I am one of the loudest people you are ever going to meet. I am passionate about social issues, confident in my own opinions, and even sometimes just crazy with my friends. I have a resonant voice as a result of years of classical singing, so you can usually hear me in a crowd. Some people find this annoying, and I am all too aware that yes, sometimes my speaking volume can be a bit much. But overall? I refuse to apologize for my Voice. My speaking voice has allowed me to strengthen what I like to call my Voice, capital "V." This is my power — my ability to speak out and stand up for things I believe in.
Everyone's Voice is different. Some act with quiet power, through random acts of kindness or writing. Some act through direct confrontation, speaking up in meetings or classrooms, protests or other forms of "loud" resistance. Some act through a mix of both. All are valid, all are critically important, and all are far too often silenced by fear, anxiety, doubt, and hopelessness. I believe there is a spark of passion inside each person, whether it stems from empathy, conviction or joy, I don't know. All I know is that these sparks get snuffed out by a world too afraid of conflict and confidence.
I challenge you today to recognize your Voice and begin to use it. Not everyone will speak loudly, and not everyone will "speak" through quietness. This is a crucial part of what makes the human experience so unique, and each person has the ability to affect change. I ask you today: what is one thing you believe? I know there are many, but focus on one thing. Maybe it is personal, perhaps political, but all are important. Do one thing this week to use your Voice about that issue. Email a legislator, call up a friend you need to make amends with, volunteer. Life is too short to sit and wait for change to happen on its own. Each person has a Voice, and each person can use it for incredible things.