Yesterday was Election Day and I couldn’t WAIT to vote, showing up first thing in the morning, filled with a mixture of hope and trepidation.
Afterwards, I’m out running errands and wearing a mask that says VOTE in enormous lettering. One of my erranding stops is at my grocery store and when it’s my turn to send my items through and toss them into my shopping bag, the older lady working as bagger says to me, reading my mask, “Why VOTE?”. I turn to look more closely at her. She looks tired. Overworked. She continues, “The last time I voted was for Nixon, and he got in.” Woah.
I thought, “And look who HE turned out to be”. That understanding would mean absolutely anything to her. She hadn’t voted in over 50 years. So I turned to the cashier, “Did YOU vote?” Without ever looking at me, her head down as she weighed and rang in my vegetables, she threw away her response, “Oh I never vote”.
Two women. That do not vote. How much did that weigh? It weighed a lot to me. And a lot to the world.
I was speechless, flooded with emotions. Disgust, shock, anger…but mostly, I was saddened. And quickly, I was filled with compassion for these women. Because it was painfully clear they did not think their opinion – or vote – or VOICE – mattered. Maybe they hadn’t even found their voice.
What does ‘finding your voice’ even mean?
Do you feel like you have a contribution to make to the world? Do you feel that your opinion matters. Finding your voice means showing up in the world.
When you choose silence over speaking up, or you refuse to fully show up because you are afraid, you lose.
Finding your voice means you know who you are at your core. Void of outside influence and with self-compassion. Then using this voice to speak up and tell the world you matter even if you feel otherwise. It takes courage and faith to own your voice.
Do you have the desire to belong and to be of value to others? Do you want your voice to be heard by the people around you? Do you want to be significant and real?
Then say YES to…
- Sharing your opinion
- Making the CHOICE to stay connected
- Being fearless
- Speaking out when you have an idea
- Acknowledging your skills and experience
- Being confident in your ideas + opinions
- Being courageous when your beliefs differ from others
And say NO to…
- Fear of sounding stupid
- Judging myself
- Feeling inferior
- Holding back my opinion
- Being silent
- Feeling I don’t know enough
- Undervaluing myself
- Not giving my opinions in meetings and giving away my power
Democracy needs your Voice. Your Voice holds weight. The World needs your Voice.