You have a right. To this life. To your skin. To your body, your hopes, your dreams.
You have right. To believe. To stand. To sit. To chase. To embody the very values you believe in.
You have a right. To tell your story. To be heard. To be bold and fearless and unafraid.
You have a right. To be respected and loved and encouraged. To be noticed and empowered and strengthened by the people around you, every step you take.
Dear woman, dear man—this life is too short to forever hold yourself back, worried about what he or she will say. You cannot always be so cautious, so conscious of the way your thoughts may shape the perspectives around you. Forget the rest of the world for once.
Stop holding yourself back to let others say what they need. Sometimes what you long to speak is important. You are not meant to always quiet the power coming from your mouth.
No, don’t let your voice restrict the words around you. There’s a fine line between speaking and shouting, between letting your voice rise and drowning out anyone who dares to open their mouths. You don’t have to stand here and scream. You don’t have to kick and push and be a big mess to be noticed. You don’t have to change parts of yourself to attract attention.
You just have to know that your voice is important and worthy of being listened to. And people are listening.
Sometimes you have to be your own fighter, your own advocate, your own fan. Sometimes you need to stand your ground when you’ve been pushed aside. Sometimes you have to pick yourself up and begin again.
Sometimes the greatest thing you can do for yourself and the people around you is to believe in yourself, without question. Believe in others. Believe in the beauty of this world, though it may be buried at times.
You must speak up. When you feel your heart calling you to. When the world is crashing in. When you, or someone you see, is being burdened unfairly. When there is simply nothing else to do than to let the words flow from your lips.
Speak and be noticed.
Speak and be heard.
You do not have to step on anyone’s toes to share your perspective. You do not have to dim another’s light to let yours shine boldly. You do not have to put on a mask, a façade, just to push forward, to prove your strength.
You are strong in your simple existence. In your laughter. In your smile. You are strong in the way you carry yourself, in the way you step, in the way you continue, day after day.
You don’t always have to be loud to be heard.
But you shouldn’t be silent.
Speak up. Speak with confidence. Speak for what you believe.
Do not silence your voice so the world can be heard; you are a part of this world.