This morning I read an article about “The Loneliest Whale in the World.” As I read it, I was struck by how much the plight of this whale spoke to the reality that many of us live in. You see, this whale, unlike other whales, was a loner. While most whales, even whales of this same species, usually travel in groups, this whale travels alone… and has for decades. I’m certain that many of us can relate.
I know that I certainly can. At least during seasons of my life.
Not bad, just different
From what the scientists that track her can tell, there is nothing wrong with this whale. She seems to be perfectly healthy, yet she travels alone. For some time they wondered at this. Why would a creature of a type that normally travels in groups, travel alone for so long? Was there something wrong with her? Were other whales avoiding her? Why was she alone?
Turns out there was nothing WRONG with her. She was not a bad whale. She was just different. You see whales like her communicate through “songs”. The reason she was alone wasn’t that there was something wrong with her. It turns out that the song she sings, other whales simply can’t hear.
According to this article, most whales sing at a frequency of 15-20 Hertz. This whale, however, sings at a frequency of 52 Hertz. This is significantly higher than the 15-20 Hertz songs of other whales. For this reason, the other whales simply can’t hear her. They are not avoiding her. They are not intentionally ignoring her. They simply can’t hear her.
Maybe they can’t hear you
Many of us can identify with this whale. Humans, like whales, usually travel in groups. We look around us and see other people existing in these groups, yet we feel lonely. We often think that these people are intentionally avoiding us. We think that there might be something wrong with us. Right or wrong, we feel that we are the reason we are alone.
Maybe they simply can’t hear you. In the case of this whale, the other whales literally can’t hear her. Obviously, the people around you can hear you. They can see you. They know you are there. But, maybe you are singing a song that they can’t hear. There is something inside us that is attracted to people who are like us. This goes way beyond the outward things like gender, race, clothing, or other things we can see. This “something” is much like the song of this whale. It is a song that our spirit sings that connects us to other people. We hear their song, and they hear ours.
So, when you struggle to connect with people, it’s not that there is anything wrong with you. You are just singing a song that they can’t hear.
Be you, sing until someone hears you, and know that they will
It can be tempting as we travel through life, and feel lonely, to try to learn a different song. But, even if you learned a thousand new songs they would never sound as beautiful as the one you were created to sing. A saxophone might play the same notes as a piano, but it will never be a piano. Likewise, the piano can never become a saxophone, no matter what notes it plays. Each of these instruments is beautiful, and even more so when doing what they were created to do.
Never neglect or devalue the people that sing a different song than you. In fact, value it all the more because it is different. After all, it is the variety of instruments in an orchestra that makes the music so beautiful.
So, sing your song, sing it well, and sing it loud. Be YOU. Then look and listen for the people that hear your song and are drawn to it.Matt Norman
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