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Youth of today - Embrace who you are.

Regardless of your gender, race, background, hobbies, religion or sexuality embrace it. If you have an ethnic name, embrace it. If you have a disorder in any way, shape or form learn to love it. Love starts with yourself; you are you and no one can change you. No one can take away that beauty from you unless you let them. No one can hold that power over you unless you give it to them. No one can teach you how to think unless you accept them. In addition to that, we also need to stand together, fight together, learn together.

Discrimination is a double-edged sword. It slices the hearts of many individuals within our society and it fills the user with hate. Discrimination is a club. It brutally beats down our peers and leaves them for death. Discrimination is our silence. It kills those we do not speak for and robs us of our courage. They suffer through our system and fall through the fierce cracks. We leave them to pick up the sharp shards of our shattered mirror. The mirror needed to reflect our dreams of a picturesque civilisation only reflects the ‘fire and blood and anguish’ we live in. If we are all not free to express our personal identity in a tranquil society, then we are all in shackles. We are all trapped behind the prison our ancestors walked into. We are all brawling behind the bitter cold bars, instead of freeing ourselves from it. We are all punishing ourselves by being cruel to one another. The key word is here 'ALL'.

You may think 'I am free because I do not face discrimination' but I'm here to tell you, you are not. Your guilty conscience will bear the weight, whether you feel the tonnage or not. And if you are watching in silence, you are no better. In the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘[you] are not truly free if [you are] taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as [you are] not free when [your] freedom is taken from you. The oppressed and the oppressors alike are robbed of their humanity.’ It just takes one word, one kind smile, one compliment to make someone's day. Being kind goes a very long way.

Youth of today - Embrace who you are.

If not for yourself, then for those who can not. Those who suffered daily persecution and threats. Your tongue is a strong weapon. It can either kill or liberate.

Written by Olamide Onibonoje


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