Using your voice to make a difference in the world
Speaking your truth even when it hurts
Yesterday I realized the importance of using one's voice to make a difference in the world.
Your voice and your testimony have the power to save someone's live. That's the impact that words can have. That's why I realized that I have a personal responsibility to share my voice with the world. When I witness or experience abuse, injustice, or prejudice I need to use my voice and speak up.
Yesterday I went to this Mexican restaurant in a city not too far of the town I live in. I was attracted by the place because it had beautiful terrace and a nice vibe. I ordered a margarita. I found myself smiling while I was sipping my drink and enjoying the music.
My plate came a little bit later. Avocadoes and shrimps. It was delicious. After I was done eating, the waiter came back and I asked him to pack the leftovers. He looked at me weirdly and told me that he would do it and bring the bill right away. I was not done with my drink so I asked him to wait a little bit.
He looked at me and really insisted that I could stay there on the terrace but that he would close the bill now. He left the table fast, I did not have time to ask for churros or anything else.
I am a black woman between.
Two other women who who were not black (white) were sitting on the terrace not too far from me. They were chillin there for a while after their meals with glasses of water and then they ordered churros later.
What shocked me is that they had to go inside the restaurant and find the waiter to pay their own bills while I was asked to pay upfront finishing my drink.
At this moment I was like ok I am going through racism and prejudice right now. This is racism. I was breathing fast and feeling a lot of emotions in my chest.
I told myself I am not going to keep this in.
When the waiter came back I asked him why these people did not have to pay right away like me ?
He said that it really was not about that. He was trying to play nice telling me that he made me a nice packaging for the leftovers. There was not real explanations, facts or valid excuses to justify what had just happened.
I called him on it : this feels like racism. I left just after.
I still gave him his tip because it was the law but I was not feeling good about what had just happened.
As black people or anybody else facing prejudice and racism, our responsibility is not stay SILENT. I really understood that yesterday t's my responsibility to speak up, to call people out on these kind of behaviors. Don't keep it in.
In life, I often thought that I should just focus on the positive side of things, let things be, let the past be the past but it's not a healthy thing to do. Just because I am denying my hurt it does not mean that I am not carrying it around. I need to express that hurt.
I wrote the restaurant a bad review on Google to let anyone know what had happened to me there. People are now informed about what kind of prejudice is going on there.
I always wanted to help people and make difference but not bother them with my pain but I am realizing that my pain is my STRENGHT.
Speaking my truth, using my voice, sharing my stories is actually how can I make a difference.
I am going to finish this article by this short text I wrote :
A positive leader does not see only the positive. They see polarities because the positive could not exist without the negative. They stand up and speak up even if it frightens them because they know it's for the greater good and a higher purpose.