As I watched the movie, I couldn't help but think of the central character as a lucky man. The central character is, of course, the King who is cursed with a pronounced stammer. There were emotional issues that caused him to stammer and I am not making light of his struggle. It was painful to imagine what he went through as a child. But I still think he is lucky as the communication-challenged go and not just because he could afford to seek professional help. He is lucky because there was an outward sign of his struggle to communicate.
Many people in this world are cursed with an invisible, internal stammer. You can't tell by listening to them and they wear no tattoo that reveals their inner turmoil. But suffer they do, albeit silently. They suffer in every meeting at every party and sometimes even at the family dinner table.
They lose* their voice because they filter their thoughts and don't share their deep insights. Sometimes they take longer to speak up because they are actually reviewing alternatives, considering options, thinking it through. They are often overtalked and overpowered by others (myself included) who freely share their sometimes mediocre, possibly poorly-formed ideas. But these others speak loudly, enthusiastically, without fear of consequence.
Meanwhile, the deep-thinking internal stammerers face every communication opportunity with fear of being ridiculed. They don't crave the spotlight and have no desire to be confrontational. They freely give the floor to their fast-talking, domineering counterparts. These silent stammerers frequently find themselves at a communication disadvantage and sometimes get passed over for promotions or even terminated as a result.
The internal stammerers hold criticial roles in every business in the world - they might be scientists, engineers, project managers, accountants, or even winemakers. We need their input to help stabilize the loud talkers, the first movers, the group thinkers who are quick to reach a decision and incite others to follow. These silent ones provide balance and stability and regularly keep the rest of us from running head first over a cliff.
The world needs to hear from all of us - no one voice is better or pithier or clearer or smarter than the others. The person with the highest volume is not necessarily the smartest person in the room - often it is that small voice in the corner that provides the truest and most meaningful insight.
I for one shall begin carrying a large roll of invisible duct tape which I shall try to apply to my own lips so that more of the internal stammerers have the time they need to share their valuable insights. What about you?
Lose versus Loose? Just corrected this 02/10/2011 to Lose.