They say to write about the things that light fires in your soul. They say to write what you know. But they also urge you to stay silent on controversial issues.
As a society, we place this “they” above all else. What “they” say matters more to us than anything else. It matters less to the average individual what “I” say. We’ve stopped listening to our bodies, to our minds, to our hearts. We’ve stopped acknowledging what we, as individuals, feel. No longer do we stand for who we are. That sense of individuality is gone.
That said, is maintaining this opinion making me, a faceless article author, part of that “they”? Does saying that many people have established conformity and crowd mentality making me part of the problem? Maybe. But in spite of that, my opinion persists.
My opinion persists because even though I understand that it will be discounted as a half hearted attempt to be “edgy” and “nonconformist,” I also understand that people face infinite problems caused by this “they.” I understand that the voice that says you’re not good enough exists, and that at least once in your life you will find that that voice screams louder than your own. I understand that that voice will, at least once in your life, force you to confront every flaw you can find within yourself. I understand that that voice will cause you doubt, and sadness, and fear. That voice is the “they” we’ve become subservient to.
According to an article from the New York Times, many characterize our generation as “The Anxious Generation.” That voice stems from the anxiety that thrums through Generation Z. I won’t stand here and blame the media, because even if the media has done some harm since the internet has become widespread, it has also spread things like the Me Too movement, the Body Positive Movement, and in general has spread power and positivity. While “they” will constantly instill doubt in your head if given the chance, every person holds in their hands the power to create change. You can silence your “they” by choosing hope, by choosing positivity, by choosing self love, and by choosing power. Even if the world feels like it’s crashing down around you, choose to ask for help.
The biggest thing to remember is that “they” only exist in your own head. Own yourself, own your body, own your mind. Most of all, own how you feel and make it known. Don’t silence yourself while trying to silence your “they.”