SPEAKING -THE POWER OF SILENCE and STORY

silence

For those of us in the speaking profession, when we speak of the power of silence, we are normally referring to the power of the pause. I have always believed we pause for two reasons: one as a tool to rid ourselves of UM’s and AH’s and two, for emphasis.

For today, I am not referring to the power of silence as a tool or for emphasis. I am referring to the Power of Silence as an experience! After speaking in Rotterdam I had a rare opportunity to visit Munich. Just outside of Munich is Dachau. Dachau was one of the first concentration camps set up in WW II.

The experience I had there I was not prepared for… our tour guide, Eric, was a master of telling the story of the memorial. He was their voice! His voice was calm and even as he told us some of the history during the 3 hours I was there. The camp started in 1939. Its’ main purpose was a working camp for political prisoners – men only. The camp was freed in 1945 – it was a place of horror for 12 long years. When someone arrived at the camp they were told three main things:

THEY HAD NO POSESSIONS
THEY HAD NO RIGHTS
THEY HAD NO HUMANITY

Over 240,000 people experienced Dachau in those 12 years; over 41,000 died there. Most of them were worked to death. When the Allies arrived there were 39,000 men encamped at Dachau that was built to hold only 6,000. Dachau had four ovens; the bodies were stacked three high in each oven to be burned. The ovens could not keep up with those dying. The GI’s found rooms stacked with dead bodies waiting to be cremated. After freedom an additional two thousand perished – some from eating solid food because their bodies could no longer tolerate the food!

At the end of the tour there is an actual stone memorial. It reads … “NEVER AGAIN”.
It is written in four languages.

The power of their story has deeply affected me – Eric is their voice. I have often said if we don’t tell our Core Story others will die. Our core lesson and our story when we share it, is the path for help, hope and healing. Some believe they have no story to tell, some feel their story has no value or worth and some live in fear of telling their story. No matter what our excuse is, we are called to tell our story.

We are not called to just speak.
We are called to LET OUR LIVES SPEAK!
WHOSE VOICE WILL YOU BE?

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