When we are infants and toddlers we utter every spoken sound our little mouths can muster. We squeal, pop, trill, tap, and blow raspberries with reckless abandon. It’s glorious the sounds we experiment with as we seek to communicate with those around us.
It’s not quick nor easy work, but soon we learn which sounds get us something we want, and which sounds do not.
Then time passes and we mentally discard the ‘useless’ sounds and devote all of our energy to mastering the rest.
The ‘useless’ sounds fall to the wayside, neglected.
Eventually most of us even stop being able to ‘hear’ these sounds. We simply forget how to recognize them as distinct entities.
But that’s OK, because we don’t really need them.
Unless of course, we have to act and sound like someone we’re not in order to earn a living…
Unless we happen to be an actor…
Then we’ll need to actively reverse the process…
We’ll need to go back to the beginning and start again…
…with reckless abandon.
Today I invite you to hear with new ears. Exactly how does your neighbor say ‘hello?’ How is the way your barista says her ‘S’ sound different from yours? Listen for the subtlest of differences, try them out yourself, and save them for when you need them.
Because you probably will.