So this happened…

I’ve always been a big fan of Ted Talks and I think, the thing that I love the most is that not only is it inspirational but, that it shares people’s stories and they’re lives. And when you step onto that stage you’re sharing a part of yourself and your experience with complete strangers and it really is amazing. Now I’ve never been to an actual Ted Talk but I’ve watched quite a few on Youtube and I stumbled upon this one by Alexis Jones, and it honestly opened my eyes, because the truth is we hear about all these things that happen to people and we go about our eyes ignorant to the fact that it happens, to people, everyday.

grey's anatomy-lies are stupid though-the truth may hurt but the pain is only temporary.

We’ve all watched the news, listened to the radio, heard about the stuff that goes on. And I’m done calling it stuff because it isn’t just stuff,ย it’s the people. It’s people who go through a life of poverty, people who are depressed and suicidal, people, just like you and me, who’ve been sexually abused or bullied or can’t afford education. People who go through issues and feel like they have no one, no one to turn to, nobody to ask for help or advice from. And we go through life and we hear about it but we choose to ignore it because it ‘hurts us” to think about it or “because there’s nothing we can do” or because “it makes youย sad”. But what about them? What about all the girls who are seen as objects? The boys who get told they can’t cry? And what about… what about the times you see someone begging in the road and look away?

We’ve started choosing to ignore situations because they make us feel uncomfortable. And that’s so wrong of us! Has it ever occurred to you that maybe if we stopped turning our backs away from the issues that make us feel uncomfortable and start addressing them, people would try harder to come up with solutions for them.

And not only is it the people, but the environment too. In 2017ย we still get people saying things like “climate change isn’t real, it’s all fake…”, and honestly right now I’m asking those people to explain to me how we ended up with a hole in our ozone layer. Deforestation has always been an issue that’s been really close to my heart, heck, I was a vegetarian for months because of it! And now I’m reading this and I’m asking myself why I stopped? Why? Was it “too hard”? But then how do you explain that to the hundreds and thousands of vegans and vegetarians who stay committed to that lifestyle? So I’m making the decision to be vegetarian again, starting right this second because why.the hell.not? If you care about something enough, you go the extra mile. And we get people who like to talk the talk but can’t walk the walk, so I encourage you not only to spread awareness, but make a change as well.

Everyday we make choices. Every day we get given opportunities. And everyday is a new opportunity to make a choice, that changes your life, and not only your life but other peoples’ as well.

I want you to find your voice. I want you to find your voice and fill the silence, speak and say the words people are to scared to, be a voice that inspires. Be true to yourself and go through life knowing that yeah,๐Ÿ’ฉ does happen, that’s inevitable but you have a voice that can impact the world!!!

ย And in case you haven’t realised it yet that’s bloody amazing!!!!

I’m 13. And I get told, on a daily basis, things like “You’re too young to understand” or “Don’t worry about it it’s adults business”. When we’re 5 and 4 and 6 we get told to dream, we get taught to be creative and have fun and use your voice. And then as we get older we get told that “You need to be realistic” or “You can’t be that” and then people try to silence our voices. What I want you to understand is that teenagers aren’t idiots. WE KNOW what goes on, we see the damage and destruction all over the world, and we understand it.ย 

Stop telling me that I’m too young to talk about the issues in the world. Stop trying to take away my voice, because you’re wasting your time. You really, and truly are. And I’ve said it before, but I will say it again:

I know who I am and who I want to be and I am so sick of society trying to define that. Today I define me! And you can try to label all those amazing men and women and teens who donโ€™t let society define them but those labels donโ€™t mean anything until you accept them!

If there’s one thing you take away from this please let it be what comes next:

Use your voice!And if you need to scream and shout and yell to get heard, then I encourage you to scream at the top of your lungs!

Red Dot Design Award, 2013, Poster category, FREEDOM OF SPEECH client: Shu-Te University, graphic design: Pei-Ling Ou
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