- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Sunday, 13 October 2013
Words and Actions By Holly Searle
Human Rights piece for Blog Action Day, October 16, 2013.
There have been many moments in my life when I had wished I had spoken-up. Or for that matter drawn attention to a certain situation, and as to why it all appeared to me, to be a little out of sync, and not quite right.
Of course I didn't. And when we do not take the opportunity to voice our opinion about something we feel uncomfortable with, we become frustrated and that isn't right.
Frustration festers. It causes anger, and anger is a negative emotion from which nothing positive ever grew.
Many years later, something happened to me and I became fearless with regards to having my say.
In a funny sort of way, becoming fearless was quite a liberating experience for me as it enabled me to find my voice.
It freed me from all of my past woes and worries about how my opinions would be met. And I gained strength and the confidence to tap someone on the metaphorical shoulder and tell them that things just weren't right and that they should take note.
I soon gain some notoriety for my vocal displeasures, and was seen as someone who made complaints. But I didn't see it like that at all. I saw these little vocal soap-boxing moments as constructive criticism of a situation or of an occurrence, that needed to be addressed.
In a way, I guess I saw myself as a sort of pioneer. If I was wrong, then so be it.
But what if I was right? What if speaking-up and making those who had the power to make changes, who would listen to my voice and who would actually hear my words, did make positive changes?
What if they took then seriously? Surely then change may take place, and with that change, the knowledge that I had prevented another person from having to endure a similar situation to the one that I had?
And that change had all been made possible because one person had used their voice to make it happen.
Words are a powerful medium.
People will listen to them, or read them, or even hear them depending on the context through which they are delivered.
In print, set to music, or simply from the mouths of the disenfranchised.
Sometimes it is their simple appropriation in a given situation that carries their gravitas the most effectively.
Every day, ordinary people use their words and actions to enable extraordinary changes to take place.
Without these words and actions, we would never be able progress. We would regress, and humanity would fail itself.
These people are heroes. They have reached their own personal tipping-points, and enough is simply enough.
Think about Rose Parks. One day in 1955, she just decided that she wasn't willing to give up her seat on the bus because of the colour of her skin. She was tired of giving in. So she used her voice and point blankly refused to let someone else sit where she was sitting, because she wasn't white.
Rosa Parks was arrested for civil disobedience and for violating the Alabama segregation laws. She lost her job because she said no. But she went on to champion the Civil Rights Movement and eventually changes began to take place.
And all because she used her voice.
See, it's amazing what we can do, if we speak-up.
I cannot write about it here, as some things should be confined to the bookshelf in your our personal library.
But, there was a time in my own history when I went through what was simply the worst period of my life.
First of all I thought it was inconceivable that I had been placed in a situation through no fault of my own.
I was lost. I had never known anything like it before or since.
I had no idea what to do.
It was an immense struggle that lasted for over two years. It consumed every moment of my life, for what looked like an unmarked eventual destination.
But I didn't suffer in silence. I spoke to people. I raised my concerns.
Throughout the whole process, many doors were literally closed in my face. No one was interested in my plight, and I began to question my own sanity.
Then one day, someone heard me. They listen to what I had to say.
Then all the dots began to join-up and something turned and changes began to take place.
At times I felt as though I was having to shout above the white noise that kept sticking its fingers in the ears of those that had the power to help me..
At times I felt as though I no longer had the strength the carry on.
But I did, and it got better, and eventually it was resolved in my favour.
But it wasn't an easy ride.
At the best of times it was bumpy, and at the worst of times is was a living nightmare.
But I never gave-up.
I never gave-up, because I knew that I was right and that it was my right to be heard.
That situation taught me a valuable life lesson.
And that lesson was that words and actions equal change.
If you have a voice, you must use it, as it it your human right to do so.
If you ever find yourself at a crossroad in your life, and you cannot work out which way to go. Never forget that you always have a voice, and that your words and your actions will help you to figure out the right direction in which to travel.
You have the strength.
Ask yourself this question: What is the worst thing that can happen?
Answer: The very thing that you you are concerned about.
I believe in you.
You will find the strength to overcome it.
You have the strength.
You have the words.
That is your human right.
Just keep thinking Rosa Parks.