The King’s Speech: Thoughts and Questions

by Jacob Juncker

While the King’s Speech is most notably about words spoken, there is great power in the character of Lionel Logue, the speech therapist, who actively listens.  King George VI, Bertie, had many great writers who prepared his  Bertie’s problem wasn’t that he didn’t have the words.  Bertie’s problem was that no one had ever really listened to him…and he was afraid to speak.  Logue points out that babies are not born with a stutter.  There was, according to Logue’s logic, something that triggered the stutter.  Someone at some time had literally stopped him from speaking: taking his voice away.

What right do any of us have to be heard?

In the United States of America, we have a constitutional right to say “whatever the hell we want to say”; but, we don’t have a right to be heard?  Does our freedom to say what we want, how we want, when we want guarantee that we will be heard?

With the proliferation of social media, one’s ability to “have a voice” has become easier.  Even if you stutter like Bertie, you can still make your voice known. We can speak our minds without ever moving our mouths.  With a simple key stroke or the movement of our eye, we speak our mind.  And yet, in a culture where it is so easy to have a voice, I would venture to say that very few of us are actually heard.  We’re great at speaking (using our voice), but terrible listeners.

Are you willing to actively listen, like Lionel Logue, so that others might find their voice, like Bertie (King George VI) ?

Can you think of someone who needs to be heard?

Then, start listening.