"Speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed."
Proverbs 31:8 (NIV)
As a support worker, it's part of my job to speak for those without voices. This can be hard to do well. If you don't fully understand what the person needs and wants, you cannot be their voice. With this in mind, I wrote this poem. As you read remember those without voices. How can you listen to them?
We all have a voice.
A sound unique to us.
Imagine being without.
It can be isolating.
No choice. No understanding.
Living a life someone thinks you want.
As a support worker, I try to hear each voice.
I find people lost.
Unable to make choice.
Misunderstood, desperate to be so.
I sit. I listen. I observe.
Movements, sounds, expressions and reactions.
This is all part of communication.
Only %10 of communication is forming words.
Not everyone can do this.
They use other forms of communication.
When people ignore.
Are tired, busy, and then lose patience.
They don’t make time to learn how to listen.
Now for the ignored this is frustrating.
“I’m not being understood.”
“I have to be louder.”
Springs from needs unmet.
The colour is fading.
“Why can no one hear me?”
But wait… here comes a sparkle.
Here comes understanding.
Here arms and hands outstretched.
You pull me towards you, because you want me close.
You want me to listen as no one else does.
You hear, you feel me. I stay to ask how you are.
Asking questions, watching as you as your eyes point.
Now I hear you as you speak to me.
I love to hear you speak in your own voice again.
Now I know you.
You are my dear friend.
Together we can grow.
We comprehend one another.
This here is beautiful.
Sharing life together.
Let us teach others.
Welcome them to learn from each other.
Rejoice with them as they grow.
Speaking the language of empathy.
So spread the word.
Everyone can have a voice.
Just as long as we listen.
Image credit: Martin Patterson