We live in a loud world.
From billboards and commercials that assault the senses to those all caps voices of friends and family on social media, our world is becoming louder and louder by the minute.
Each voice, vying for our attention, finds itself in an arms race against the sea of other voices, each getting incrementally louder, hoping for the slightest of nods their way.
It is exhausting.
This constant rise in volume and intensity has become our default instead of the exception and we are becoming culturally deaf to one another.
And, just as the little boy crying wolf, we have stopped believing those in real danger screaming out terrified warnings that we all are actually in real trouble.
Many of us sit in places of privilege, where our voices, because of historical and societal structures, have been given prominence and priority. Others are born, because of race, ethnicity, orientation or gender, with a minimized voice that has often been discounted before it is ever heard.
For those of us who have a voice and a platform, we have a job. Our job is not to scream our thoughts and opinions but rather to point towards, make space for and yield to the floor to those whose voices have been oppressed.
For those of us who have voice and platform we also have another job. It is a job to step into the gap, defend the poor, the oppressed, the weak and the marginalized. Not as a savior or conquering hero but as an ally, a partner a friend. Screaming when necessary and being silent when needed.
For those of us who do not have a voice or a voice that is minimized you have a role too. Do not give up, do not be quiet, keep on. Help us who have voice know your stories and how we can get out of the way or create space. Help us know when we are hurting and when we are being helpful. We need your voice in our lives too.
Finally I want to list a few voices that are doing this very thing and are making the world better because they are making the world more thoughtful, diverse and beautiful.