There is the saying “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one” and unfortunately in today’s society that rings extremely true. We are constantly bombarded by an abundance of voices as we attempt to have our own voice heard. It can be frustrating, annoying and at times completely hopeless.
Our voice is the greatest tool we have in our arsenal. The words we express carry meaning. We stress the importance of words on National Be Heard Day.
From Abraham Lincoln to Socrates to Michelle Obama and Winston Churchill, these individuals used their voices to share messages of hope, change, new ways of thinking and to bring people together. Shouldn’t that always be the goal? Instead of dividing and creating battle lines? In our current global climate, voices are finding their way onto various platforms and spectrums, regardless of whether it’s correct or not.
Figuring out what voices to listen to
The question at hand though lies in whether or not every voice is truly equal. Do some voices bear a heavier significance than others? Be wary of important, influential voices, too often they are false prophets. We have to figure out what voices to listen to. On the other hand, it’s our responsibility as global citizens to stand up to the voices we don’t trust or agree with. If you want to stand up for what you believe (and you should) challenge those who differ from your own opinion. Let your voice be heard. The attempts can feel futile at times and sometimes you’ll fail.
That is perfectly okay.
Do not waste your gift of speech
Do not waste the gift of being able to articulate how you feel. In the limited time we have on this Earth, we need to take a more active role in speaking up. It doesn’t require you to put yourself in situations that directly harm you, but there are more than enough times to say something.
As a matter of fact, by not saying something in the moment can be more heinous than speaking up. For instance, if you see an injustice or a situation that does not look right, it’s up to you to do the right thing. Do you find yourself overlooked at work? Speak up and converse with your boss about it. Are you in a nightclub or bar and witness someone’s drink get drugged? Is there someone crossing a street but unaware of an oncoming vehicle? How about when legislation is up for consideration? Do you let it happen or speak up?
Speak up for those whose voices are lost
I look at the #MeToo movement and the survivors of the Parkland shooting as CHAMPIONS of using their voice for a cause bigger than themselves. The scariest part about being heard is having the courage to speak up in the first place. Finding your voice takes time and self-confidence that only you can sustain. Our voices are a collection of our innermost thoughts, our insecurities and those deep personal feelings we never truly want to share. On the other hand, when we effectively communicate what we’re thinking about we feel a burden lifted off our shoulders.
My voice is one of 7 billion on the planet, but my goal is to affect even one person. As one of my favorite housewives said, “I say important shit, you say too much boring shit.” Above all, when you use your voice, make sure your audience gets the message loud and clear. There is no need to mince your words or hold back out of fear.
Speak loud and proud this National Be Heard day, your voice is your own.
Featured image via Unsplash