When I was younger, I was someone who didn’t like confrontation. In fact, I’d do just about anything to avoid it. Why? Because I was afraid of insulting someone with what I had to say, and honestly, I didn’t think I could change anything anyways.
I always thought to myself, ‘What difference can I make? I’m just one person with no special title or influential position.’
This was the excuse I used to tell myself all the time.
It wasn’t until later on, that I realized being passive was getting me nowhere. I saw people around me being discriminated against for their race and religion. I saw the world around me being destroyed with bombs and hatred and, for the longest time, I did nothing.
I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t the only one using that stupid excuse. Too many people are doing the same thing I was, telling themselves their voice won’t make a difference. Thankfully, we have people who don’t care about that and who, instead of telling themselves “my voice alone won’t be heard,” tell themselves “if they can’t hear me, I’ll scream louder.”
Take Greta Thunberg for example. She started off as a 15-year-old girl who decided to protest climate change by skipping school and sitting in front of the Swedish parliament. Now, she’s leading a worldwide climate change movement. During her TedTalk, Thunberg said: “Maybe [my children and grandchildren] will ask why [I] didn’t do anything while there was still time to act.”
Act while you still have the chance, before the bees are gone, before the glaciers have melted, before war completely destroys a country. Thunberg chose to speak up for a cause that she believes in, but there are so many other causes that need a voice, that need someone to take a stand and say enough is enough.
This world we’re living in is changing every day and, sadly, not always for the best. A lot of people are in denial about it, thinking everything is all fine and dandy because facing the truth is hard.
That’s why it’s our responsibility to do something about it. We can’t keep relying on others to take a stand. We need to be involved in the change that needs to come.
I’m not saying you need to start a worldwide movement (knock yourselves out if you want to, though). I’m saying that if you have something you believe in, take a stand for it and make your voice heard. Whether you are standing up for someone facing discrimination or sharing a post about the amazon fires, your voice might just have an impact.
Be prepared to defend your thoughts and your opinions, because not everyone will agree with what you have to say. But don’t let it get you down, just believe in yourself and your voice, and keep doing the best you can.
It’s similar to fire. All it needs is one little spark, just like Thunberg, to create a worldwide chain reaction. The more people are taking a stand and speaking up, the stronger the flame will be.
Your voice is important and deserves to be heard, so make sure you scream loud enough for the whole world to hear it.
Graphic by Victoria Blair