One of the greatest impacts we as a human race can have on this world is sharing our voices. Every one of us has something unique to say that could alter lives forever, therefore, making sure everyone gets an opportunity to share those expressions is vital. There are many ways this can be achieved, whether it be on paper, through art, or by voice. Having the ability to speak one’s mind is part of what separates an individual from the rest of the world.

I hate public speaking, I get nervous and find it difficult to get my point across. For people like me, sharing their voices can be difficult, so having alternatives is inviting. I love to write, and I find that I am able to convey messages that I may not have been willing to say. When I was in eighth grade, I was asked to write an essay about my personal hero. I chose my grandfather, who had trained French spies in World War II. I wrote a lengthy paper about why I saw him as my hero, and apparently my writing impressed my teacher. Soon after I turned it in, my teacher pulled me aside. She told me that she loved my essay and wanted me to read it to the school during our upcoming Veterans Day assembly. The idea of speaking in front of my classmates horrified me, yet I knew that my teacher valued the opportunity. Therefore, I agreed to speak. When the dreaded day finally arrived, I was nervous about sharing my essay, but I was more scared that people would not accept my opinions and stories.  As I began to speak, my anxiety seemed to fade away until all I could focus on were the words in front of me. I had successfully found a way to convey my ideas and personal beliefs to a much larger audience. When I finished the last words of my essay people applauded, and all of the pressure that had been set on my shoulders for nearly a month had vanished. My classmates had not rejected my opinions. As comfortable as I have become with my skills as a writer, if I could continue working to become confident when speaking, my ideas and carefully selected words would better be understood by my audience. As I have grown older and realized my voice will be heard and accepted, I have decided not to let fear of rejection dissuade me. Even though I still dislike public speaking, and don’t favor the idea of being rejected, I believe my voice, and everyone else’s, should be heard.

Sharing our voices is what separates us and unites us. People are different, they have different voices, different thoughts, and different beliefs. If we don’t share these unique traits, communities will never have the ability to reach their full potential. Every person’s voice is valuable, so make sure you take the opportunity to share yours. This is what I believe in.




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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

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