Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have always wanted to be a magician. My childhood dream was to be able to everything: card tricks, rope tricks, coin tricks, you name it. During this time I learned the three parts of the magic tricks.
The first part is the pledge. During this part of the act the set up occurs. It is necessary to introduce the trick you are about to perform, to make sure they know what you are doing. This leads up to the turn. It is in this part that the actual trick is performed. Whether it be a slight-of-hand or a glide the whole concept of the trick is performed here. This is all done while continually talking to and distracting the audience just enough to take their minds or eyes off of the trick for mere seconds. This puts the card or ball in the right trick position.
Third is the prestige. The prestige is where the trick comes together. The card is revealed, the man is once again made whole, and the ordinary becomes anything but.
Now if we compare this to life we will give these magic trick parts a new meaning. The first part, the pledge, relates to our life in the early stages. Our parents lead us and guide us, and help us develop our voice. They teach us, introduce us, correct us, love us, and mold us into a “trick” that is getting ready to be performed.
The second part, or the turn, becomes our actions we perform to achieve the tricks of life. We take our newly found voice and go to school, interact with peers, listen to their voices, the voices of teachers, perhaps the voice of religion, or media, or books, and create a path that uniquely belongs to each of us.
The third part, or the prestige, becomes the results of these actions, and essentially defines who we are. Whether or not our voice is something to be proud of depends on our actions, and how we use our voice to help others. Just like magic tricks, our actions can be bold and glitzy, or quiet and with little fanfare. But we each have the choice to determine what our voice is, and what our voice could be.
Whether our voice is portrayed through magic tricks, or speech, or music, art or theater or writing, every person’s voice is individual to them. My voice now comes in the form of poetry. I would like to share a poem I have written:
Life is like a radio station tuned out to all others,
But the gentle caring words of our fathers and mothers.
We listen and learn, are influenced and swayed,
Until with enough listeners, our own station is made.
Like a radio station we all influence people with the words and actions in our life. Whether we do it intentionally or not, we change others’ lives. Our voice may lead directly to progression in society. We use our voice to spread ideas and it is with these ideas that we further the lives of ourselves and the lives of others. The ability to use our voice to our full potential is a valuable gift. It is through the proper use of our voice that we release our true magic.
Why is my voice important? My voice and everybody elses, is extremely important. First, America itself was founded on the idea that as humans we are unique and each have something to offer to the world. It ushered in a new era of prosperity and democracy because our founding fathers believed that every person has worth and value. Their’s and our prerogative, therefore, is speech. Theirs and our right to put thoughts, ideas, hopes into words ands share, teach, enlighten us all.
Exactly how important is our voice? The Pilgrims, those brave and hardy souls who voyaged to a new country, left England because they were allowed no voice. They helped start this country, and instilled in it a freedom of speech, of religion, and so many others important to my voice. Voltaire, the French philosopher and author says, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death your right to say it.” While he never went that far, others did, and still are willing. The Revolutionary War started not as a quest for independence, but simply for representation, for voice. After becoming the United States of America, everything still wasn’t perfect.
Part of the reason the Civil War was fought was over who should get a voice. My great grandfather believed his and other’s voices were important and enlisted in the 19th regiment of Maine. They fought many great battles, saw death often, and my grandfather, Rufus Glass spent the last year of the war in Andersonville, the famous and terrible confederate prison camp. He truly believed his voice was important, whether through his words, or mostly his actions. Rufus made many sacrifices along with countless others so I could be here today, enjoying freedoms they were willing to die for.
Second, as humans, our communication abilities differentiate us from other animals. While dogs and cats, and birds, and others communicate to some degree, they don’t in the same way. Our communication is our history, our present, and our future. It drives innovation from the typewriter to the iPhone. Most importantly, communication records our voice, essentially ourselves, who we are. None of us live forever, but through art, writing and speech, a part of us can. Our voice can immortalize us far better than any marble bust.
Third, my voice is my identity. It is who I am. I am unable to choose if I go to school, it’s the law, and I couldn’t drive until I turned 15 ½, but no one else can choose my voice. It is me, and no one can take that away. It is important because it’s what makes me different from all of you, the fact that my voice, what’s inside, is unique.
My voice is important because it is my right. Rosa Parks used her voice to sit on the bus. Abraham Lincoln used his voice as a person and a president wanting to do right, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation. What we do with our voice becomes united with what others sacrificed to give to me. I shouldn’t waste it. It’s my responsibility to ensure their voices are shared through mine. Hundreds of generations who have passed on, with all contributing their voice so now I can speak freely and passionately about whatever I want, without fear of prosecution.
My voice is important because it gives me a chance to change the world- to make the world, or at least my community a little better. My voice is important because it is who I am. My life can be taken, my property taken but my voice is free and unable to be shackled. That is why my voice is important.
Today I am going to talk to you about "Why my voice is important." In today's world we are bombarded by many voices that try and tell us what to do. Recently I read a Wall Street Journal article called, "Sit up Straight and Other Advice from Big Mother" by Geoffrey Fowler. Technology is everywhere and new applications are being created almost daily.
For example, there are phone apps that let you know when to go to bed and urge you to go to bed earlier. There is also a fridge that locks itself if you don't exercise en ough or eat too much. You can be told when you're slouching, that you need to brush your teeth longer, or chew your food slower. There are voice alerts for when you're speeding or slam on your brakes or if you're following a car too closely. You can be alerted if you need to lose weight, take more steps, forget to floss or are sitting still too long. We are always being told what to do, when to do it, and for how long and how much by beeps, buzzes, vibrations and alarms.
None of these activities are important enough to be reminded of or alerted about involve "my voice." My voice should be able to tell me that I need to exercise, brush, floss, eat less or have better posture.My voice should control me, not electronic devices. Because people become so dependent on these devices, they lose their voice. The voice that matters.
But these are not the only voices that influence our lives. These are just some of the electronic voices. There are also the voices of our friends and family. These are the voices that matter.
We are like seeds being tended to by a gardener. The one who tends to us most influences us the most. These are our parents. They plant us, water us and take care of us. They make sure we have enough sunlight. Yet, there are weeds. Weeds that try to strangle us. These are things like television, social media, advertisements, music, video games, and peer pressure. They waste our time, bring us down, and try to control us or take away our voice by telling us what we need to watch, what we need to buy or even who we need to "like" or "follow."
Eventually we grow and blossom, get a voice of our own and can even begin to produce fruit. This fruit we produce influences others in a positive or negative way. The fruit is our voice. I hope to be able to use my voice. I hope it will influence others for the better. I hope to be able to vote, give speeches and express my voice through art or creations. i want my voice to change the world, to influence others in a positive way and make a difference, because my voice is important.