When things are going right it’s so very easy to shout your opinions from the rooftops. Anyone that has read this blog or follows me on any of my social media platforms knows that I am not one to shy away from having my opinion heard. A ranty feminist, huge surprise there right? However when you experience rejection or backlash for your opinions it can cause you to question why you are doing the things you do and why you are even bothering to raise your head above the parapet when the negativity seems endless. This is something I have been experiencing as of late, polite rejection from people who feel that my writing is “too controversial” or is “not the kind of image we are looking to be associated with”. Not to mention the countless Facebook “unlikes”.
It has caused me to examine the purpose of my writing, to think critically about why I do what I do. I have come to the following conclusion. I write not only because I love it but because I can. Truth be told, I have another selfish motivation for sharing my musings. It is my greatest desire to inspire! Yep, I said it I want to help make a difference, even if that difference is just a spark of consciousness for someone, that is what motivates me to keep on going. You see my lovelies if it was that simple, everybody would be doing it, right? The truth is they could. Anybody can do this, all it takes is a little courage and the decision to try.
I could rant and rave for hours on end about the importance of standing up for what you believe in and staying true to yourself. I could discuss the suffragette movement, the feminist movement, the civil rights movement and many more until I am blue in the face. However all talk and no action makes for quite a dull existence. Instead I’ve decided to put pen to paper ( well fingertips to keys but that doesn’t sound as creative) and give you ten solid reasons why standing up and being counted is important.
1. Own it!
Did you hear or see something you didn’t agree with? Did you challenge it? If not why not? It’s your responsibility to yourself to make your opinions known. If you don’t you lose your right to criticise or participate in it further. Even more important, no one is going to change it if you can’t stand up for it. For that, you’d need a firm belief in yourself. You’ve got to believe in yourself. If you can’t believe yourself, who else will?
You’ve got to believe you can be a standup before you can be a standup. You have to believe you can act before you can act. You have to believe you can be an astronaut before you can be an astronaut. You’ve got to believe.
2. Be an Inspiration.
Standing up for what you believe in not only makes you feel incredible, it can inspire others. It can give hope for surviving another day or hope of a better life to another. Sure, it’s one helluva responsibility but nothing beats the feeling of pure joy that comes with seeing someone else smile or being happy because of you. A line you wrote, a word you said or a picture you posted could make all the difference. I don’t do it because it’s easy I do it because it’s right and I believe in equal freedom for all. I can’t tell you the number of times a positive word of encouragement has inspired me to keep on going when I just wanted to put my middle fingers up and let the world carry on it’s war without me.
3. If you don’t it will eat you up!
It may not be today or tomorrow but how long can you continue on happily knowing that you are betraying yourself. Knowing that you are living a lie of ommision by not saying what you are thinking or taking a stand for what you believe in? Why waste who you are by hiding it away in a fabricated comfort.
4. It’s a confidence boost!
Staying silent can make you doubt your strength and your values. If you can stand up for what is right and true, it can removes the doubt you have in yourself. You will have more faith in yourself if your thoughts and actions are united in harmony.
5. It makes you feel alive!
Taking a stand allows you to have a clear head for your actions and gives you the freedom to live your life the way that you want to. It can make you feel like you are being heard, felt and being responded to. Like you are making a difference. It can affirm that you don’t follow the drudgery of life like a sheep. Who want’s to follow an unthinking crowd? Something that annoys you won’t change unless you do something about it!
6. Think of those who are coming on behind you!
Would you like to grow up in a world where dreams are dictated by someone else’s wishes or directions? Then why would you wish it for someone else? By staying silent now you are ensuring that things will stay just the way they are. Do you want young people to grow up following their own passions and dreams, without any fear of being discriminated against, abused or harassed? For that to happen you have to act now! To instill that goodness and positivity, you have to firstly practice what you preach.
7. History will repeat itself until someone helps smash the record
Ok so a ranty blog post might not win me any major awards but in the long run it’s my mark on this planet. Something to say that I was here and I tried to fight the system the best way I knew how. This will make you different from the crowd who live a faceless life. Nobody is born special. It is the ordinary people that create history.You will never know how much of an influence you can be unless you try. Influential or not, it always starts with a will to do and sticking with it till the end.
8. Whats the worst that can happen?
Will they laugh at you? Will they think you silly? Will they hate you? Will it even work? Even if it didn’t would it still be worth it? What if it did and you helped to change the world? You will never ever know until you try.
9. You might regret it if you don’t
If you hesitate once, you will think twice before standing up next time, and eventually you don’t even think about standing up. Before long it becomes one of your regrets in life. Being a part of the silent group means you are supporting it. Do you want to be associated with stagnancy and an unchanging society?
10. It will set you free!
It’s what freedom is the ability to speak your mind and do something that you feel strongly about. All your survival and existential thinking serves no purpose if you can’t use the most basic right. People have died fighting to keep its essence alive. You are blessed enough not to pay in blood for it. So, what’s holding you back from exercising the privilege that comes from it?
They can try to take everything from you but they can never have your voice, your power or your influence, unless you willingly hand them over.
So tell me, will you stand up and fight? Or will you slink to the back of the flock, with your head down and words unspoken?