Thursday, June 19, 2014

Use your voice

I so admire those who use their voices to call us all to higher standards, who point out injustice and aren't willing to settle for the status quo.

Recently Angelina Jolie delivered a strong speech against rape as a weapon of war when representatives from 150 nations met in London for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Among other things she said, "It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians. It has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power. It is done to torture and humiliate innocent people and often very young children."

Further she added that wartime rape "is a crime that thrives on silence and denial." Jolie wants the conversation on ending rape as a war weapon to begin. Good for her. She is using her fame for good in the world. She has found her voice and spoken out before on important issues such as the plight of refugees and displaced people, vulnerable children in the world, environmental conservation and many other global justice issues. She has a "bully pulpit," and she is using it.

You and I don't have the fame and the "bully pulpit" Jolie has. But we surely do have venues in which we can raise issues that are important to us. Is there an issue about which you are passionate and which needs some attention and awareness-raising? What's stopping you? Is today the day to use your voice for good in the world? Go ahead, your voice is unique and important.

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