Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finding your voice, and using it.

As you can tell, I am extraordinarily opinionated.  I frequently and vehemently express myself through writing, speaking and art.  My Congress people probably dread my daily letters and signatures on petitions.  My husband spends many evenings listening to my opinionated narrations.  I write, here, in journals, on social networking sites, letters, text messages.  Silence is not really me.

It hasn't always been that way.  As a child, I was painfully shy.  I could talk to adults, one on one, but I rarely spoke to peers and never in front of groups.  In fact, I was so terrified of being seen and heard, that my second grade teacher thought I couldn't read, because I had a very difficult time reading out loud due to shyness.   I hated that I was never heard, but it was so hard to change.

Somehow, during my sophomore year of high school, I found my voice, and I began to use it.  It started out small, speaking in class mostly, and allowing my writing to be shared.  It wasn't too long before I began to develop some confidence.  By the time I graduated college, years later, I had found my voice.  I began to understand how much power speaking out could have.  Sometimes I could change an opinion.  Sometimes I inspire somebody else to try to speak up, but I am no longer powerless or voiceless.

Whatever your opinion is, it is worth sharing.  Silence is useful to those who would do you wrong.  Information is power and communication can start change.  Search for your voice, and begin using it.  The fear fades every time you express yourself.  Start small.  Write to yourself or speak with friends, then branch out into a bigger venue.  Use a chat room or social networking site.  Write to your political leaders.  Whatever you do, use your voice.  You have as much right to it as anyone else, and your own eloquence might surprise you.

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