www.whyville.net Feb 13, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Speak Up!

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Do me a favor; read this sentence out loud, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." C'mon, say it once more, except this time, say it loud. Now, say it so loud that somebody from the other room can hear you . . . did you achieve this? If the answer is, "Yes," then congratulations, you have a voice; the next step is to use it.

Whether or not you have come to realize it, we all have strong opinions; perhaps it may be something simple like whether or not you like a certain color, or something more complex like politics or war, regardless, you have opinions. For a majority of my life I believed that my opinion did not matter; how could a person of my short fourteen years of age and little experience impart any great wisdom on any one person . . . But, I now realize that there is much to say. Let's examine this a bit further, shall we?

I never believed that one person could make a difference, I mean, think about it, how can one, single, person change the way everybody thinks? Then I reflect back on people like Martin Luther King Jr. and then I realized, if every single person thought that one human being couldn't make a difference, imagine what type of society we would have. The simple things that we take for granted each day would vanish if we didn't have strong minds to create them. What if Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile? Or what if Alexander Graham Bell decided NOT to invent the telephone? Or Thomas Edison didn't invent the light bulb? Not to mention, more than half of your friends wouldn't be here today if it weren't for civil rights leaders such as: Nellie McClung, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King Jr. Most of us wouldn't even be getting an education; discoveries and inventions would cease to exist. And who knows, maybe that kid you sit next to in Math class will be our future president, or a future civil rights activist, or the person who will someday find a cure for cancer.

Some adults may look at us, and see children, little boys and girls, nothing else. Well, I look around, and see possibilities, I see opportunities, I see the faces of the future. And as I write this article, I wonder what doors are opened to me, to you, to all of us.

What I am trying to say is that we all have boundless opportunities, regardless if you are rich or poor, strong or weak. Get out there and stand up for what you believe is right, whether it is a petition, a peaceful protest, or wearing a T-shirt regarding what you believe in. If there were something you can say to the world, and everybody would hear you, what would it be? "Stop animal cruelty," "Equal rights for everybody," "End the war," you know you're thinking of something right now, so say it, scratch that, SCREAM it. Every single body is counted, every single voice is heard, but what's the point of having a voice if you don't use it?

Using My Voice,


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