For as long as I can remember, my mom has always made a point to tell me that I should stand up for what I believe in. I always try to do so but sometimes thats a difficult thing to do when you live in a world with so many different opinions. Its never fun to hear people shoot down your thoughts and ideas. At times, it seems like the best thing to do is to keep your mouth shut.
As Ive gotten older and started to develop my own opinion on different issues, I have found that it really is important to share what you think of things because all of the different opinions out there keep the world turning. If no one spoke up and said what was on his or her mind, no improvements would be made in the way of life and no progress would be made.
In some situations I definitely see why people would be shy to share what they are thinking. Now and then in some classes in school, like during an English class, students are asked to share with the rest of the class what they think about certain texts or to reflect on a question. Everyone is under pressure to say the right thing when what theyre saying isnt always what they really want to say. I can remember times when my friends said things to the class and I wanted to ask them what they were talking about. I knew them well enough to know that what they shared was totally different than what they actually believed.
Ive learned that the most important thing a person can do is to be brave when it comes to sharing their opinions because those who are courageous enough to share their personal thoughts are the people that can make a change in the world.
If everyone thought the same thing, it would be a boring place to live. When just one person proposes something different, that one idea can become a catalyst in making a difference.
Martin Luther King Jr., who may be a trite example, was a man who spoke his mind so proudly and fiercely that his opposers eventually assassinated him. However, King was very productive with the time that he did have. He left behind a legacy filled with visions of an ideal world where everyone was able to live together in equality. Nowadays, if you were to ask anyone, young or old, who Martin Luther King Jr. was, you can be quite sure that they could tell you. His impact on society is one of the greatest that I can think of in this past century.
I actually do not think that the sole reason we learn about MLK in school is because of his work for the civil rights movement. Of course, civil rights and equality are very important issues that we should all learn about and continue to fight for. But, I think the reason MLK is so famous, even 44 years after his death, is because of his courage, and because he took a chance when he knew that what he was doing was dangerous. He knew that many people would be standing against him, but he also knew that spreading his message was far more important than worrying about his adversaries.
Maybe Martin Luther King Jr. didnt solve all of our society's equality problems, but he made people begin to recognize that they exist. He wasnt afraid to speak his mind and because of this, his dream has begun to be achieved.
No matter how old, or how young one might be, its important to be your own advocate. Speak up for what you think is right, and make people listen. If you really believe that something is important, and you believe that you can make a change, you can.
Ariana Sadoughi writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.