It took me some time to come to terms with the fact that what I mistook for tinnitus is a lot of noise that’s generated in my brain by all the signals I get from everything that’s going on around me and the rest of the world pretty much 24-7. The louder the noise, the louder the ‘voice’ in my brain. All day, every day, that noise keeps getting louder and louder, unless I figure out how to either turn it down or (at times) turn it off. If I don’t, that voice gets louder and louder by repeating too much of that noise in terms of what I believe rather than in terms of what’s truth or fact. It’s a voice that not only criticizes every person who disagrees with me, it criticizes their motives as well. It’s amazing what we’ve evolved to in the last couple of years in terms of how we ‘voice’ to others. We either celebrate when they agree with us or ignore them when they don’t. There’s doesn’t seem to be room anymore for considering that the noise they hear is much different. We forget that the voice repeating our noise tends to be many things: selfish, afraid, angry, self-satisfied, self-important, or (even worse) too certain. Over time (if we’re not careful), that voice does anything it can to marginalize or neutralize those that feel differently. In short, we lose our ability to empathize. What I’m trying harder to do than ever before is to imagine what it might be like to hear the noise that others hear instead of just my own. If I can, then my voice might become more empathetic and, in turn, more impactful.