I’ve been scratching my head a lot today wondering what I was going to write for day 2 of my self-imposed blog challenge. It’s bad news when you’re stumped and you’re only a few hops from the starting blocks. I scanned my Facebook and Twitter feeds for a bit of inspiration to get my creative juices flowing. I met up with a friend and put the world to rights over a cuppa but still nothing got me going. One last log in to Facebook and there it was. Another Upworthy video. I clicked on it anyway.
I encounter this website on an almost daily basis when I log in to my various social media accounts. There it is on my newsfeeds in between pictures of what my friends did at the weekend, what their children ate for lunch and the daily countdown until they can leave the office and head home to their loved ones. I never really paid all that much attention to it before but something told me to click on the link anyway today so I did.
It took me to a video of an American war veteran who had been having a pretty dreadful time of things. A hairdresser gave him a haircut and trimmed his beard and a man gave him a suit to wear. It sounds really superficial and daft but the premise was to make him see himself differently and change how others saw him. It was interesting enough to make me click on a few other videos to see what all the fuss was about this website.
As I watched video after video I began to ask questions, of myself and the world of which I am part. The content of the videos was brave. It dealt with sensitive subject matters like casual racism, homophobia and everyday sexism but it did so through humour. No shouting and screaming or waving placards in your face. It struck me that the site and its contributors have really hit home on something very important. Our generation responds to humour. We use it to break the ice; we use it to disarm. It can help us have honest, frank conversations about real issues affecting our society and how we can make a positive change to the way we live.
I realised that bravery isn’t a warrior on a white horse. It’s having the courage to speak up with only your words in your armoury. To step away from the pack and do your own thing, even if it leads you to unchartered territory. To challenge societal norms and demand a better way of living, for everyone. After all, great discoveries were never made by following the herd.