Stand Up and Speak Out

At the age of 31, I just realized the power of my own voice. It only took thirty years and one article, written by 12-year-old blogger for the Huffington Post.

Society thrives on technology and I’m the old fogey in the corner who remembers when the first cell phone came out and the World Wide Web was the latest trending hype.

Now, we have Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook , Twitter and trending hashtags, for that! Until now, I didn’t realize that the key to reaching the world with just one voice is learning to use your social networks and resources.

Different

“Different” was the name of the article that caused an already growing revelation to transpire to the max. Marcel Neergaard has a voice. As a young member of the LGBT community, he wasn’t afraid to speak out. And he didn’t just speak, he shouted his message. He made me think about how I was using my own voice.

I could be louder.

Fortunately, someone cared enough to just say hi.

Hello. One word that helped move him to action. One word what told him that he was important. In turn, he found his voice. We all have that power—the power of a voice.

What’s the most meaningful conversation you had today? Did you know with a simple “hello” and a smile, you have the power to change someone’s life?

Marcel helped change mine, and he doesn’t even know it. My favorite part of his article came at the end:

This week I will be in Nashville for Advancing Equality on the Hill Day talking to my senator and (hopefully) representative about making schools safer for kids like me. What will you do?

When he spoke, 9000 ears listened and helped echo his message on Facebook alone. That’s just what he did on March 10th, from the comfort of his home, while sitting at a computer; and for all we know, still in his pajamas!

Wow.

What will I do today, tomorrow, or in the weeks to come? I’m not sure. What will you do? Just asking yourself the question is a fine place to start.

As this week comes to a close, I have yet to reach the ears of thousands of people. I have, however, literally been awake around-the-clock. That tends to leave a plethora of time for thinking, reading, and writing.

For months now, I’ve been preoccupied with the power of the voice of the people. There are so many voice is the world and so much shouting, yet so much silence about the things that matter.

It’s as if we’ve learned to believe that our message, stance or topic of choice, is the most justified and correct or we should gain profit from acts of compassion, or we don’t bother to speak up at all.

Every voice matters.

Rarely do our words fall the same way on each ear that hears them. Listeners interpret more than just the words we speak or write. We can hope that your words will be concisely construed, but words are not what reach the ears first. Words are not what touch the heart of a person. It’s not always the message that’s the most powerful part of a message. Sometimes, it’s just the voice.

People were supportive of this writer’s LGBT advocacy and brevity to raise his voice on the matter, yes. But the loudest message he could have sent was this…

He stood up.

4 thoughts on “Stand Up and Speak Out

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