One voice is all it would have taken to make a huge difference in my world. It wouldn’t have mattered who it came from, what they looked like, or how popular they were. It could have come from anyone.
I was a nervous, lonely, awkward junior high student who wanted to fit in and be liked more than anything else. In that way, I was like so many other kids.
I was laughed at, made fun of, bullied, and tormented. It got to the point where I tried to come up with any excuse not to go to school each day. I begged my parents to not make me go back. I looked at transferring to another school. Unfortunately, in that way I was also like so many other kids. But I didn’t realize it at the time. No one told me.
No one told me I wasn’t alone. No one told me I had value. No one told me I was good enough. No one told me that the insults I was hearing weren’t true, that one day I’d rise above them, or that one day the people saying them would no longer matter to me. No one told me it would get better. No one defended me. No one stood up. No one spoke up. Not one voice.
They sat back and watched it happen, or worse, took part in it. None of my classmates stood up for me, even those I considered friends. All I needed was one voice to speak up in my defense, letting me know that I wasn’t alone and that everything was going to be okay. That one voice would have sounded like a crowd of thousands to me. It would have had that much power. I’d remember to this very day what it sounded like. But I never heard it.
If you’re struggling with the same thing I went through and no one has spoken up, let me be that one voice: You are not alone. No matter who you are, no matter what’s been said or done to you, no matter what you’ve been told, you are not alone. You have value. You matter.
You’d be amazed to know how many people out there have gone through the same thing you’re dealing with. These same people who were so torn down by the hurtful words and actions of others have gone on to be successful, confident, and empowered. They’ve gone on to live amazing lives, and do incredible things. And so can you.
Meanwhile, if you’re reading this and you’ve seen someone else suffering the things I’ve mentioned, you can be the person who stands up and speaks up. You can be the person who makes all the difference in their world. You can be the one they remember years later as the person who changed everything. You don’t have to be strong, or popular, or particularly confident. You only have to be willing, and brave enough to be the one voice.