I’ve been watching with the rest of the world as unrest in the Middle East continues to make the headlines. Dozens of people have lost their lives while engaging in demonstrations in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, who died while in police custody. Life is the ultimate price to pay and perhaps the greatest of all sacrifices. In the wake of such tragedy, I find myself asking many hard and heavy questions and I bet some of you are too!
Why must women live in silence?
Why must lives continue to be lost in such senseless acts of terror?
Why does abuse of power continue to happen?
And perhaps most impactful, what are we going to do about it?
Many of us sit in stunned silence watching the violence unfold, holding the heaviness in our hearts, and grieving (albeit at a distance) alongside those who are witnessing these atrocities firsthand. One of the first things we can do is to bear witness. Do not turn away from the ugliness of the suffering that others are enduring. Secondly, acknowledge that for many of us, we are viewing these events from a place of safety and privilege. While around the globe, women, in general, face hardships, struggles, bias, and concerns about safety, many of us still have the gift and the privilege of free speech. We have freedom of expression. We are allowed to voice our own views and vocalize our dissatisfaction without fear of major retaliation. Not all women across the world have this luxury. And finally, we must make a commitment to use our voices to join in solidarity with those who are being silenced and to make the world a better place to live for everyone, everywhere. As a former journalist, I feel very strongly about this! We have the freedom, we need to use it!
As PR professionals we are constantly urging our clients to find ways to use their voices and platforms to share their messaging and ideas. However, this is a different kind of call. This is a call to action directed at every single one of us. No matter who you are, what your profession is, and no matter how big or small your social media channels might be, you can make a difference! Use your voice, your ideas, your outrage, your freedom of speech, your passion, and your influence to change the world for the better.
What are you passionate about?
What causes do you hold near and dear to your heart?
How wide is your reach?
What can you do, say, or inspire to create change?
This week I encourage you to use your voice to spark change. Use your voice to inspire. Use your voice to spread kindness. Use your voice to spread awareness. Your voice matters. Your thoughts matter. And you have the power to create a ripple effect. What are you going to do with it?!