I have yet to figure out if this is a “normal” human problem or if it indicates that I have particularly low self-esteem, but my tendency is to believe that my voice does not matter. I generally lean towards the belief that people I’m talking to would prefer to hear other’s voices instead of mine. I often even fall prey to the belief that others are just intrinsically more interesting than me. I have felt this way for most of my life, it’s why I was often called “shy” as a child. However, over the years I have come to the (slow) realization that my voice does in fact matter (in fact, Odyssey has been a large part of what convinced me of this fact). My voice is actually interesting. I have something to say. Think of it this way. Every human body is a unique mix of genes, never seen before by humankind. If you want to take that one step further, every human is the one in a million chance of a sperm fertilizing an egg. That is to say you receive validation for simply being alive. Hence, you are your own unique, valid human being and therefore you can bring a perspective to the table that nobody else can. It’s true that what other people have to say is interesting. But that does not mean that what you have to say is not. I realized a long time ago that if I kept trying to imitate other people because I believed they were more interesting than me, all I would ever achieve was a lesser version of them. It’s like that old saying, “be yourself because everybody else is already taken.” Basically, although it’s easy to be led astray and falter in your belief of your own validation, never forget that your voice matters simply by virtue of being a human voice. You possess a brain that nobody else does and it is your duty to portray your own unique ideas to the world. You would be doing the world a disservice if you failed to let your voice be heard.
Philosophical tangent aside and onto the political part of this article, we all know that in this day and age our inner voices are not the only ones telling us that our voices don’t matter. These days it feels like no matter how much we put ourselves out there, no matter how many emails we send to senators, how many marches we march in, our voices are not being heard. It feels like the world is changing before our eyes, from right beneath our grasp. And it’s really scary. But let me tell you why your voice does matter. Voices will not be heard unless they are spoken. This is why we must continue to raise our voices when injustices have occurred. It is our duty as human beings to voice our concerns and fight for what we believe in, because if we don’t fight for what’s right then who will? I can’t promise that your voice will one day be heard but I can promise that it won’t be heard if you don’t voice it. And if you voice it then there’s a pretty damn good chance that it will be heard one day, at least by someone. So, I beg of you, please do not give up. Never cease to raise your voice. Continue to always fight for what you believe to be right because sometimes the sentiment of fighting is more important than the end product (or at least we like to tell ourselves that). We are unique. We are valid. We will be heard.