"You've got the words to change a nation but you're biting your tongue."
A good friend recently introduced me to a fantastic song entitled, “Read All About It (part 3)” by English singer-songwriter Emeli Sande. As I first began work on this post, I was researching her back story and a little bit of history about the song. But at the end of the day, that’s not what I want to write about. I want to write about a line that stopped me in my tracks and motivated me for weeks.
The song opens up with a soft piano melody before Sande’s voice speaks:
“You’ve got the words to change a nation but you’re biting your tongue.”
And pause. Think about that for more than the mere ten seconds of ear time your mind received. Digest that thought and really, truly, think about it.
We all have, within us, an ability to influence those around us. Think of your childhood. Think back to the cafeteria. Remember dumping the contents of your power rangers lunch box onto the table and comparing applesauce with cookies and juice boxes with water flavoring. Think of tempting your best friend…because he just has to try these new Oreos your mother bought.
That’s influence. On a small, immature, child scale, that is influence.
Think, now, of someone who believes in you. Be it a coach, a teacher, a parent, a sibling, a friend, or even a stranger, everybody has somebody. Now think of when those people have influenced you.
Think of the coach that reassured your physical strength, believing that you could go the extra mile. Think of the teacher who held extra study sessions with you when you struggled with that tricky algebraic concept. What about the parent who taught you never to give up or the sibling who led by example? How about the friend who pushed you to try new things? And what about the stranger who smiled at you on that day when the world seemed to be stacking all its cards against you? What about a person who, although you never spoke a word, changed your day, even if just in that moment?
Do we ever stop to realize that the things that seem so small more often than not mean the most?
So what happens, then, if we try? What happens when we find our cause to champion and become passion about something bigger than ourselves.
Everybody can change the world. Before you roll your eyes think about this:
There is a certain theory known as the Butterfly Effect, a sensitive dependence based on the preliminary conditions being drastically altered by a minute action of a singular event. Basically, exact details of something as catastrophic as the path of a hurricane or a twister can be influence by something as small as the path of a distant butterfly weeks prior.
Something so big and destructive as a mighty hurricane, being influenced by something so delicate and beautiful. This isn’t to say that the butterfly caused the destruction or spurred a natural disaster, simply that it played in a role in the path it took.
We are all butterflies. We all have ability to rock the world with our words and our actions and our influence.
"You’ve got the light to fight the shadows so stop hiding it away."
Get up. Say something. Make a change. Fight the darkness. Be a light. Change the world.
The Smile Project
Hear the song here: