The family and I were seated in a crowded waiting area at Hopkins Airport. My oldest son was returning from a graduation trip to Europe. We were laughing and chatting while waiting for the plane to land.

Suddenly, a young man about 30 years old came charging around the seats and said, "Hi, Mr. Leigh." I was startled. Who was this young man who knew my name? I sure didn't recognize him.

When he introduced himself I realized he was one of my Boy Scouts from years ago. He was now an elementary school principal. I asked him how he recognized me after all these years. He said, "I recognized your laugh."

Then all of us laughed. What a memory he had for voices and laughs. You never know what a good laugh can do.

These days a lot of people are using their thumbs to communicate by pressing letters on their mobile devices. I believe it's impossible to communicate effectively without seeing a person's expression or hearing their voice. If the young man hadn't recognized my laugh I would never have all these fun memories of that day at the airport.

People have different kinds of voices. I believe voice identification is just as useful as a fingerprint. Who can ever forget the sound of their mother's voice? If she used a certain tone of voice you knew you'd better pay attention. Sometimes the phone will ring and I can recognize the sound of a certain voice right away.

What would the world be like if everyone sounded alike? What if all sounds were alike? We would have no music, couldn't recognize the sound of a bird, a baby's cry or the cooing and billing of a loved one. If we could not make distinct sounds what a boring world it would be. So make some noise, play music, sing, gripe about your friends and political speeches. Above all, laugh. It's the best medicine.

Bruce Leigh

Bay Village

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:48 AM, 06.11.2013