Voice is connection.
Voice is speaking our own truth.
Voice is the driver of our narratives.
After being raped, Maya Angelou didn’t speak for years. In an interview with Terry Gross, she told how she found her voice so she could love poetry.
The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign blew up the internet because stories are the most profound way for us to connect across differences. We need to hear the voices of those who experience life outside of our own private bubbles.
My son overheard a friend making a comment, presumably in jest, about killing himself. He could have brushed off the throwaway comment, but instead he came to his parents. And we went to the boy’s parents. And the boy is still mad.
The recent attack in California and its anti-woman underpinnings have prompted many women to speak out about the sexism they face every day.
The imperative is to find it and use it.
Use it big and use it small.
Never go mute.
Yesterday, a writer friend and I were leaving a restaurant and our very young male server said, “Thanks, Girls.”
We paused at the door, looking at each other. “Did he just call us girls?”
We laughed and walked out. The easy thing. But I wish I’d turned around and gently, very gently, reminded him about respect. It would have been a small thing. A small response for a small ignorance.
But I would have used my voice.
And he might have faced the world differently from then on.