Creating legacy through silence

 Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.’  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m not a happy bunny as I’m writing this. Over the past few days, starting with the day before the PhD viva, I’ve been having a really sore throat.

The night before the PhD viva it got so painful that I started panicking that I would not be able to speak the next day. But in the morning, the adrenaline kicked in and I even managed to forget about my sore throat until after the viva was over. Yay for adrenaline!

But the sore throat didn’t go away, and I stupidly kept on using my voice just as much as usual, trying to ignore the problem. And as a result – tonight I am so hoarse I can barely make myself understood.

So I’m having to be completely silent. Tonight, all of tomorrow, and probably over the week-end as well. This is SO frustrating. I’ve had a really exciting day today, I’ve done a couple of things I’m really proud of in relation to one of my legacy goals, plus a few other interesting things have happened – and yet I can’t tell my partner about any of these things because my voice is gone.

Well. Not quite. (And if you’ve been reading this blog post and wondering what any of this has got to do with creating legacy – here’s the missing link:) I may not be able to tell him verbally; but I can write about all the things that have happened today. And guess what? If I write these things down, I’ll be able to hold on to my writing for a good long while – whereas whatever I excitedly tell him will be forgotten really soon. By writing things down I am (in a tiny way) creating legacy.

I remember my Mum always telling me the old Latin saying ‘verba volant, scripta manent’ (see Mum? I was listening after all :)) And the good old Romans were right, of course. I’m still really frustrated I can’t talk, and will probably have to keep stumm quite a bit over the next few days. And having to write it all down takes ages. But there is an upside – my inability to speak forces me to create legacy. There. I’ve said my piece for the day.

What about you?

Have you experienced losing your voice, and having to find other ways to communicate? How did you cope with having to be completely silent for a while? I’d love to read your thoughts and stories in the comments section.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at