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Say More Things Like That

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I’m a huge fan of The Voice. In fact, there’s a whole bunch of reality television shows that I don’t feel are terrible—and that I actually watch.  I guess it’s because I like people and hearing their journeys—especially those who can perform, grow and shine when given their opportunity. The Voice is one show that celebrates that nicely.

For those unfamiliar with this program, unknown singers are brought on stage to sing in front of four celebrity judges. The performer has the opportunity (and high hope) of being selected to join one of the celebrity-coached teams, and to ultimately be chosen as “The Voice” at the end of the season. The intriguing part about this talent show is that during the initial performance, the judges can’t see the singers, and are deciding to potentially have the contestants on their teams based purely on their talents (voices) alone—not what they look like. It’s a level playing field that I appreciate.  Judges turn around for singers that move them to push their big red buttons and that they want on their teams (to coach) as the show progresses. If more than one judge turns around, each one has to pitch themselves and their experience to the performer to persuade him or her to join their team. Singers go from national unknowns hoping for a judge’s chair to turn, to the strange situation of choosing from between two to four superstar singers for their coach.

This is where it gets interesting, as you see the power of people and their words, and the effect they have on others.

People have made an impression on others since wall markings. The world has transformed many times over because communication’s amazing evolution. Words have made for a better life in many cases, but sometimes not. What people say to each other today has taken on new forms thanks to social media and the ability to hide behind a keyboard (or thumbs pecking into a mobile device). It’s the first amendment on steroids.

Has modern communication made the world a meaner place?

It’s shocking to me sometimes what someone will say to someone else—with no regard for any backlash or penalty. That should stop, but it won’t and I’m not sure there is anything to be done about it at this point. That train is gone.

That’s why I think it should be celebrated when there’s someone who is completely opposite to that negativity. And that’s where we cut back to The Voice.

This Fall there’s a new celebrity judge—Pharrell Williams.  Pharrell has won seven Grammy Awards, is incredibly multi-talented, and has so many successful business ventures you wonder if he’s more than one single person. I knew of him from a few videos he’s been in, and from a few people he produced, but really not much more than that.

What could be the most impressive thing about this man is what he says to people when he’s coaching them. I get the feeling this is not for show, but rather this is truly the way this man is. I find myself mesmerized by his talent, but even more so by what he says to the contestants on the show:

“If you go to his team, he is going to lift you; if you go on my team, I’m gonna help you lift yourself.”

“You sang from the heart, and the canvas you painted was so clear, that’s why I picked you.”

“If you choose the second, get ready for an amazing ride. That’s the ride I’m on.”

“We need more people like you in the world, the same is lame.”

And to someone who didn’t make the cut:

“Do you know how many things in your life that you wanted but didn’t get and survived? Keep going, if you stop now, then no was right.”

People may come along and change your life by what they say all the time. Sometimes those people will stay in your life for the rest of it. Sometimes they may suddenly disappear forever. Everyday, we have an opportunity to be a positive force to those around us. Next time the urge to be negative towards someone hits you, think about the type of person you really want to be, clap along and help them lift themselves instead.

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