Back to school

Backpack with stationery and shoes

It was back to school the other day! I’d been asked to speak at a prestigious institution in the city, had even scribbled a few points of what to say, when a deadly silence descended on my vocal chords; I lost my voice!

It was just two days before the event.

Let me confess: I depend on my voice, and admit have covered a lot of inadequate content by using my baritone and powers of articulation as a cover.

Suddenly, I was left with a squeak.

I decided to message the organizers and tell them how sorry I was when a strange thought struck me. Why not speak, nay squeak, on ‘losing my voice’? Why not give a talk that addressed the fact that it was not how I spoke, but what I spoke that mattered?

Why not tell the young boys and girls that it was content that mattered, that it was not their personality that would see them through life, but their inner character?

Use a squeaky voice to emphasize this thought.

I nearly threw the ridiculous idea aside, but finally armed with the leftovers of my voice I did just that.

“Google!” I squeaked to the young audience, “Understands exactly the kind of person you are just by knowing the sites you visit. They know what ads to place for you, after knowing you well enough.”

“No more are there locked doors where you can hide! The locks on those doors have been broken and today your character and who you are is there revealed, for the world to see.”

I looked at the faces of the earnest students, many who would soon go into management schools and be told how to stand straight, how to grip someone’s hand, speak confidently, and what amount of muscle to put behind a handshake, and knew I had to tell them those days of personality development were numbered.

What mattered now was character-building. Those days of using voice were over, and as my squeaky tones emphasized, the days of solid content had come.

“Be centred, control your addictions, learn to be compassionate, bring clarity and transparency into your dealings, value education, and learn to stop being resentful,” were some thoughts I shared.

“And learn to trust God, so He can live in you and through what you do!”

I crept home, tired, exhausted, all my strength having gone to keep vocal muscles working overtime, but today as I look back, I smile as I look up and whisper, “There was a purpose in my voice disappearing, wasn’t there?”

It was back to school with nothing but solid content!

And that’s what is going to happen to each one of us: our secret selves revealed!

Get back to the school of life: start investing in yourself before it is too late!

Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearlyevery state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi.
Robert Clements

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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi.