Sometimes all it takes is a voice, one voice that becomes a hundred, then a thousand, unless it’s silenced. ~ Denton ~ Newsies
As I watched this movie this evening something dawned on me. Denton’s line (shown above) really hit me for some reason. I believe this reason stems from the discussion that was had today in my Musical Theater History class about the musical Hair.
In class we discussed the play and its relevance in the time it was produced and now, as the revival just hit broadway. While Hair was very radical when it was originally produced, our class struggled to find relevance in the show today. I hardly ever raise my hand in this class because the class provokes so many thoughts in my head, that I can’t grasp one before the subject is changed, but today I spoke up. I threw the idea out there that maybe why we have trouble finding relevance for the musical today is because of the desensitized culture we live in today.
Look at us. Now everything happens in real time. I have this blog and everyone, everywhere can read what I write here. I have Twitter and all of my followers can find out what I am doing or thinking at this precise moment. Facebook connects us with people we don’t even know and so does MySpace. The list goes on. We are very technological. Our news is censured. Sure we see shootings, burning buildings, car accidents, and so on, but that’s normal to us. We very rarely see the tragic photos taken in the hospitals of our war where people are being amputated because they stepped on a mine. We vary rarely see someone getting beaten to death because of their race, religion, gender, and so on. We don’t see the thousands of children who are being sent off to war across the world. We don’t see it. We hear about it, but we don’t see it.
Because we don’t experience it physically, it’s not important to us. That is…unless we make it important to us.
I know about sweatshops. However, I don’t really pay attention to what I buy and I am a saver so I don’t spend a lot. However, I do read the campus newspaper. So when a group of students since my freshman year of college, have been rallying to stop Penn State from purchasing their gear from companies that have sweatshops, I was only vaguely interested. They did everything: protests, sit ins, rallies, and so on. They ever paraded around wearing nothing but signs. Incredible. This issue about sweatshops mattered to one person who found another person that felt the same way who found another and another and another until they have enough people for a group. It spreads like a wildfire.
So this whole idea about “all it takes is a voice.” One voice. Rosa Parks. Martin Luther King. Fela Kuti. Ghandi. Susan B. Anthony. and others who stepped up to the plate and said: I feel this way about an issue. Do you? Great! Let’s do something about it. Can one small voice change the world? I think so.
I believe people are generally lazy. We don’t really want to do anything about a situation. I know this because I am going through it right now. I don’t know what to say, but I know I have a lot to say. As soon as I can find a good way to say it, I’m sure I’ll say it. A lot of times we don’t want to stand out in the crowd. We don’t want to be that person who thinks differently. Who says “You treated me poorly! or I don’t like how this is done!” I think we would surprise ourselves if we stepped up and others agreed with us. I bet you someone says to you “Wow. I’m really glad you said that. I have felt this way for a long time but never had the courage to say anything about it.”
So my challenge to all of you and to myself. Find something you are passionate about. Arts Programs in Schools, Mistreatment of Employees, Being Degraded, Rape, Abortion, Human Trafficing, or even the fact that you don’t have a coffee maker in the office. ANYTHING! And do something about it. Bring it up at the next staff meeting. Talk to your friends about it. Write about it in your blog. Twitter it. Do something and take action. Facebook groups don’t count unless you actually have meetings in person or via video chat.
There I challenged you all! Let me know what you think about it!