“I’m inviting you to step forward, to be seen, and to ask yourself, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’” Emma Watson, U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador and 2014 graduate of Brown said at the U.N. headquarters in New York this weekend.
Watson was introducing a new campaign called He for She, which aims to organize all people to end sex discrimination and educate people about how feminism can help all people live freer lives.
Toward the end of her speech, Watson joked about her past role in the Harry Potter films, questioning her authority to speak on such important matters to the U.N.
“All I know is that I care about this problem, and I want to make it better. And having seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel it is my responsibility to say something,” she said.
This concept is more than just standing up and speaking out against gender equality. It is a lesson for all people to heed in all their passions.
Also this weekend, Simmons College hosted Hannah Brencher as keynote speaker of the Student Leadership Training. She explained how the root of the word “passion” came from the French “pâtir,” meaning “to suffer,” meaning that, a passion is not just something you care about, but is something for which you are willing to suffer.
Brencher told the students that they should not let the fear of failure halt their decision to do.
She also shared a quote that resonated with her while she was working at the U.N., before she began her More Love Letters project: “May I be blessed with enough foolishness to think that I can change the world so that I may go out and do what others say cannot be done.”
As you are probably already intimately aware, there are many problems in the world. There are many injustices. There are many people committing terrible acts.
But there are many more good people trying to end all that.
It is time to speak out.
“It is citizens—ordinary men and women, determined to forge their own future—who throughout history have sparked all great change,” President Barack Obama said on Tuesday.
In the United States, we have the good fortune of having a comprehensive first amendment to protect our ability to share ideas. We can gather, share beliefs, speak on those beliefs, print those beliefs, and tell the government to change to represent our beliefs.
Defending our beliefs must be important if it was placed in the number one spot.
As a newspaper, The Simmons Voice is very much in love with the first amendment. It allows us to express our views openly. It allows us to bring you the facts on important things you must know about. We have the right to write about whatever we choose. Most importantly however, it allows us to address injustices and bring the shadows to light.
“Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.” So, what will you stand for?
Do you support equality between sexes, orientations, races, incomes, religions, appearances, or anything else? Do you think humans should treat animals and the planet with respect and care? Will you stop war, violence, genocide, or oppression?
Will you speak out or will you be silent?
What are you doing to create change? Will you write to your representative in government, start a petition, or run for office? Will you hold a protest, march, fundraiser, or speak-out? Will you boycott something, or endorse it?
What are you willing to suffer for?
If you fail, will you give up? When those who will stand against you come, will you run away?
And, if not you, then who? And, if not now, when?
At Simmons, we are taught we all can be leaders. You can be the one to change the world. Change can start today.
We can either sit down and shut up, or not.