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California School of the Arts

Change Starts with Voice

To deconstruct the origins of change, you first have to define what change is. Change is, philosophically, a difference in a state of affairs at different points in time. The question at hand is how to change a state of affairs. My answer may seem general, but I’ll try my best to narrow it down for all audiences — voice.

A Voice of democracy, a Voice for rights, a Voice like the gunpowder to spark uproar. But I wouldn’t call a Voice the match that sparks the flame. The Voice is the beginning process, the setting up of dynamite, laying out the blueprints, and when we take an action, it is because of Voice that it is executed.

In order to have a Voice, you need a platform. In a world full of tweets, social media posts, and websites like these, you can put your thoughts out onto the Internet almost instantaneously. That’s clear to see with the constant tweets from the White House. For me, my platform is HS Insider. It’s my school newspaper. It’s my Insta, my Twitter, my poetry that I submit to competitions, my plays and my short stories. I express my emotions in my writing, my views and my beliefs on the world. That might just be the thing that people need: the inspiration from my pieces, the motivation to set a plan into action.

Not only does a Voice let you state your opinions, it means speaking the truth. It means coming forward and defying what other people say. We use our Voices not only to present a new view but also to argue and defend. Use your Voice to scream your message to the mountains and to the walls that people build to keep you out. Change starts with your voice. Despite what they might teach you in school, Voice isn’t formatted. It isn’t separated into three body paragraphs with one sentence concrete detail and two lines of commentary. Change is a break from structure, and that is what your Voice can be.

We’ve taken great steps in our walk towards true equality and representation. Midterm elections are right around the corner, and although I cannot vote yet, I urge those who can to do so. Voice doesn’t always have to a written or actually physically voiced. All it takes is a few ticks on a ballot and you’ve joined a “choir” of society. Self-expression, joining a movement, and standing up for what we believe in has always been a part of society. With Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address, motiving people to fight, to Martin Luther King Jr. who stood up on a podium and persuaded the country to fight for equal rights for African Americans, our world is known for it’s tendency to stand up for what they believe in. And it’s our job as the next generation to continue this legacy and to take the finishing steps in the race to bring about true change through Voice.

The point of this article is, I encourage you to find your Voice and find out what you believe in, what you want to change in this world. Remind your nation about what is important and what we should focus on. Just like our predecessors, we can enact change, although it doesn’t have to be through a Declaration of Independence or a big speech in front of hundreds of thousands. Find those with similar viewpoints as you and carry your message across the interweb.

Change starts with Voice. And Voice starts with you. And if no one else has taken action, don’t be afraid — make the first move.