to have my senses tuned into something other than the rustling of snacks in my handbag.

I made sure I watched each person who got their chance to stride across the stage, I had a little cry when the mum in front of me did an almighty yelp when her lanky son strode across the stage with an Honours degree of Bachelor of Ancient History. She did that little excitable wave when he glanced her way just like I do at school assemblies and preschool concerts. I wanted to acknowledge everyone, not just my amazingly talented and articulate sister.

At the end of the ceremony Dr Simon Longstaff from the St James Centre for Ethics stood up to speak. He didnt have any notes, he had prepared his thoughts throughout the ceremony watching people, listening to their achievements and pondering what it all meant to have so many people standing on the precipice.

I share a lot of stories on here, people tend to gravitate to the stories that need to be told, some might be a little more traumatic than others but they give the space to share a tiny piece of the self as well as creating a community of others to feel the comfort of ‘me too’.

Dr Longstaff’s thoughts focused on the need for people to use their voice. Standing in front of people in the humanities field he reflected on how the voice can often get dulled by the need to justify why we do something, how much it costs and whether or not we can predict the outcomes. He implored people to master the sound of their own voice ‘not to forget that voice, not to let it be set aside, not to surrender to not hearing that voice’.

My voice may be strong some days on here, some days I give the microphone to others. We all have a voice, we teach that voice to our kids and to our families around us. Watching people who have spent the majority of the last 5 years researching the construction of evil in young adult fiction or the politics of the new welfare state show that from researching, to blogging, to talking, to parenting, to working, to sharing; the power of the voice is strong. Don’t let yours be silenced x

Im Linking up with IBOT with Diary of a Stay at Home Mum today…pop over there and have a read


Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. I love this – so glad you linked me up. It is so important for people to maintain their voice, and I am so glad blogging gives us this chance.

  2. I think my graduation ceremony was my longest day at uni (in contact hours). So much of my honours degree was spent worrying about where I would end up. Wish I’d enjoyed the journey more, but so thankful now that I have that ability to thinking critically. Means I’ve now got a lot more to say, and I’m unapologetic about saying it. Fantastic post Sarah.

  3. Thanks Karen. I sat there staring at all the academic staff up on stage thinking about who I was in my undergrad years, how much I wasted the time that I could have been reading and thinking. Stuff I dont necessarily have the time to do now. I love how my brain has grown up and now I get what Im reading (and I love it). Thanks for stopping by x

  4. I don’t know what to say – I feel like I just want to high five you. You have said exactly what I have been thinking and feeling all day. I wonder if so many people feel that their voice is lost or doesn’t matter, and it breaks my heart because our voices are so important, much more than we could know!

  5. thankyou for sharing xx

  6. I’ve been thinking recently about why I blog and how much of me I should or want to share. I really like the idea of mastering my voice and not surrendering to not hearing it.


    • I dont think you have to work out how the voice should come out, I think just work out how best to convey it and the rest with come! Thanks for commenting E x

  7. You have just summed up why I blog…so my voice can be heard… and I love that it is. It makes me feel like I am leaving a little of myself on planet when others read my posts 🙂

  8. Beautiful Sarah, I always thought I had a voice, but only thought it was for my own private use inside my head. Until I discovered that writing it down and sharing with like minded other voices was so much more fulfilling. I didn’t realise I could do it, until I did it. Thank you x

    • I feel the same too. Im always mindful that I dont let my voice slip into thinking that its the only one that needs to be heard though. Writing unconsciously and then sitting back and reflecting on it reminds me of being 10 again and scribbling in my diary x

  9. Were you at DPCON? Problogger talkede aout handing over the microphone and letting others tell their story, and it was quite empowering.

    Stories are just so important, and we all need to be able to tell ours.

  10. Hi Jess, nope not at DPCON…but nice to think that he and I think alike!

    I love oscillating between me talking and me giving the space to others…it makes it less stressful.

    Thanks for visiting – you must be busy this week??

  11. You have given me plenty to think about. Like E, I’ve been thinking so much about why I blog…There are so many voices out there already, sometimes I wonder if there is any benefit to yet another blogging voice.

    Saying that, I totally believe that everyone has a voice that needs to be heard. And this is why I am so pleased you shared the Doc’s words…Perhaps the noise is all the justification?

    On a side note, Ethics was my absolute fave uni subject…I miss the dialogue, the inspiration and the ideas that sprung from it. I guess that’s what I love about blogging too. It’s Philosophy in a new form. Philosophy of the Internet perhaps?! x

    • So true Gill…I miss your voice lately? I think Im a frustrated sociologist I think that blogging gives little windows of insight into peoples lives. Its hard not to judge/critique what you read. To me I might read something and think why share it? And then someone else reads and finds that it resonates deeply. It doesn’t have to be about the superficial discussions it just strikes me that some things, at some times, grab peoples attention.

      Even if your voice gets drowned out by a sea of voices there will still be some hearing it. I think that makes it incredible. I wanted to bottle up his talk and sell it x

  12. Well, second best to bottling it is sharing it here, right? Thanks again, Sarah. I’ve been thinking about this post all day! x


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