Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

7-22-2011 6-01-42 PM

Growing up, one of my favorite movies was Pump of the Volume.  For those of us unfamiliar with the plot, it’s the story of a high school kid named Mark Hunter who sets up a pirate radio station in his house and secretly broadcasts at night.  In real everyday life, Mark is a loner, a really shy kid who keeps his head down, doesn’t speak to anyone, and won’t look a person in the eye.  But at night, under the disguise of his alter-ego Happy Harry Hard-on, he takes to the airwaves and preaches his views on what is wrong with society.  He becomes a thing of legend to teens in the community who become his loyal audience, and it doings so it paints a picture that while we are different in many ways, we all share the same core need to believe in something.

For the sake of those of you who may not have seen it, I will not continue the storyline any further.  Never let me be accused of being a spoiler distribution site.  I had thought about this film this week after hearing Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows”, which is featured prominently in this film, and in reflecting it made me realize how telling this movie came to be and how few really take advantage of the opportunities we are allowed today.

You see, there are a couple of phenomenal elements that are introduced in this story.  They all involve our right to speak, but in very different ways.  There are three main points introduced in the film:

  • Even without the right, we always have the ability to speak our mind.
  • We don’t always realize our sphere of influence when we speak.
  • When we are shy or secluded, we always have means to let our voice be heard.

First, it’s about fearlessness and conviction.  There are times that we just need to get a message out to people.  Likewise, sometimes times will come when others will try to squelch that chatter and make sure that the message you wish to convey is not heard.  This is a test of our will and determination.  Just how far will you go to be heard?

Second, do we really understand how influential we really are?  How do the things we say really impact the actions and feelings of those around us?  A lot of people think they are influential, but if their words create negativity or emotionally deflate people, what is the worth of their sphere of influence.  Even more, as a colleague of mine has pointed out, we are increasingly becoming a world of lurkers.  You may have people listening to what you have to say and not even realize it.  How much care do we take in understanding the positive or negative effects of our sphere of influence?

And last, today is wonderful.  Never before have we had such a plethora of tools at our disposal to be able to convey a message.  Growing up, I was an incredibly shy kid.  In many ways, I still am and stay very guarded until you get to know me well enough and I let some of those walls down.  Such is the way I’m built and wired.  But when I was younger and had these shy tendencies, I didn’t really have a way to get heard or noticed without coming out of that quiet place of comfort.  I would have to migrate into being someone that I didn’t feel I was.  I was the quiet one and was perfectly content doing so.  But today, we have means of coping with this, don’t we?  If I’m not the kind of person that likes to speak up, can’t I just as easily start a blog and begin throwing random thoughts out for anyone who wants to see?  If I feel awkward in a group setting where introducing myself to new people is tough, isn’t it easier to go to some website and join a group chat?

The commonality between all of these things is, as Happy Harry Hard-on always tells us, we have the ability to “talk hard”.  In some way or another, we can say what we want when we want and where we choose to do so.  It’s up to us to decide how we want to do it, in medium and in volume.  Today, it’s not about our right to be heard, but about our ambition to speak up.

~ by bfmooz on July 23, 2011.

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