Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Can one speech make a change?

In 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 12 year old Severn Cullis-Suzuki spoke to the delegates.  Her video, now known as "The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes" is one of the most inspirational speeches I've ever witnessed.

Severn has been an activist for all her life. 

She continues to change the world with her work but her words, almost two decades later still inspire us to stop.  To reflect.  To CHANGE.  But can we?  Can we actually listen? And do we have the courage to act.

There is a great movie with Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald called "The Girl in the Cafe".  It is a love story but it gives insight into the inner-workings of the G8 Summit. In a crucial scene Gina speaks out in a situation where there is tremendous pressure to stay silent... but she can't.  You can see the discomfort in the room but in spite of that she continues to speak the simple honest words that have so much impact on those around her.  Those that have the power but are often too willing to compromise.

We should never be afraid to speak.  We cannot always change the world but we can change ourselves and how we live.  We can change our world.. and hopefully all of these individuals will become a groundswell that nothing can stand against.

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