Voices

As schools are ending or have ended, that brings graduations and moving up ceremonies. With this in mind, I am sharing a modified version of the 5th grade graduation talk I gave last year.

I am a country music person. Several months ago I was walking, listening to my walking playlist and the song Voices by Chris Young came on. Now normally hearing voices in your head is not considered a good thing. But this song takes another path about hearing voices. It is about hearing… really listening… to important family members. Listening to the advice they have spouted to you now and will continue to spout over and over to you as you move through your teenage years, college and beyond.

I am not talking about your parents reminding you to put away your laundry or to do your homework. But the life lessons that your parents (and teachers) have and will try to impart. The lessons about conducting yourself in difficult situations and just in everyday circumstances. It is the lessons about consequences and knowing what they are before making a decision. Lessons about the kind of person you wan to be.

Through the next few years and beyond, you are going to roll your eyes at many things that adults in your life will say. It is those very things that you will “hear” later.

So if you can do just one thing, the next time you want to roll your eyes, just listen a bit. Take a breath and focus on what your parents, grandparents, or teachers are trying to express.

Each of you will have an envelope with your Certificate that is from your parents. Inside are some words that your parents want you to really hear. Don’t open it right now, wait till you decide that you want to hear their words. Next week is too soon, in fact the first time you think of opening the envelope is too soon. Maybe the fifth time.

Finally, as you go through life, maybe you will hear my voice. I hope you hear me say: Mistakes are opportunities, Opportunities to learn, Opportunities to know it is ok to change your mind.

To quote another country song, may you also hear these words… stay Humble and Kind. Congratulations to our rising 6th graders and your parents!

Shari Wladis
Voices
by, Chris Young

You could say I'm a little bit crazy
You could call me insane
Walkin' 'round with all these whisper
Runnin' 'round here in my brain
I just can't help but hear ‘em
Man, I can't avoid it
I hear voices
I hear voices like

My dad sayin', "Work that job
But don't work your life away”
And mama tellin' me to drop some cash
In the offerin' plate on Sunday
And granddad sayin', "You can have a few
But don't ever cross that line”

Yeah, I hear voices all the time
Turns out I'm pretty dang lucky
For all that good advice
Those hard-to-find words of wisdom
Holed up here in my mind
And just when I've lost my way
Or I've got too many choices


I hear voices
I hear voices like
My dad sayin', "Quit that team
And you'd be a quitter for the rest of your life”
And mama tellin' me to say a prayer
Every time I lay down at night
And grandma sayin', "If you find the one
You better treat her right”

Yeah, I hear voices all the time
Sometimes I try to ignore ‘em
But I thank God for ‘em
Cause they made me who I am

My dad sayin', "Work that job
But don't work your life away”
And mama tellin' me to drop some cash
In the offerin' plate on Sunday
And granddad sayin', "You can have a few
But don't ever cross that line”

Yeah, I hear voices all the time
Yeah, I hear voices all the time
All the time

Originally posted on  Thursday, 07 June 2018.

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