Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. Chinese ProverbIn Greek mythology, Echo was a nymph who loved the sound of her own voice. Zeus liked to spend his time on Earth consorting with the nymphs but alas, his wife Hera, grew suspicious and tried to catch Zeus in his peccadilloes. To give him time to avoid detection while he frolicked amongst the other nymphs, Echo would use her lovely voice to entertain Hera with stories. Eventually, Hera discovered Echoes trickery and doomed her to a life of never having her own voice. She could only repeat the words of others.
When I was little I loved to search for Echo (I also loved Greek mythology). Everywhere I went, I tested my environment to see if she was around, waiting to be found. When I found her, I would call out repeatedly, gleefully laughing at her response. I didn't care what I yelled. I only wanted to hear from Echo.
As I grew up, searching for Echo faded amidst the clamour of life calling and beckoning me to get busy doing whatever it is I needed to do to get on with living. I forgot about listening for Echo's voice in the busyness of time passing. I forgot about my voice as I searched for meaning in the words of what other's said, of ideas planted by other voices.
Thomas Carlyle, Victorian era essayist wrote, "When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.”
In my life, every step I have taken has been like the oak silently shedding acorns in the anticipation of mighty trees to be sown. The oak doesn't know which breeze will carry the acorn to fertile ground. It doesn't know how many oaks will grow from that one acorn. Like the apple, no matter the number of seeds, the number of apple trees is limitless. One seed leads to another tree, to another. And one day, the seed takes root.
Like life. One step leads to another, to another and another. I don't know how many steps I have to take in my life, but I do know, every step has an echo. I do know that every step plants a seed of possibility.
No matter what step I take, the air reverberates with the echoes of my passing through. Like a dolphin finding its way gracefully through the water, we emit inaudible sounds that mark our passing as we plant seeds of possibility throughout our day.
Finding my own voice is vital to my journey. It is a journey I take every day as I carefully step free of echoes from the past luring me back into the grimy soil of believing my voice does not count, or that someone else's voice has the story I want to tell about my life.
Albert Einstein said, “Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes - goodwill among men and peace on earth.”
No matter how high I raise my voice, I must always be conscious of my echo. To create goodwill among men and peace on earth, I must share my voice in love.
The question is: Are you unconsciously speaking out without giving thought to your echo or are you creating a voice knowing, whatever you say and do, what comes back to you will be the voice of love?