“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
I’m not sure why when I first read this quote by Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai that the musical artist Bob Marley’s song One Love began playing inside my brain but it did. I think it is because all it takes is one: one person to help bring others together. In case you are unfamiliar with the opening lyrics of Bob Marley’s song the first verse it goes like this:
One Love! One Heart!
Let’s get together and feel all right.
Hear the children cryin’ (One Love!);
Hear the children cryin’ (One Heart!),
I think what Malala Yousafzai meant by what she said in today’s quote is that all it takes is one voice to start a movement in order to make a positive change in the world. At least that is how I look at it. Often times when we want to speak our mind on something we may have reservations especially if it we are the only one speaking. I know that early on in my career in education I would hold back my opinion until someone else within the group I was with voiced theirs which matched mine. Then I spoke up. I often worried about what others might think (especially those that were veteran teachers) especially if my views were different from theirs. I eventually came to a point in my life where if I truly wanted my voice to be heard and for change to occur then I must speak up. I think what helped was that the groups I were in had very strong social awareness skills as they already appreciated and accepted differing viewpoints. I do have to admit that it was scary at first but over time I built enough confidence within myself to just do it.
One thing I have learned so far as it relates to this topic is that all you need is one person to speak up and that creates a momentum. I remember a video that we had to watch at my school entitled How to Start a Movement? Leadership Lessons from a Dancing Guy. Try and google it sometime. It is where someone is narrating the video of what looks like a social gathering. Remember those? Anyways… All of a sudden one guy gets up and starts dancing to the music that was playing and he is doing this all by himself. At first everyone no one else is going out there to be with him. They are just staring at him and talking with one another until all of a sudden another person joins the guy and starts to dance too. Pretty soon multiple people join in. This was a great example of how to start a movement and this one in particular was non-verbal. So think about that for a moment. If someone could gather that many people by starting off being the one to get things started just think of what the power of one voice could do.
My advice is if you need to voice something go ahead and say it even if it is just you. Others will soon follow. The one thing to keep in mind is you really have to tap into your social awareness skills to make sure whatever you are going to voice your opinion on is presented in a way that is respectful to others and making sure to take into account the audience of who you are speaking or even writing to. The reason being that if you do not take this into account you may in fact damage your relationships with others and depending on what you are talking about is it worth it in the long run? Only you can decide this. Just remember as Seth Godin would say “go make a ruckus.”
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?