Up to now 4 years, I’ve discovered extra about myself than 17-year outdated Olivia ever thought. Just lately, I used to be proven a TED Speak on the significance of authenticity in particular person identification. This was not in reference to presenting an identification, however authenticity with your self – believing that YOU are inherently beneficial. Swimming is short-term – it’s what I do and it is likely one of the many issues I like, however it’s not who I’m. There are such a lot of issues I’m earlier than an athlete – a Christian, a girl, a biracial girl, a daughter, a sister, a pal. The principle message of the speak was that each single particular person issues, and each particular person issues completely. I matter, and I matter completely. If the world tells you that you just don’t matter, it’s flawed. 

I’m a agency believer that you just can not combat hate with hate. You simply can’t. I hate the techniques which were perpetuated by those that stay silent. I hate the truth that it has been 400 years and we’re nonetheless preventing the identical combat. It seems to be completely different right now than it did in 1619, or 1861, or 1965, however it’s all the identical. I completely despise the brokenness of the world we stay in. Nonetheless, it can not cease at simply being indignant. That anger must be channeled into motion. 

Shifting ahead, affecting change by way of my voice seems to be like vulnerability. Be weak about who you’re and what you’ve got skilled. Search to know, to not be understood. Virtually talking? Vote. It’s not an choice to passively watch elections go by with out utilizing every of our voices. Get educated, be taught in regards to the subjects that matter to you, find out about candidates – what they’ve carried out and what they plan to do – then decide. That’s one of the simplest ways to make use of your voice proper now. You wish to see change? Exit and make it. Vote for representatives on the native, state, and federal ranges who signify your true beliefs.   

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