I used to think my voice didn’t really matter. That I wasn’t smart enough, eloquent enough, educated enough, good enough, etc. It’s really quite ridiculous when I look at it now. Sure, some of my heroes had more resources, education, money, better looks, etc., but others were no more prepared to have a massive impact on the world than I am now.
Last week I was doing some research on a project I’m working on, and I came across the story of OutKast and their rise to the pinnacle of stardom from their humble roots in my home city of Atlanta. One part of their story really struck me, but I didn’t really know why at the time. These guys blew the rap community away by being named the Best New Rap Group at the Source Awards in 1995. Nobody expected this scrappy new duo from the dirty south to snag the award, and when they did, they didn’t exactly receive a rousing congratulations. But they got up on that stage to accept the reward and Andre uttered these 6 simple words: ‘The South got something to say.’
Well here’s the thing: I’ve got something to say. A lot, actually.
No more hiding in the shadows.
I’ve just returned from the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon, and as in previous years, I’m inspired by the incredible energy and spirit of giving that are hallmarks of this annual amalgamation of awesomeness. But it’s even more intense this year. This year it felt like Chris and the incredible WDS team concocted a potion that was brewed just for the moment I’m experiencing and they gave it to me in single concentrated dose.
Of course I’m not the only one that feels this way. That’s the beauty of this community. Everyone gets to bask in the outpouring of support and appreciation for the talents and passions we all bring to the table. The speakers really upped the ante as well and told some deeply personal stories from their journeys in life in their quest to provide context on how the three pillars of WDS (community, adventure, and service) can manifest in each of our daily lives.
And here’s the thing: I’m just like them. You are, too.
We all bring a unique light into this world, and when we don’t let it fully shine, the world suffers. There can be no doubt that the world is suffering right now. Every living system is in decline, and we face challenges as a species of almost unimaginable proportions. But therein lies the opportunity. We are living in a critical time in human evolution and we are the creators of our destiny.
Say it with me: We are the creators of our destiny.
With this opportunity comes incredible responsibility, however. We must all use our voices to speak our truth with the time we have here on this beautiful planet. The world needs all of us to truly come alive.
Not later when we’ve achieved X, Y, or Z. Now.
So, let’s begin anew with a commitment to let our voices be heard fully in all situations regardless of context. Will you join me in this endeavor? If you do, I believe that in the words of JFK, ‘the glow from that fire can truly light the world.’
Photo courtesy of Armosa Studios