If you think about it, we become accustomed to the sound of voices even before we enter this world, from inside our mother’s uterus. We hear the voices of those preparing for our arrival, as we are safely tucked away inside our nurturer.
And when we are born, much before we are able to respond to them, we hear all sorts of voices from people greeting us, trying to strike up conversations with us, talking to us.
We associate certain voices with the feeling they evoke in us. Our mother’s voice is one that always generates safety and reassurance. Because you know it’s the source of unconditional love. Our father’s voice is one that offers courage when you’re in despair, but also the one that soothes you and calms you down when you can’t control your outbursts.
For some, the voice of your storyteller – whomever parent it may be – is the one that helps you pacify your agitated state and consequently puts you to sleep. That was the purpose, after all, when you were a child.
It’s remarkable how, as we grow older, the sound of these voices remain imprinted in our memories. And how we continue to yearn for them. Perhaps it comes with growing up, the need to feel as safe, loved and nurtured as you felt as a child. And in the most uncertain and ‘lifeless’ of times, that feeling of childlike innocence, bewilderment and pure joy is what is lacking most.
We should be grateful that the sounds we’ve registered in our minds are those of spontaneous laughter, fun and games, storytelling and amusement. Some are not so lucky, and instead recall the sound of war, bullets flying, soldiers yelling, explosions, ammunition burning and worse.
We should be grateful that we remember what it was like to live freely, without so much concern, stress and worry, without disinfecting every part of our body every couple of minutes; and without the awkwardness of not being able to be close to or hug a loved one.
Ultimately, it’s the voices we grew up with that inhabit our heads. You’re the one who chooses how much to listen to them.