Post By Misha
There is a rule, written in insecurity and laziness, that says that the only important voices are the ones that can shout above the rest, and which require no work to be heard. It supposes that every quiet voice is unsure and afraid, while every loud voice is confident and informed. It pretends that loudness is not also blustering, intrusive, overcompensating, (and often abusive), and ignores quietness that is thoughtful, curious, meticulous, and empathetic.
That same conventional wisdom dictates that those with the misfortune of being naturally soft-spoken should imitate their loudest friends and coworkers, and shout for a seat at the table. But I hope that someday I will not be told to speak up in order to be heard. It would be nice not to come home exhausted from filling myself up like a balloon all day just to take up the same space as someone I never wanted to be, feeling as though to re-inhabit my own skin is a kind of deflation.
It seems silly to spend all that time shouting when you could just lean in and listen more carefully.
Naia Izumi is the winner of this year’s NPR Tiny Desk contest. Buy Soft Spoken, along with the rest of their impressive catalogue, here. They have a number of upcoming tour dates which you can check out here.