In large group settings I am naturally a quiet person. At work I often wear my headphones even when I’m not listening to music and I eat lunch alone although all of my coworkers are friendly and my age. When I have to give a presentation my voice actually shakes and I can never fully remember what I said afterwards because I completely black out on any sort of stage. I was not meant to be a performer. I hate being the center of attention unless I’ve had a few too many glasses of champagne and in those cases I am mortified the next day. I hate offending people and I’ve been teased for being the Queen of PC. All of that being said, I don’t like to speak loudly or controversially.
Growing up I was so fortunate that my parents always wholeheartedly believed in me. My Mom and Dad taught me to always treat other people with respect but never to give up my opinions for the sake of being well liked. So while most times I am quiet and agreeable I am steadfastly dedicated to my principles.
“This above all to thine own self be true” my favorite line from Hamlet is scrawled so delicately on my hip. While I regret the questionable tattoo choice I will never regret the sentiment. Above all I believe in being true to who you are. I find conviction to be one of the most attractive and admirable qualities of all. No matter what you believe I think it is your moral responsibility to defend it (this is not to say you shouldn’t be open to critique or growth). As Americans we are fortunate to have the freedom of speech and expression. Everyday I am so grateful for this blog, a space that gives me a small voice in the vast universe. So many people in this world do not have the opportunity to safely vocalize their beliefs. I have the opportunity to use my voice so I am going to speak even though my voice is quiet, I am going to speak even though my voice shakes.
“He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” -Martin Luther King Jr.
Though I have always been interested in human rights and legislature I am by no means “super political“. You may have noticed the election is all I can write about this week. While this post is not political by nature (see this post, my Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for that) I want to remind people that standing up for what you believe in is not “being a baby”. Peacefully protesting, voicing your opinion or disagreeing with status quo does not make you anti-american. Just because an issue is bigger than you doesn’t mean you need to submit to ideals that do not represent you. If you see someone being oppressed then you have the power to speak up and attempt to stop it. Silently standing by and allowing evil to happen speaks too. Standing up for what you believe in goes beyond this election.
My life has been disrupted. I haven’t been able to make it more than a few hours without crying for the past 48 hours. I cannot fathom talking about boots and Taylor Swift and weekend plans as if something big and monumental didn’t just happen. I respect people who can but I can’t. I’ve been glued to the news. I’ve been researching ways to become more involved in my community. I’ve been more passionate and determined to become a lawyer and to speak for those who do not have a voice. My world feels like it has been turned upside down because I cannot comprehend what is happening. I promised this post isn’t about politics though and it isn’t. This post is about living a life that you are proud of and staying true to what you believe in.
For me, the time has come to use my voice. I can’t post “Happy Monday grab an extra large coffee and smile” instagram selfies. Everyone has different issues that ignite the fire within them I encourage you to speak out respectfully for your beliefs when they are challenged. Letting life and the world just happen because you are busy posting photos of your shoes is a sad way to wander through this world we live in. I love celebrity gossip and the latest trends but when my beliefs are challenged I need to be so much more than that! You have the right and the ability to speak your mind too. You are valuable enough, you are worth it.
“All Tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent” -Thomas Jefferson
The issues I believe in won’t always align with the issues you believe in, that is okay. We are meant to be varied and we can all benefit from healthy debate. I just can’t think of anything more important than standing up and speaking out when you have the opportunity. Once again another post from this week is wrapped up in a great big bundle of emotion and tied with a passion bow. Please forgive me for my lack of eloquence, I’m tired, my words are jumbled and I’m a little heated so I’ll leave you with one final thought.