Music is one of the most powerful forms of communication. It touches your soul and pulls at your heartstrings. I feel like the words to certain songs apply to me or correspond precisely with what I'm going through.
One of the greatest components of the song, of course, is its lyrics — words that eloquently say what you cannot.
Written words trigger a need to express how you feel. It all comes down to writing — whether it's a song with a powerful meaning, a book that draws out your emotion, or an article that helps change your perspective.
I think now, more than ever, I understand how words can impact those around you. I recently watched the move “Spotlight,” about a team of journalists who uncover the epidemic of sexual assault in the Catholic Church. I found it interesting that although this situation was somewhat known to the pubic, it wasn't until these journalists wrote about it that people began questioning the actions of the Catholic Church. Journalists helped to uncover a horrible truth while inciting a flurry of changes that took place in the community, Church, and around the world. All by writing articles.
My parents grew up in the age where everyone read a newspaper. They both worked as journalists and only now do I see the true outcome of their work. I thought for a long time that writing was to prove a point or to share an opinion. But it's so much more than that. You can actually change the world.
Today's news is vastly different than when they began their careers. But despite having multiple channels and outlets to read and watch what's happening in our world, I feel we're missing out on the in-depth, “investigative” side of journalism. The side that spends months and months, maybe even a year to uncover a wrongdoing or help bring someone to justice, or just understand the facts. I'm concerned these powerful voices are going away as we rely heavily on surface, up-to-the-minute, 24/7 news.
Of course there is another side. As bloggers, we have a platform, even if it sometimes seems like a small one. Our articles do have an impact. We actually can make a difference.
Recently a rape victim's letter went viral after her brutal attack and the ridiculous sentence her perpetrator received: only six months. People have been speaking out and sharing this story and her brave, well-articulated viral letter. It has prompted others to come forward too. Sharing their stories and the unfair treatment they've received, such as probing, inane questions aimed at undermining their rape story, disturbs us all. Through their words, we are called to help create change. (P.S. the petition to sign is here.)
Never think your voice is not important or that your point isn't valid. Spend time thinking it through. Fine tune your message, then back it up with facts and data. The beauty of writing means that it can last by inspiring or influencing others and changing minds.
The whistle-blowers of the world are not gone. They've just taken a new form; one that fights for rights in a new way. I think we can make a difference. And words are a start.
We can change the world. It can start with writing.