We’ve all felt the urge to speak ill of others at one time or another. Sometimes we do it to feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we do it to fit in. Sometimes we do it out of frustration and anger. Sometimes we mean it and sometimes we don’t. But it’s still dangerous, for both ourselves and for others. It poisons the air with negativity that gets harder and harder to breathe. People won’t want to be around us and soon we won’t want to be around ourselves. It never does make us feel better, but makes others feel worse. It never does help us fit in, because what goes around comes around. Don’t kick someone down in efforts to give yourself a lift up. You’ll only find yourself further at the bottom somewhere else.
It’s said that our language was born out of our need to gossip. But why have we made it so normal? We tear people down instead of lifting them up. We judge people instead of accepting them. People become afraid to be themselves, become obsessed with reaching perfection, become ruthless towards anyone who poses a threat to their fragile sense of security. And sadly, the cycle continues. Let’s use our words kindly. Let’s give people a hand. Let’s accept everyone for who they are. Let’s celebrate our differences. Imagine what we could do by spreading love instead of hate. How much better the world would be – even yours.
We all hold power. Power in our mind, power in our words, power in our actions, power in our emotions. We may not always feel it, but it’s always there. Don’t hand it over to someone else. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You have the power to do an immense amount of good in your own life and in the world. You can do what you want, say what you want, be what you want. You’re stronger than you know. Use it wisely.
It’s easy to spout an opinion. It’s easy to pass judgement. It’s easy to talk about how life should be. But it really means nothing without action. Sure, we need an idea and a vision, but that’s all they’ll ever be if we don’t put them into action ourselves. We need to stop telling and start doing. We need to stop expecting it all from others and start leading by example. We inspire, motivate and nurture others through practicing what we preach not just preaching what we should practice. Every movement starts with someone putting it into motion. The action is the match that ignites the flame.
Be unapologetically you. We all have so much to give, and that gift is beyond rules, regulations and labels. Our thoughts, beliefs and attitude define who we are. Our actions, our gestures, and our quirks define who we are. Our passion, our words and our lifestyles define who we are. We define who we are. We might never be fully satisfied with who we are, but there’s no need to hide ourselves away. There’s plenty of space for everyone to express themselves. Being unapologetically you is the best thing you can do.
No matter what we do, someone will always find something to pick at. Criticism can be hurtful and debilitating, whether it comes from someone we trust or a complete stranger. But there’s only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing. So we might as well do what we want, say what we want and be who we want. If we cannot please everyone, we might as well start by pleasing ourselves. Because the only person who has to live with our choices is ourselves – not anyone else. Don’t let criticism stop you from going where you want to go. Worse than facing criticism would be ignoring your heart.
Mortality is our only true weakness. In a flash, we could be gone and so could anyone around us. But mortality is also our greatest asset. Think about how much more we’d give, if we realised how precious our time is and how limited our time is. We’d love deeper. We’d forgive those who wronged us more quickly. We’d say the words left unsaid. We’d swallow our pride. We’d be bolder in our pursuits. The clouds that loom over our mind would dissipate, because the answers would become much clearer. Let’s not wait until tomorrow. Today is your day to write as you please. Only put off until tomorrow that you are willing to die having left undone.
As much as we’re affected, moulded, and influenced by those around us, we also have the same effect on others. So we all have a responsibility to do so positively and unconditionally. The smallest of words or actions can boost someone’s self-love or pick up someone’s mood. We can encourage someone to pursue their aspiration or inspire someone to aim higher. We can empower others to take control of their lives by relinquishing ours over them. Be an example. Be a catalyst. And bring out the best in others. They might be the leader, innovator, and partner of tomorrow.
Our hands can make a difference. Our mind can make a difference. Our words can make a difference. It can be as simple as saying thank you to someone who we take for granted. It can be as simple as acknowledging a homeless person. It can be as simple as educating someone on an important matter. The list is endless. We might seem futile, but we’re anything other than that. We’re powerful. Our actions are powerful, even the simple ones. When combined, they create tremors across society, across thinking, across the world. Don’t underestimate your ability to bring about change for the greater good. The world, after all, is in each of our hands.
Artists have been mocked. Actors, actresses and models have been labelled. Innovators have been doubted. Writers have been rejected. Musicians have been dropped. Anyone who works differently is outed. As she begun auditioning, Meryl Streep was told she was “ugly”. Now she is widely thought of as one of the greatest actresses of her time. In his role as a contributor for the San Francisco Examiner, Rudyard Kipling was fired for not knowing “how to use the English language”. Now he continues to be known as a successful writer.
We can’t stop what people say about us. But we can choose what we listen to. Some people are ignorant, insecure and envious. Others are kind, passionate and encouraging. Absorb the positive energy and brush off the rest. You, and you alone, know what you’re capable of. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Just believe in yourself and show them.