Speak Up: Finding that Tongue of Yours

There are days when I feel like I’m standing at the foot of the Tower of Babel.

I sit still and listen, nod my head in the socially accepted manner of feedback, and pretend to get it, to understand what I’m hearing.

But I, much like Chris Martin, don’t get it.

Well I feel like they’re talking in a language I don’t speak

And they’re talking it to me

In the corporate world they speak of ladders to climb and equities and liabilities. In the world of politics they drone on about votes and primaries and bi-partisan leanings. In the world of everyday living, I hear mentions of retirement savings and designer labels and the Joneses.

And I don’t get it.

I fill my world with family and friends and strangers and art and risks and God and love.

I make room in my existence for soul. And I don’t always get it right, but these are the things of the world I understand, these are the things of the world I don’t need a formula to make sense of.

Here’s the thing: If you ever want to communicate and engage in the world, if you ever want to get your message out, if you ever want to find those folks you can call your own, you need to speak in your own tongue.

ONE: What gets you up in the morning?

If it’s the alarm, the corporate job, the need to make breakfast for the kids, investigate your motivations. You may discover that you speak in the language of family, security, discipline.

TWO: What makes you bang the tabletop?

If it’s injustice [in any of its many forms], human sex-trafficking, unclean drinking water in third world countries, lean into that voice. Goodness knows this world needs that voice of yours.

THREE: How would you spend your last day on earth?

With all this recent talk of Armageddon, ask yourself this question: Would you spend your last day with family, with friends, allowing the small worries of the world to fade away? Speak in that language of love and priority.

That’s your tongue.

Don’t censor your words, don’t emulate other voices, don’t lower your tone. Don’t speak in SEO terms just to boost site traffic and boast expertise. Speak of what you know, of what you find significant. Even if it’s only home gardening and furniture upholstery, the smallest things can be revolutionary if told within the sincerest of voices.

But don’t think that your social circle will expand overnight or your blog suddenly attract the attention of big name publishers and leaders.

You will be misunderstood.

You’ll be overlooked.

You’ll be cast aside.

But sooner or later, you’ll discover a community of people speaking a language you can understand – a dialect of your native tongue.

Hold out for that. You don’t need to reach the masses in a beguiling tongue that isn’t your own, you need only stop censoring the actual you.