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  • Writer's pictureRachel Pierman

Just one voice is all it takes to change the world...

In the most recent episode of "Breaking The Blocks" with Hannah Austin from @needle_or_thread, we discussed the immense power of the human voice, specifically, the profound emotional power of a choir singing in unison. We talked about how being a part of a choir or listening to choral music can transport you to another place, reduce anxiety, and instil a sense of connection and inner peace. I related to this topic and shared a personal experience that I had while watching a recently released movie called "Maestro," which features Bradley Cooper in a lead role.

In the film, there is an eight-minute scene where Cooper, portraying Leonard Bernstein, conducts an historic performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor. Although I wasn't familiar with this specific music piece, I was absolutely captivated by the scene and its emotional intensity and I would like to share the clip of the real Bernstein, a three-minute video on YouTube as I'm sure it will evoke some emotions within you. I tell you, at precisely 2.20 I lost it, I just burst into tears! On another note Cooper was incredible in the role, he was not in his own body in that scene, his soul had transcended this earth!

This led me to thinking that music has the incredible power to transform our emotions and take us to a different place. When you feel stuck or down in your life, my suggestion is to listen to some music. You can choose music that moves you to tears, to wallow for a while in your emotions, allowing them to come to the surface for you to heal them, or you can choose music that makes you want to jump up and down, shaking up the energy within yourself and your environment to make you dance and smile again. I do both. Regardless of your preference, one thing is certain: everyone in the world loves listening to music because it connects us with our souls. The lyrics might resonate with us, and melodies affect our moods, lifting our spirits as the notes ring out.

But it's not just music that has the power to change our world we inhabit. The voice in itself and the words we speak also hold immense power, something we must all remember. It's amazing the change we can bring about with our voice and how just one voice can change the world. Recently, I watched another movie called 'One Life' starring Anthony Hopkins and based on the true story of Nicholas Winton and his colossal efforts to save over 600 Jewish children from certain death during World War ll. In one scene there was a dialogue where his ('Nickys') friend stated that it was "impossible to get 'ordinary people' to foster a Jewish child when they were already struggling to survive the war themselves". Nicholas replied, 'Well, I'm an ordinary person, and I'm willing to do something. Why would anyone else be different?’” True.


The statement really resonated with me. It's true that not everyone may be willing to help, but there are always those who will. Nicholas makes a great point that he is just an ordinary person trying to make a difference. His actions saved not only 669 Jewish children, but countless others who became part of their future families. Generations of people who owe their lives to him and his bravery and VOICE. When you think of radical movements over the last 100 years, they all started with one person who had a strong belief and spoke out, even when the world was against them. Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, JFK, and Martin Luther King are just a few examples. But there have been many ordinary people who have made their voices heard and made a difference. Malala Yousafzai and Rosa Parks are two remarkable individuals who showed incredible bravery by standing up and saying "no". Their actions inspired others to join them, and as a result, change began to happen.

You may not feel that you can change 'The World', but can you change 'YOUR world'? Yes, you can by using your voice to stand up for yourself. Ask yourself, how many times you have betrayed yourself by not speaking your mind? By not standing up for yourself, and therefore not being honest with those around you? We often stay quiet because we don't want to upset those around us, but by being inauthentic, by playing a character, we're staying stuck. There is no opportunity for change if WE don't start making a change. If we don't stand up for ourselves, not only are we enabling people to treat us in a way we feel we do not deserve or desire, but we aren't helping them, because we're enabling them to continue the behaviour. If you stand up and use your voice, not only are you giving yourself a chance to grow and change, but possibly them as well. What they do with that chance is not your business, (no-ones choices are yours, they are theirs and yours are yours) they may not be ready (or willing) to change, it's a tough process to stick with! But your chance for growth is there for the taking if you really want it.

Don't ever believe that one voice or one person cannot make a difference, because this is simply not true. Even if the only difference you make is in your life, it is still incredibly important. When you are being your authentic self, it's natural to lose people who may only like the old version of you (for example friends who don't understand you quitting drinking or standing up for yourself), or people who weren't willing to really hear you. Yes, it's very sad and may be incredibly tough, but you will naturally find souls who understand and resonate with the person you are now. You will find your new soul tribe and if those who chose to stay in the past or didn't want to change, now decide to change and grow themselves, you might well meet them again further down the road. The only certainty we have in life, is change.

In summary I will end with a song I heard when I was seven years old by Barry Manilow (it was the 70's after all) It resonated with me even then, but it's taken me 47 years to really understand what it means to find my own voice. In that song, he wrote:

Just one voice. Singing in the darkness. All it takes is one voice, singing so they hear what's on your mind, and when you look around you'll find there's more than one voice, singing in the darkness, joining with your one voice. Each and every note or another octave. Hands are joined and fears unlocked. If only one voice would start it on it's own. We need just one voice facing the unknown and then that one voice would never be alone. It takes that one voice, just one voice, shout it out and let it ring, and everyone will sing…

One voice making a stand often becomes part of a collective, and collective voices can change the world.”

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”







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Jan 29

Thank you for your insight. I recently read an article in Harper’s Bazaar magazine which talked about voices. It said, “Having a voice is about much more than language; it’s about the substance of who you are and what you represent, about what gives you purpose, about what you choose to share and put into the world, and about listening to the voices of others and making room for them.” This resonated with me. The article also quoted Maya Angelou, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.”

Rachel Pierman
Rachel Pierman
Jan 30
Replying to

Thank you so much Dawn for taking the time to write this review. I love what you have written, especially about "your voice giving you purpose about what to choose to share and put into the world". Maya Angelou said some amazing things, I love reading about her. Thank you Dawn, I'll keep trying to put my words and purpose out there!

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