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Posted December 13, 2011

A New Year's resolution

By Father Eugene Hemrick

During a public broadcasting program on the late Luciano Pavarotti, a renowned opera singer was asked, "What made Pavarotti's voice so awesome?"

"He had a happy voice!" the opera singer replied.

After the interview, the program played selections from Pavarotti's performances. As I listened, I too agreed that his voice was ever so cheerful, jumping with joy. His words and singing exuded gusto and happiness. The tenor also caressed them with the smile of a mother caressing her newborn child. It was as if love was pouring out from his whole being.

To appreciate a happy voice, all we need is to experience the opposite.

When we are angry we tend to stiffen our voice. When we don't want to reveal our self to another we tend to flatten it. And when we are down our voice can sink to muttering.

A happy voice is a gift. It is in the nature of some people to possess a joyful voice that rings with vitality. But no one can maintain a happy voice forever. We all become down at one time or other, and so does our voice.

Still, a happy voice is worth cultivating. One way to accomplish this is to foster a deep appreciation for life, to drink in the goodness and beauty around us, to count our blessings.

My grandfather used to do this frequently when he was alive. After a wonderful meal, he always took time to thank God out loud. How frequently I would hear him whisper, "Thank you, God!"

Another means for cultivating a happy voice is to take an account of how much bounce it possesses from time to time. If it is flat or tense, why is this?

Monitoring our voice implies working at overcoming whatever may be sapping its life continuously.

Political and economic experts are predicting 2012 will be bleak. Fears of all types are in the air. When in a fearful state we tighten up, and so does our voice.

One New Year's resolution we must try to practice above all others is to keep our voice happy.

The reason people loved Luciano Pavarotti was his ability to communicate the innate joy with which he was blessed. As he made beautiful music, so too must we do the same with our voices.

Beautiful music not only touches the heart, but moves it. Our voice, when happy, contains the greatest power we can possess for fighting against fear and the dire predictions for 2012.