It’s hard to believe how fast summer has gone by this year! Autumn is now here, but I look back fondly on the season of sunshine.
In my hometown of Montreal, there are a series of festivals for just about every person’s taste. My favorite one is the jazz festival. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people gather to discover a new music genre or enjoy listening to their favorite artists.
There is something so powerful about music and the effect it has on those who hear it:
In my opinion, the most beautiful instrument is that of the human voice. Like a fingerprint, no voice is exactly alike. Out of it comes speech, which springs forth words that can touch the heart and even change a person.
Do you have that one song? The one you identify with and that defines you so well that it should have been written just for you? Perhaps it describes how you are feeling at a particular moment, or it brings back a great memory.
“Wavin’ Flag” was sung for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti a few years back. For some, the song opened their eyes to the devastating events taking place across the ocean. For others, it was a message of hope. The song gained a wider audience because several well-known Canadian artists gathered together to make a CD to raise aid money.
Songs composed to bring disaster relief are an excellent means to get help, because music puts emotion to feelings not yet experienced. It unites. When recognizable voices pitch in, the impact is significant. Millions of dollars have been fundraised to help those who need it most.
Although we may not all have voices worthy of “American Idol,” our voices still remain the most powerful instrument we possess. We don’t need to wait for an emergency or crisis to use it, either. All of us are advocates for a better world for the future generations.
At the jazz festival, I heard a musician sing along to the saxophone, the piano, the trumpet and guitar. I think each one of us has the ability to use our voice in a similar fashion. We can relay a powerful message to those who hear us with the help of other instruments like the telephone or social media.
Just like the popular singer whose voice you recognize and appreciate, your voice is recognized by your entourage, such as your family, friends and colleagues.
They know you well and are more likely to listen and appreciate what you have to say. Musicians are passionate about their craft. We are passionate about our cause: child sponsorship! It may not be as wide-scale as that of certain artists, but each little action counts.
When I first started sponsoring, Children International sent me an inspirational story about a man walking by the ocean. The shore had plenty of stranded starfish. One by one, the man picked up the starfish and threw them back in the ocean.
Some people tried to discourage the man, telling him there was no point helping because he couldn’t save them all. The man looked up from the ground and smiled, saying that it did make a difference to the ones he could save.
It is true — we cannot save every suffering person on this planet, but if we do what we can to help, it is already a great start. By talking about your experience as a child sponsor with others, perhaps they, too, may want to sponsor a child.
Just like the man and the starfish, your voice is an advocate to others around you — and in your encouraging letters to your sponsored child — and it can have a powerful impact.