loudest not best
I was half listening to the radio when a phrase jumped out at me: “. . . the loudest voices weren’t maybe the best voices . . .”
Are they ever?
My word associations started firing: “voices” plural as in multiple people; “loudest” as in drowning out all other utterances. I pictured masses. Riotous mobs. Rabid fans. Passionate Kool-Aid consumers. Emotion-driven collectives. Individual wills morphed into the will and voice of the many.
Group mentality wields volume as a weapon to win the moment, whatever the moment is.
The loudest voices are rarely the wisest—or the most thoughtful or compassionate or restorative or truth-telling—voices.
Hardest to ignore, yes. But “the best” . . . probably not. In any context.
Might there even be an inverse correlation between volume and value?
When I taught fourth grade, it wasn’t raising my voice that grabbed my students’ attention—they were adept at tuning out increased volume as a tactic of control. Instead, it was when I fell silent or spoke softly that they knew it was serious.
Quieter, smaller, easier-to-miss voices often speak the most needed words . . . words laden with worth without artificial amplification.
Words don’t gain substance by volume. They might even lose it.
Truth resonates, even without a microphone.
 Block, M. (2014, April 10). How the son of a Confederate soldier became a civil rights hero [Interview]. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/04/10/301432659/how-the-son-of-a-confederate-soldier-became-a-civil-rights-hero