When I was asked to write this post, I was really excited. I added it to my to-do list, and then rumination and self-doubt began their work on me.
Do I have a big idea? I’m not much of the big idea kind. Have I ever had a big idea in my life?
Okay, okay, call to action, I can do that, I’m an action kind of gal!
Wait a minute, who am I to call others to action? What could I possibly have done to earn the right to call on others to take action? There are so many amazing and smart people in Memphis, why should anyone listen to me?
But, I had committed it to my list, so it had to be done.
I took an hour to write one of the most flowery, free flow, ode to nothing and hit send! Then the wish for an UNsend button washed over me. Thankfully the response to that unfortunate piece of writing was handled with relative sensitivity. I asked for more time, you know, to ruminate and wrestle with more self-doubt!
I am sharing because I think many of us feel this way. And feeling like your voice doesn’t matter or isn’t valuable couldn’t be further from the truth. From the legendary voices of Martin Luther King and Ida B. Wells in the ongoing fight for civil rights and human decency, to the voices of a group of women that stopped an interstate and saved one of the most gorgeous parks in America, our voices change things.
Not every time. It will not always be successful. It will not always be comfortable. We all know that change isn’t easy and it isn’t always fast. The truth is that using our voices and expressing what we believe in and think is important is what creates change. As a lifelong Memphian that has moved a bit and always come back, I see change happening at an ever increasing rate. From education to our neighborhoods, great things are brewing, and it is time for all of us to speak up and be a part of what many are calling a pivotal time, a renaissance, for our city.
I’ve been thinking about the people whose voices have shaped our world. What if they had listened to the voice of self-doubt that told them they hadn’t earned the right to share their insights? How much less rich and colorful would our world be without their ideas?
So I came up with three simple steps to share your voice: