The title is the theme for the 2012 celebration of World Voice Day. Every year on April 16, otolaryngologists—head and neck surgeons and other voice health professionals worldwide join together to recognize World Voice Day. World Voice Day encourages men and women, young and old, to assess their vocal health and take action to improve or maintain good voice habits. The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery has sponsored the U.S. observance of World Voice Day since its inception in 2002.
Beyond the history of the initiative, this year’s theme is, perhaps, why I chose a career in Laryngology and care of the professional voice. Some of my earliest memories are of soloists in church who could pull every emotion out of a congregation in just one verse. Then, members who used their voice to pray and speak and who, by controlling dyanmics and breathing, accentuated words in a way that made utterances alive for me. The voices reminded me so much of voices I heard on news footage of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. I was completely captivated by how these people made their voices count and seemed to almost never lose sight of the responsibility that comes with sharing words and stirring emotions.
Today, I take care of clergy, teachers, actors, radio announcers and personalities, and, yes, grammy award winning artists. Each of them has chosen to make their voice count singularly and in community. The power of voice should never be underestimated or taken for granted.
How are you making your voice count?
H. Steven Sims, M.D. is a member of the CMC Board of Directors. He is an Otolaryngologist and Director at Chicago Institute for Voice, University of Illinois at Chicago as well as being a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.